Northern Ireland news

Dark Hedges: Tree uprooted as high winds wreak havoc across Northern Ireland

Trees were uprooted by high winds on the famous Dark Hedges in Co Antrim.
John Monaghan

STORMS have ripped up trees in Co Antrim made famous by the hit TV series Game of Thrones.

A tree at the Dark Hedges near Armoy came down as gusts of up to 60 miles per hour hit parts of Northern Ireland on Saturday night.

The historic trees on the Bregagh Road were planted in the 18th century by the Stuart family to create a grand entrance to their nearby Georgian mansion, Gracehill House.

One hundred and fifty were originally planted but around 90 remain.

A tree at the Dark Hedges, made famous by the hit TV series Game of Thrones, was uprooted in high winds. Picture by Kevin McAuley.

Several trees on the famous route have been uprooted during storms in recent years.

In October 2017 the Department for Infrastructure announced that cars and buses were to be banned from driving along the road following concerns that damage was being caused to the trees by vehicles.

The windy conditions also affected electricity networks, with hundreds of homes and businesses across the north left without power for part of the weekend.

Waves hit a beach hut in Portrush during storms on the Causeway Coast. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

Engineers from Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) worked to restore power to around 400 customers still without supplies on Sunday morning.

A yellow warning for strong winds was issued on Saturday night and remained in force until 12 noon on Sunday.

Foam from sea waves arrives on shore along the promenade in Portstewart during windy weather on Sunday. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

The Ballysallagh Road in Bangor and the Springford Road between Glarrymount and Clough in Co Antrim were among the routes closed on Sunday because of fallen trees.

Stena Line ferry services travelling in each direction between Belfast and Cairnryan were also cancelled on Sunday morning.

In Moneymore, Co Derry, a driver escaped uninjured after a tree fell on his car on Saturday night on Stonard Street.

In the Republic, 10,000 properties were initially left without electricity as a result of the weather, but this figure had fallen to 3,000 by Sunday afternoon as teams from ESB worked to repair damaged lines.

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