The entire country has now been put on alert ahead of the arrival of Storm Ophelia, which looks set to be the biggest storm to hit Ireland in over half a century.
Clare has been the subject of a Status Red wind alert since Saturday. Tonight, at 8:15 p.m., this has been extended to cover the entire country. Forecasters are warning of “violent and destructive gusts… with all areas at risk.” Gusts will exceed 130 km/h. Also, heavy rain and storm surges along some coasts will result in flooding.
They also say “there is a potential risk to lives.”
The latest information is available from Met Éireann here.
— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) October 15, 2017
Members of the public are advised to avoid unnecessary journeys, and a number of services have already been cancelled or announced as being closed on Monday. Gardaí say people should not cycle, and say drivers of high-sided vehicles and motorcyclists should be aware of the potential for extreme danger.
Schools will be shut, under advice from the Department of Education. The Limerick and Clare Educational Training Board (LCETB) has confirmed its Post-Primary Schools and Further Education and Training Centres will be closed. This includes day and evening classes. Furthermore, University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick IT, GMIT and NUI Galway are all closed.
UL Hospitals Group is cancelling all outpatient appointments, day surgery and elective procedures in University Hospital Limerick, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, Nenagh Hospital, Ennis Hospital, Croom Orthopaedic Hospital and St John’s Hospital on Monday 16th October. Patients are advised not to travel to the hospitals unless absolutely necessary. Injury Units will remain open in Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals from 8am to 8pm and in St John’s Hospitals from 8am to 6pm and the Emergency Department in UHL remains open 24/7. All patients whose appointments have been cancelled will be contacted to reschedule.
HSE Mid West Community Healthcare has issued the following update:
All Health Centres will be open on Monday morning, however we are advising people should only travel if essential
If you are scheduled for a service at one of our Health Centres and you are in any doubt please ensure you contact the centre on Monday morning and discuss with the staff
The same advice applies to Community Mental Health Services. As the morning progresses we will assess the situation and our centres may close early
We are advising people to avoid all non-essential travel.
Our Home Care Services including visits from Public Health Nurses and Home Help Staff will be restricted to essential work and will reflect the type of service we provide on Sundays and Bank Holidays
If you have any concerns please contact your local Health Centre or service provider on Monday morning
Shannon Airport is advising all passengers to check the status of their flight with their airline. Aer Lingus has already cancelled some services to and from Shannon.
Some Bus Eireann services have been cancelled, including the 7:45 Route 333 Ennis/Doonbeg bus and the Route 350 Ennis/Doolin/Lisdoonvarna bus, also at 7:45. Irish Rail says its services are running, with some disruptions.
The ESB has issued the following advice for customers.
The Irish Coast Guard is advising the public to stay away from exposed beaches, cliffs, piers, harbours and promenades during the stormy conditions.
Clare County Council will provide “essential services” on Monday. The following services however, are being closed due to forecast severe weather conditions.
- Central Waste Management Facility, Ballyduffbeg
- Ennis recycling centre
- Lisdeen recycling centre and transfer station
- Scariff recycling centre and transfer station
- Shannon recycling centre
- Active Kilrush Amenity Park
- Active Ennis Leisure Centre
- Active Ennis John O’Sullivan Park, Lees Road
- All Clare County Library branches
- Clare Museum
- Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience
- Loop Head Lighthouse
- Clare Arts Office
The offices of CLDC and Cairde Beag Childcare will remain closed Monday.
In Shannon, Atlantic Aviation Group and the Atlantic Aviation Institute will remain closed all day on Monday.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection says all customer appointments for Clare are cancelled on monday, and customers should not attend. Appointments will be rescheduled, and there will be no impact on payments.
Court sittings are cancelled, and so too are all driving tests.
Last, but not least, Clare FM will be on air throughout the day with the latest information on Storm Ophelia, and plenty of music to get your mind off it all as well. Listeners will be kept updated on our news, on Morning Focus, and throughout the day. Stay safe.