Welcome to Clare FM’s live blog which will keep you up to date with goings on across the county as Storm Barra approaches.
Clare is the subject of a red weather warning from 4pm today (Tuesday) until 1am Wednesday, December 8th.
Update from Shannon Airport
Shannon Airport is expecting disruption to its services this evening due to storm Barra.
A spokesperson for Shannon Airport said: “While the Ryanair inbound Gatwick service arrived safely at Shannon at 2.40pm, there are flight cancellations due to this evening due to the severity of storm Barra.
“With severe gusts currently being experienced at Shannon Airport, the following Ryanair flights have been cancelled – the Malaga service due to depart Shannon at 5.15pm, the London Stansted inbound and outbound services this evening, while the inbound Tenerife flight due to arrive at Shannon at 4.25pm diverted to Dublin. In addition, Aer Lingus services from and to Heathrow Airport scheduled for this evening have been cancelled.”
Earlier in the day two flights bound for Cork Airport from Stansted and Birmingham diverted to Shannon Airport.
“As storm Barra could potentially continue to impact Co. Clare early tomorrow, we would advise Intending passengers for early morning flights to contact their airline before travelling to the airport. Flight information will be posted on all Shannon Airport social media platforms and the airport website as it becomes available,” said the spokesperson.
Clare schools to remain closed tomorrow
The Department is advising that all schools that are currently or forecast to be in a Red or Orange alert area should remain closed tomorrow, 8th December. This will allow for assessment of the impact of Storm Barra to take place.
This includes counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Limerick, Clare, Galway, Mayo and Wexford.
Almost 2,000 ESB customers now without power in Miltown Malbay, Kilrush, Kilkee, Quilty and surrounding areas of West Clare.
Clare now officially under a red weather warning
Gusts of up to 130 kilometres per hour are expected in the Banner county, with the alert remaining in place until 1am Wednesday morning.
Around 1,387 ESB customers in the Kilkee area are now believed to be without power, with it due to be restored by 4pm.
Tree down on the Kilrush to Cooraclare road
The tree is understood to be close to the Old Tullabrack school.
All outpatient appointments at UL Hospitals Group – including at Ennis Hospital – and all appointments at the Covid-19 vaccination centres in the MidWest – including in Ennis – have been cancelled for the rest of today
The UL Hospitals Group says: “Anybody with a hospital outpatient appointment or vaccination appointment after 2pm is requested not to travel and their appointment will be rescheduled as soon as possible. We regret this disruption in service but this decision is being taken in the interests of patient and staff safety as travel conditions are expected to be hazardous later this afternoon and into this evening. We regret that this decision will also affect patients who were scheduled to have procedures across our sites today. Affected patients are being contacted directly by the hospital.”
Update from Clare County Council
Due to the combination of severe weather events, Active Ennis Leisure Complex and John O’Sullivan Park, Lees Road, are closed today, Tuesday, 7th December.
Power outages in Kilbaha
37 customers are affected with power estimated to be restored at about 6.15pm.
HSE Primary Care Centres And Mental Health Services
HSE Mid West Primary Care Health Centres will also close today at 12 noon at the following locations.
-Shannon Health Centre
-Sixmilebridge Health Centre
-Scariff Health Centre
-Tulla Health Centre
-Ennis Health Centre
-Kilmaley Health Centre
-Clarecastle Health Centre
-Ennistymon Heath Centre
-Lisdoonvarna Health Centre
-Ballyvaughan Medical Centre (HSE Services)
-Kilrush Health Centre
-Kilmihill Health Centre
-Miltown Malbay Health Centre
Services scheduled for before 12 o’clock will be provided as scheduled.
All routine mental health service appointments across Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary are also cancelled today.
These include CAMHS appointments, adult and specialist services. Mental health teams will be in touch with patients to advise
The crisis service remains operational through the Emergency Department at University Hospital Limerick.
The majority of customers in Kilkee and Cratloe affected by power outages earlier are understood to have had their power restored – a small minority remain without power.
Around 18 ESB customers are now affected by a power outage in Kilrush.
Kilrush Credit Union to close from 12.30pm
Gust of 83 kilometres per hour have been recorded at Met Éireann’s Shannon weather station this morning so far, with average wind speeds around the Shannon Estuary hitting 120 kilometres per hour.
Power restored to all but 76 in the Cratloe area. The ESB says the estimated time for restoration of power is 11am.
Power remains out for 1,328 customers in Kilkee, estimated restore time now 1.30pm.
Shannon Airport update
A spokesperson for Shannon Airport said: “The first scheduled flight of the day, a Ryanair flight to Tenerife departed Shannon Airport this morning at 7.21am. However, Aer Lingus services from and to Heathrow Airport scheduled for later this afternoon (EI 385 and EI386) have been cancelled due to the expected severity of storm Barra.
“There have been no further confirmed flight cancellations yet, and we are awaiting updates from our airlines. However, as a status RED weather warning for County Clare is due to come into effect today, we strongly advise intending passengers to check with their airline before travelling to the airport. Flight information will be posted on all Shannon Airport social media platforms and the airport website as it becomes available.”
Post offices closing from 2pm today in Clare
An Post has told Clare FM: “In Co Clare, postal deliveries services will operate as normal until 2pm, and Post Offices will remain open for business as usual until 2pm today.”
Storm Barra has made landfall and so far gusts of up to 81 kilometres per hour have been recorded at Met Éireann’s Shannon weather station so far this morning.
More than 1,604 homes and businesses are currently without power in the county.
ESB Crews have been dispatched to Kilkee and are hoping to restore power shortly, while an outage in Cratloe is expected to last until close to 11am.
Gusts of up to 57 kilometres per hour recorded at Met Eireann’s weather station in Shannon at 6am this morning.
A number of power outages across the country, but none so far in Clare.
Trees down on the road from Tulla to Bodkye, after the quarry, Emergency services are at the scene.
TUS to close its Ennis campus tomorrow
The Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS) will close three of its six campuses this evening from 10pm and they will remain closed tomorrow Tuesday, December 7, 2021 on the advice of the Department of Further and Higher Education.
The LSAD, Clare Street Campus, Limerick; Moylish Campus, Limerick; and the Ennis Campus, Co. Clare will close this evening and remain closed until Wednesday December 8 as a result of the Red Alert and Orange warning from Met Éireann.
IFA Advice For Farmers
IFA Munster Regional Chairman Harold Kingston has advised farmers to take every precaution over the next 48 hours as Storm Barra arrives.
He advised farmers to check their farmyards and put in place whatever safety procedures are needed to safeguard themselves and their livestock until the storm passes.
“Farmers should review whatever measures they normally take when Met Éireann issues a storm advisory. Check buildings, gates, doors, vehicles and equipment to ensure they are secure,” he said.
Harold Kingston also advised farmers to use the time between now and the storm landing to have all precautions in place.
“Met Éireann’s advice is that there will be gusts in excess of 130km/hour. Anybody farming near coastal areas should be very vigilant,” he said.
He also asked farmers to check with any neighbours who may be isolated and to give them whatever assistance they can.
Mary Immaculate College Closed
A spokesperson has told Clare FM that due to growing concerns that a Status Red Wind Warning for Limerick may be issued at a later stage tonight or indeed early tomorrow morning, a decision has been taken to close the MIC Limerick campus and all its facilities throughout Tuesday 7 December 2021.
Staff and students should operate online in the interim and monitor their emails for further updates.
Local Link Services will be suspended on Tuesday
A spokesperson has told Clare FM that due to the red weather warning all Local Link Services in Clare will be suspended for the 7th December resuming on the 8th December.
RRS 335 Ennis to Kilrush
RRS 339 Kilrush to Loop Head
RRS 337 Kilrush to Ennis
C1 Feakle. Tulla to Ennis and Scariff to Mountshannon
C2 Scariff to Killaloe
C3 Ennis to Feakle
C4 Ennis to Shannon, Ennis Town Loop
C5 Corofin – Kilfernora – Lisdoonvarna
Local Link will continue to monitor the situation for any changes in the weather forecast and will issue further updates.
Bus Eireann to run reduced services in Clare
A spokesperson has told Clare FM about the following service changes:
Service 350 the 07:15 Nogra – Galway rtn 17.00 Galway – Nogra will operate as normal. All other route 350 services are cancelled Tuesday, 7 December 2021
Expressway Route 51 will operate between Galway and Limerick only with last departures 13:05 ex Galway 13:25 ex Limerick. Expressway Route 51 services which will operate can be found below.
07.05 Ex Galway to Limerick
08.05 Ex Galway to Limerick
09.05 Ex Galway to Limerick
10.05 Ex Galway to Limerick
11.05 Ex Galway to Limerick
12.05 Ex Galway to Limerick
13.05 Ex Galway to Limerick
07.25 Ex Limerick to Galway
08.25 Ex Limerick to Galway
09.25 Ex Limerick to Galway
10.25 Ex Limerick to Galway
11.25 Ex Limerick to Galway
12.25 Ex Limerick to Galway
13.25 Ex Limerick to Galway
The following stage carriage services will operate in Clare until 1pm and will be cancelled thereafter for the remainder of Tuesday, 7 December.
Operating to 1pm only: Service 333, 336, 341, 343 & 343x, 345
AIB and Ulster Bank branches in Clare to close
Shannon and Ennis’ Ulster Bank branches to close all day on Tuesday, with AIB also shutting its doors across the county.
Outpatients appointments and vaccination clinics cancelled at Ennis Hospital from 2pm.
The UL Hospitals Group says: “Some elective procedures will take place tomorrow if patients can be safely discharged by 2pm. Procedures taking place later in the day will be postponed. Patients are being contacted directly by the hospital to confirm if their procedure is going ahead or not.
The Emergency Department at UHL, Injury Units at Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s and Medical Assessment Units at UHL, Ennis, Nenagh and St John’s will operate as normal. The Maternity Emergency Unit at University Maternity Hospital Limerick will also continue to operate on a 24-hour basis.”
All third level institutions advised to close tomorrow
The Department of Higher Education says: “Due to the significant nature of Storm Barra, as forecast by Met Éireann and to give sufficient notice to institutions of further and higher education, the Department is advising that all universities, colleges and further education facilities covered by the Red Alert and Orange warning from Met Éireann should not open tomorrow, 7 December.”
This will presumably cover TUS’ campus on Bindon Street in Ennis.
Clare County Council’s offices to close tomorrow
A spokesperson has told Clare FM: “Due to the combination of forecasted weather events, the offices and facilities of Clare County Council, including civic amenity sites and digital hubs, will be closed on Tuesday, 7th December. Clare County Council will be monitoring the situation for any changes in the weather forecast and will issue further updates. Please check Met Éireann for updates.”
School’s out! Clare schools set to remain closed following Department of Education advice.
The Department has told Clare FM: “Due to the significant nature of Storm Barra, as forecast by Met Éireann and to give sufficient notice to schools and parents/guardians, the Department is advising that all schools covered by the Red Alert and Orange warning from Met Éireann should not open tomorrow, 7 December.
All schools should keep up-to-date with the current weather warnings which are carried on all national and local news bulletins and in particular any change in the status warning for their area.”
Shannon Airport “awaiting direction” on flights.
A Shannon Group spokesperson has told Clare FM: “There have been no confirmed flight cancellations yet, and we are awaiting direction from our airline customers. However, as a status Red weather warning for County Clare is due to come into effect from 4pm tomorrow (Tuesday), we strongly advise intending passengers to check with their airline before travelling to the airport. Flight information will be posted on all Shannon Airport social media platforms and the airport website as it becomes available.”
There will be no COVID-19 testing conducted in Clare tomorrow, with Ballymaley’s testing centre remaining closed.
HSE Midwest Community Healthcare says: “People who have already booked appointments or have been allocated appointments for tomorrow will be contacted via text message and offered new times for their tests on Wednesday, December 8th. HSE Midwest Community Healthcare will keep you updated on any other impacts on our services.”
Stock up on the loo roll and bread! Aldi is to close its stores in Clare early tomorrow, Tuesday 7th December.
The retailer says: “Due to the Status Red weather warning, our stores in Clare will be closed from 3pm on Tuesday and reopen at 9am Wednesday. We are monitoring the weather situation closely and if there are any changes we will communicate this. The health and safety of all our customers and store teams is our priority.”
Ennis Marts has confirmed to Clare FM it is to remain closed tomorrow, Tuesday 7th December.
Clare’s Courts are to remain closed tomorrow amid the red warning – courts are Killaloe DC sitting at Ennis, Ennis Circuit Family Law Court and Ennis District Special Family Law Court.
The Courts Service has told Clare FM that: “Persons who were due to attend either the District Court or the Circuit Court at Ennis on 7th December, 2021 should log on to the Courts website www.courts.ie for information on the date to which their cases are adjourned.”
All Bank of Ireland branches in Clare to remain closed on Tuesday 7th December.
The Bank says “the safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority. Given the latest weather alerts we have taken the decision not to open branches in Cork, Clare and Kerry on Tuesday 7th December.”