By Joe Leogue and Eoin English
Met Eireann has hit out at social media users who have published ‘fake’ weather charts online.
The Head of Forecasting at the National Meteorological Service has branded the practice as ‘irresponsible’ and said it appears some believe they “are better at forecasting by looking out the window than Met Éireann”.
Evelyn Cusack made the remarks as she provided the latest information on Storm Brendan’s impact on the country.
“Could I ask people to stop tweeting fake weather warnings and fake weather charts? There's some really crazy stuff out there and it's very irresponsible,” Ms Cusack told Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1.
“Maybe some people think they are better at forecasting by looking out the window than Met Eireann. We run a 24/7 operation paid for by the citizens of Ireland. I'm actually astounded,” she said.
Strom Brendan caused power outages, fallen trees, debris and damage to businesses across the country by the time it passed late last night.
The ESB said the storm led to some 48,000 homes, farms and businesses experiencing a loss of power supply, with Galway, Limerick, Kerry, Cork and Donegal worst affected.
Coastal areas were hit by high winds and waves. The Irish Coast Guard strongly advised the public to stay away from exposed beaches, cliffs and piers during storm conditions.
Coastal flooding was reported across the country including in Tramore in Co Waterford, Skerries and Clontarf in Dublin and parts of Galway.
The Department of Social Protection was forced to close its office on D'Olier Street in Dublin due to damage caused, while the Cork County Council’s Motor Tax Office on Model Farm Road was similarly shut due to the impact of the weather.
By early afternoon, numerous reports of trees falling on roadways had emerged across the country, as well as an errant trampoline reported to have blown on the M7 motorway in Limerick, disrupting traffic.
In Tallaght in Dublin, a shed which was blown from the back garden of a house onto the road.
In Cork, a section of the main street in Ballincollig was closed after a section of roof peeled off a building at the western end of the town.
The alarm was raised just after 10.30am when a section of roof fell from the building which houses the Tradehouse Central bar. There was nobody on the path outside at the time and there were no injuries.
Cork City Fire Brigade attended the scene and escorted shoppers to their cars parked in an adjoining carpark close to the damaged building. Engineers waited for an improvement in weather conditions before conducting an inspection of the roof. The Castle West shopping centre traded as normal.
Jim O’Leary the manager of the centre, said an inspection by engineers later revealed that the damage was relatively minor and confined to the cladding.
The structural integrity of the roof remains sound, he said.
The street reopened to traffic later in the evening and it is expected that it will be business as usual on main street today.