Weekend of storms wreaks havoc

STORMY winds of up to 70 miles per hour over the weekend caused a number of serious injuries, electricity blackouts and were linked to the death of one man.

Locals in Ballybay, Co Monaghan believe a freak gust of wind caught a moped that 82-year-old Robert Carson was pushing and dragged the pensioner into the path of an oncoming lorry. The accident happened at 10.30am on Saturday. Mr Carson, of St Patrick's St, Ballybay, died four hours later in hospital.

Many other people around the country survived serious accidents caused by the strong winds on Saturday, which Met Eireann said were in excess of 70mph in some places.

These included:

A 23-year-old student suffered critical head injuries when a tree fell on her after being knocked by high winds in Co Kildare.

The woman was struck on the head by the mature tree near Bond Bridge in Maynooth as she made her way to college to study for the afternoon. It also brought down traffic lights and other cables.

Two children and an adult were treated at Wexford General Hospital after a tree fell on their jeep at Island Road in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. They received minor injuries.

A Spanish fisherman was injured while unloading fish from a trawler in rough weather conditions in Dingle, Co Kerry.

The man fell 20 feet into the hull of the trawler and several boxes of fish fell on top of him as he was unloading the trawler on Dingle pier at about 8.30pm. The man was taken by ambulance to Tralee hospital, where his condition was described as comfortable.

Three children and two adults were taken to hospital with minor injuries after a skylight on a swimming pool roof fell in on them at a sports complex in Santry in north Dublin. Up to 25 people were using the pool at the time.

Gardaí say part of the roof from a nearby building was blown onto the Sport Link complex causing the skylight to collapse.

The adults were taken to the Mater Hospital while their two young children and a 13-year-old girl were taken to Temple St Hospital.

The 25-metre swimming pool is part of a e14 million expansion to the Sportslink centre which opened just over a year ago. The centre is for the use of public service workers.

Other weather-related events included felled trees and telephones poles in Galway, which destroyed some farmyard buildings. A private jet belonging to millionaire businessman Dermot Desmond was also blown over as high winds buffeted Dublin Airport. No commercial flights were affected by the weather.

Several hundred ESB crew members worked over the weekend to restore power to more than 20,000 homes after power-lines were brought down by the high winds. The worst hit areas were in the midlands and along the east coast.

Around 300 homes in Dublin were without electricity yesterday morning, but the ESB said power was restored by early afternoon.

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