A woman aged in her 50s died after a tree branch fell on her car near the west Waterford village of Aglish; a man in his 30s was killed when using a chainsaw to clear a fallen tree near Cahir; and a man in Dundalk was killed when a tree fell on the roof of his car.
The Waterford tragedy happened at about 11.40am on the R671 road between the villages of Clashmore and Aglish in the rural western part of Waterford.
It is believed that the woman, who was driving a car in which a woman in her 70s was a passenger, suffered a fatal injury when the branch of a tree fell on the vehicle and went through the windscreen.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene following the arrival of emergency services.
The other woman in the car was taken to hospital by ambulance, after suffering injuries reported to be “non-life-threatening”.
Both women are from the area between Aglish and Clashmore, and the deceased was named locally as Clare O’Neill, a mother of one.
The family moved to the area about seven years ago, having come from Co Cork.
Ms O’Neill worked as an oncology nurse for more than three decades, having lately worked as Cancer Support Co-Ordinator with the Cork ARC Cancer Support House with its East Cork and West Waterford service, based in Youghal.
She previously worked with the ARC cancer support team at its base on O’Donovan Rossa Rd in Cork.
The accident yesterday happened less than a kilometre from Ms O’Neill’s home, which is about 2km from the village of Aglish.
“She was a very jolly woman, very helpful,” said local shopkeeper Richard Hurley.
“It’s a big shock, it’s a miserable morning, a young woman like that in such a tragic accident.”
“It’s very tragic,” said local county councillor James Tobin.
A man in his early 30s lost his life when he went to clear a fallen tree using a chainsaw, in the Ballybrado area outside Cahir.
He was seriously injured and died at the scene.
His body was removed to South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel for a postmortem.
The man was from Ardfinnan and was named locally as Michael Pyke, aged 31, who lived on St Joseph’s Terrace in the village with his father, Tony. His mother is deceased.
It is understood he went to cut up a tree which had fallen on a road about 3km from his home, between the village of Ballylooby and Cahir, but was fatally injured by a branch at 12.30pm.
Gardaí are trying to establish why he had decided to cut the tree.
A member of the public came across the scene shortly after the incident happened and notified the emergency services, who encountered some difficulty because of the state of the weather at the time and the dangers posed by other trees in the area.
“It’s a devastating tragedy for the family of this young man,” said Independent TD Mattie McGrath, who knows the family.
The victim’s father, Tony, is a retired council worker while the victim himself was a single man.
“They’re a hard-working family and for his life to be taken like that is just shocking,” said Mr McGrath.
“It would bring home to us the dangers of going out into the wind.”
A man also lost his life in Ravensdale, Dundalk, after a tree fell on his car at around 2.45pm yesterday. He was last night named locally as Fintan Goss.
Mr Goss was married and father of two young children.
It is understood he was heading home from work early because of the storm.
His car was struck by a falling tree in Ravensdale on the old main Dublin-Belfast road at about 2.45pm.
Mr Goss lived in Ravensdale with his wife and children. His family is very well known in the locality and very well respected.
They were supporters of Fine Gael and last night the chairperson of Dundalk Municipal District, Cllr John McGahon (FG) said, “this is an absolute tragedy. Fintan and the Goss family are extremely well regarded in the community.”
“He will be greatly missed by his friends, family and the local community in Ravensdale. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time.”