A DAIRY cow on a County Limerick farm was killed when the St Stephen’s night storm knocked down a portion of a shed wall.
The animal was either crushed to death or electrocuted in the freak accident in the early hours of the morning.
The farmer was kind enough to speak to the Limerick Leader about the unfortunate incident, but didn’t wish his name to be mentioned.
Power was cut, trees felled and slates knocked off rooves on Limerick farms but nothing as serious as what happened on the West Limerick farm. It occurred in a reasonably new slatted shed.
The farmer had ensured that all gates and doors were closed tight but even his attention to detail couldn’t prevent the accident.
“There were doors hanging off the wall. The doors were locked tight, they were only half doors but whatever way the wind caught them all the pressure must have come on the wall.
“The box for the electric scrapers was hanging off the wall so there was weight in that too,” said the farmer, who faced a distressing scene the following morning.
“It was very unfortunate – where the cow was she shouldn’t have been there,” said the farmer, who thinks the cow was going to a nearby water trough.
“They would usually be lying down at night but with all the disturbance they must have been moving around. There could have been four of five of them there at the time.
“Look, it could have been a lot worse. If there was somebody inside during the day in the shed turning on the scrapers or doing a bit of work there ... It could have been a lot worse,” he added.
To compound the situation, the rest of the cows had escaped from the shed. “It was a mess, the cows were all around the yard. It whipped the doors off and we would be on the side of the road,” said the farmer.
Thankfully no animals escaped out on to the road.
They think it was a completely freak accident - just whatever way the wind caught the doors and the pressure sadly told.
The storm brings back memories of Christmas in 1998 when winds also reached incredibly high speeds for Ireland. Farmers won’t forget the Christmas freeze of 2010 either.
And weather conditions remain very circumspect for the future say Met Eireann.
“Given the highly changeable and often wet conditions that are likely to prevail across Ireland for the coming week, and the fact that all lands are either saturated or waterlogged, the probability of river flooding will increase in many areas,” say Met Eireann. Windy with strong southwest winds and heavy showers merging to longer spells of rain on Friday with temperatures turning colder.