21 Jan 2022

WATCH: Relief that children were at home as Storm Barra uproots tree in Limerick school yard

A LARGE tree came crashing to the ground in a school yard in Limerick this Tuesday as Storm Barra ripped through the country.

The incident occurred at John F. Kennedy Memorial School, a primary school on the Ennis Road in Limerick city.

Footage recorded this Tuesday by photographer and videographer Sean Ryan of the Ennis Road shows a large tree having been uprooted in the yard of the city school. It had snapped in two as a result of the ferocious winds.

Fortunately, there was nobody in the immediate vicinity as schools across Limerick were closed today due to an orange weather warning issued by Met Éireann in anticipation of Storm Barra making landfall early this morning.

Cllr Olivia O' Sullivan, who works as a public representative for the city's Northside said it was "a shock" to see that a tree that big had been "ripped out of the ground."

She stressed that the incident shows the power of the winds throughout the orange warning.

"Thankfully, the school yard in JFK was empty at the time, we can see now why the Government closed the schools," she commented.

The Department of Education has issued a directive for all schools in both red and orange warning areas to remain closed tomorrow, Wednesday.

Limerick City and County Council have been responding to several reports of trees down across Limerick throughout the afternoon and evening.

Thousands of households in Limerick were left without power for periods throughout the day with areas such as Abbeyfeale, Newcastle West, Corbally and Garryowen taking the brunt of these faults to the supply line. 

As of 8.30pm tonight, the following areas remain affected:

- Rathkeale.

- Newcastle West.

- Abbeyfeale.

- Askeaton.

- Kilmallock.

- Bruree

- Charleville.

The ESB has stated that crews will continue to work to restore power throughout the night when it is safe to do so.

"All internal resources and contractors remain on alert and are responding to electricity outages once it is safe to do so. 

"With a red weather warning in the Southwest in effect until 9pm tonight, and in County Clare until 1am on Wednesday morning, some of our crews may not be mobilised on the ground until the worst of the severe weather passes."

They have also stressed that those affected must prepare to be without power tonight and into tomorrow and must not approach any live wires on the ground, due to extreme danger.

With high tide having passed in Limerick since 8:35pm this Tuesday night, the council's flood defences along the city's quays and at Foynes Port and Askeaton have proved successful in stemming any localised flooding.

 "Let's hope this is the worst of it and we don't see any more destruction overnight," added Cllr O' Sullivan.

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