ONE of the biggest ever tornadoes recorded in Ireland struck yesterday morning.
The 700-metre-high twister hit Slieve Sneacht near Buncrana, Co Donegal, at about 10.30am yesterday.
The tornado, which can be seen clearly on three-minute-long amateur videos, touched ground close to the mountain but did not cause serious damage.
Among the many people who saw the tornado was schoolgirl Niamh O Raw, who captured the phenomenon on video.
Niamh (14) from Umricam, outside Buncrana, was washing the footpath outside her house when she spotted the twister.
"It was spectacular. It was so big and it just seemed to reach out of the sky," she said.
Niamh's father John, who lectures in computer science at Letterkenny IT, said it was an incredible sight and was up to 700 metres in height.
"Niamh was out doing her chores when she noticed the tornado," he said.
He alerted the local coastguard station so they could warn any planes in the area to avoid the tornado.
And he said he witnessed another twister on the shores of Lough Swilly last week -- just minutes before seeing killer whales swimming in the waters.
"Inishowen and Donegal have so much going for it. Earthquakes, killer whales, Northern Lights and tornadoes -- sure where else would you get it," he said.
Met Eireann confirmed it had received a number of reports from the public about the tornado.