Sunday 25 February 2018

'We had a lock-in for the day instead!' - Couple's Kerry honeymoon interrupted by Storm Ophelia

Paula and Carlos Castillo on their wedding day in Co Meath
Paula and Carlos Castillo on their wedding day in Co Meath

Amy Molloy and Catherine Devine

A couple honeymooning in Co Kerry had to put their plans on hold yesterday after Storm Ophelia battered the country - but they still managed to make the most of it.

Newlyweds Carlos and Paula Castillo spent the day taking shelter from the storm in The Moorings in Portmagee, where staff kindly afforded them a lock-in.

Violent winds and heavy rain raged outside, and while the couple said it was scary experiencing that, they consider themselves "very lucky".

"It was very rough in the morning and things got a bit calmer in the afternoon. Obviously a lot of damage has been done across the country, so we were pretty lucky in comparison to other people and we're thankful for that," Paula told Independent.ie.

Carlos and Paula in The Moorings, Portmagee
Carlos and Paula in The Moorings, Portmagee

"There was us, a French family who had a 2-year-old daughter and then the staff, so we all tried to make the most of the day."

Paula, who is originally from Dublin, has been living in Vancouver, Canada for the last seven years.

That's where she met her now-husband Carlos and the couple decided to have both their wedding and honeymoon in Ireland.

Their big day was in Boyne Hill House in Co Meath and the pair have been travelling around Kerry since.

Hurricane 'Ophelia'.... fallen trees Marina Park, Cork City
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Hurricane 'Ophelia'.... fallen trees Marina Park, Cork City Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Hurricane 'Ophelia'.... fallen tree Knocknaheeny, Cork City Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Advertising hoarding is ripped off during Storm Ophelia near Kent Station Cork city. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
City council workers begin the clean up begins following Storm Ophelia, Cork city. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
City council workers begin the clean up begins following Storm Ophelia, Cork city. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Douglas Community School sports hall roof which was ripped off during Storm Ophelia, Cork city. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Hurricane 'Ophelia'.... fallen trees, N25 Cork City Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Hurricane 'Ophelia'.... fallen trees, N25 Cork City Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Hurricane 'Ophelia'.... fallen tree Knocknaheeny, Cork City Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
City council workers begin the clean up begins following Storm Ophelia, Cork city. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
City council workers begin the clean up begins following Storm Ophelia, Cork city. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

"The weather had been great up until yesterday too, surprisingly!" they said.

"We knew it was a bit risky having an October wedding, especially with Irish weather, but we didn't expect a storm like that to hit. We still managed to have some fun and it hasn't ruined our honeymoon."

Advertising hoarding is ripped off during Storm Ophelia near Kent Station Cork city.
Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Advertising hoarding is ripped off during Storm Ophelia near Kent Station Cork city. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Thousands of people across the country have been left without electricity and water after Ireland experienced it's most powerful storm in half a century.

Those living on islands off the coast of Ireland have been particularly affected.

City council workers begin the clean up begins following Storm Ophelia, Cork city.
Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
City council workers begin the clean up begins following Storm Ophelia, Cork city. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Cape Clear councillor Ed Harper said the people living on the island, which lies to the south of Cork, have been left trapped due to the power outage.

"We didn't have as much damage as we thought we would have. There was some damage done to the harbour wall but our main problem is that we have no power. Our power comes from the main island and we lost power at 11am on Monday morning.

"We have electric gates that protect the harbour but we can't open them now that the power is gone. We're trapped, we can't get the ferry out."

Mr Harper said that the island had a back-up generator but it was "pathetically small" and would take one hour to open and one hour to close.

"We can't manually open it either until the sea is calm which means the ESB maintenance team won't be able to get to us anytime soon and we will have to wait without power. If anyone needs emergency attention, they will have to use a helicopter."

Over 125 people are currently living on the island without power.

"Most of us are goat farmers and have diary products in our freezers. Without power, the food we were going to sell is going to be destroyed. It's crazy we are stuck in this position."

It was revealed that 150,000 people have been left without broadband, telephone and mobile services across Ireland; 215,000 are without power as ESB crews work around the clock; and 310,000 could lose their water supply today.

The Defence Force also currently have 470 soldiers on standby who are available to assist in any operations and soldiers have been deployed in Cork already.

As local authorities work to begin clean-up operations around the country, with the promise of extra funding from the Government, people have been urged to take care while travelling.

How did Ophelia affect you? Send your comments and pictures to contact@independent.ie. Remem

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