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Wednesday 19 June 2019

Shock as tornadoes tear through villages

A mini tornado is captured on a camera phone in Ennis, Co Clare
yesterday
A mini tornado is captured on a camera phone in Ennis, Co Clare yesterday
A close-up of the damage to one tree caused when a mini tornado hit Cloonkeen, Co Roscommon

Eimear Ni Bhraonain and Pat Flynn

TWO mini tornadoes have twisted their way through the skies above Ireland in recent days. Stunned witnesses say that the freak weather has appeared in both counties Clare and Roscommon.

Residents in Ennis were amazed to see an apparent mini twister materialise at around 4.40pm yesterday over the Showgrounds area.

One man managed to capture it on his camera phone, but said it dissipated soon afterwards.

Martin Foudy, from Inagh, Co Clare, said: "I was driving along the Kilrush Road and was turning at a junction when I spotted what I am sure was a tornado or twister in the distance.

"There was no great wind where I was at the time but the funnel could be clearly seen beneath a massive black and grey cloud."

Freak

Met Eireann said it was unaware of the freak weather incident but added that it could certainly have happened.

"There were a lot of thunderstorms around the country today, and there was one in the Ennis area around the same time," a spokesman said.

"There was a lot of heavy rain so given those conditions it is not impossible that such an event could occur," a spokesman said.

Meanwhile, a farmer's wife described how she feared the roof was going to collapse on top of her after another mini tornado ripped past her home last Friday.

Locals in Cloonkeen near Castlerea, Co Roscommon, expressed shock after a "fast and furious" mini tornado tore through fields and ripped slates from rooftops last Friday. The woman said the wind was loud and it took eight slates off the roof of her home and swept away garden furniture and flower pots.

"I happened to be here in the house on my own on Friday evening between 5.30pm and 6.30pm. I got such a fright.

"It was bucketing down rain, we had thunder and lightning all of a sudden. I was doing housework and I heard the most awful banging.

"I looked out the window but it was raining so heavy, I couldn't see. It came out of nowhere, there had been no sign of wind, it was out of the blue."

Then it suddenly turned calm again, she said.

"I didn't go out for about 10 minutes. I was afraid to go out."

"I've never seen anything like this, it was frightening to be quite honest with you, I thought the roof was going to fall on top of me," she added.

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