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Tragedy averted in city suburb as Katia hits land

TRAGEDY was averted after a tree came crashing down in Ballsbridge as the powerful remnants of Hurricane Katia swept across the country.

The tree, which was situated on Clyde Lane in the Dublin 4 suburb, crashed to the ground during high winds in the capital yesterday afternoon.

The incident occurred just seven months after a chestnut tree in the same suburb fell and killed mum-of-three Lynda Collins.

Mrs Collins (45), from Booterstown, had been walking home from her job in the ESB along Waterloo Avenue when the chestnut tree toppled amidst gale force winds on February 3.


Dozens of trees were felled across the country yesterday due to the high winds.

Ireland battened down the hatches as thousands of homes, including those in Meath and North County Dublin, were left without power and travel was severely disrupted.

Winds gusting to more than 100kmph hit as the tail end of the destructive hurricane took its toll mainly on the western and north-western counties.

The highest gust of 137kmph was recorded on Arranmore Island in Co Donegal, where three schools were forced to close for the day.

More than 13,000 homes in six different counties had electricity cuts -- with half of these in Donegal.

The ESB worked hard to restore customers but yesterday evening, as customers in the north-west had their power restored, high winds cut supplies across Meath and north Dublin. "Our repair crews have been dispatched and are working to restore supply to these customers," a spokeswoman for the ESB said. Travel was also severely disrupted across the country as trees were blown over in several locations in Galway, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Longford and Mayo.

Meanwhile, artist Fergal McCarthy was forced to abandon his makeshift desert island on the River Liffey due to the stormy weather.

On his website this morning, he told followers he was currently making his way back to the island. "Currently on the Luas making my way back to the Liffey at 8am," he said.

There was severe disruption reported on all transport routes. The N59 Galway to Clifden route was closed for a number of hours at Oughterard after a large tree fell across the road, while two other trees were blown over at Killanin.

In Galway city, early morning motorists had a narrow escape when a large tree fell across the Monivea Road, close to the Thermo King plant and a tree surgeon had to be called in.

to deal with the situation.

The AA re-issued warnings to motorists last night as flying debris was a major cause for concern on the N18 Galway-Limerick road.

Motorists were also warned not to tailgate during the stormy weather and drivers of HGVs and buses were warned to take care as they were more at risk in strong winds due to the height of their vehicle.

Ferry crossings, flights and coastal rail services were also disrupted. These included two ferry crossings today -- at 9am and 2.30pm from Dublin.


P&O Ferries cancelled a number of crossings between Irish ports and Britain and in Dublin gusts were recorded at 104km/hr. Some Dart services to Bray and Greystones were disrupted because of damage to power lines.

Flights were also affected at Shannon Airport, where winds reached speeds of 46 knots (85 kmph) at times.

An Aer Lingus flight from London Heathrow was forced to abort one landing after the crew received a wind-sheer alert in the cockpit.

Two Dublin-bound Ryanair flights were forced to divert to Shannon because winds in Dublin were reported to have reached 63 knots (116kmph).