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Monday 20 August 2018

'Any chance of sending out the red alert? We're bitter on the building site' - Met Eireann inundated with messages during Storm Emma

Some scenes from around the country after Storm Emma hit Ireland
Some scenes from around the country after Storm Emma hit Ireland
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

MET Eireann received a barrage of messages from the public during Storm Emma - including praise for staff, criticisms of 'hyping' the weather and everything in between.

Among the most unusual messages submitted to the forecaster during the storm and in the build-up to it was a request from a child which was sent on February 27 and read:

"Hi, can you please put out a red weather warning as I have no homework done thanks".

Another member of the public, living in Cork, urged forecasters "please don't forget about us down here we need to get about our daily lives too", when querying if weather warnings could be issued earlier to allow for forward planning.

Evelyn Cusak and Gerry O'Connor were singled out for praise by a number of people - with one commentator expressing hope that Gerry would get a week off in the wake of the storm to rest.

But one commentator was not impressed with forecaster Ms Cusak - who has since been promoted to head of forecasting in Met Eireann - and her performance on RTE - categorising it as "embarrassing", alleging Ms Cusak was not able for detailed questions. The writer suggested another forecaster, presumably Joanne Donnelly,  who was described as "the lady (blonde) married to the Dutch Guy, she really KNOWS HER STUFF AND SHOULD BE ON THOSE PROMINENT TV NEWS OUTLETS" be given the role of appearing on the news.

Several weather-watchers contacted the forecaster to thank the team for their hard work in relation to the storm.

One person wrote:

"I just want to thank you for prioritizing my and my family's safety by making a brave decision to go to a red warning. I know it must be a difficult call to make. Keep up the good work".

Others were not so generous in their assessment of the need to issue the highest weather warning, with one writing "ye have the whole country frightened" and a second person saying "you have helped create a sense of crisis in the country by over estimating the affect of the forecast weather so far".

Copies of correspondence to Met Eireann was released under Freedom of Information laws.

Another resident argued that public transport on March 1 could have operated for part of the day, claiming "people in Dublin airport arriving from or departing to America say we are the laughing stock of the world".

For many others however the considerations were much more practical including this person who wanted to know whether Thursday or Friday would be worse in Limerick, writing "I have one day I can take off".

And this one - whose message included a thumbs-up emoji - who wrote:

"Any chance of sending out the red alert, we're all bitter on the building site, cheers".

Online Editors

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