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Mixed-up March goes out like a lion as 115kmh winds batter country

MARCH is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. But winds of more than 100kmh blew a hole in that old saying yesterday.

Strong winds swept across most of the country with parts of the west recording gusts of up to 115kmh, according to Met Eireann.

Trees were uprooted causing traffic chaos countrywide.

Pedestrians and motorists had a lucky escape on a busy Dublin city centre street when a tree was blown over.

Gardai cordoned off the area on Gardiner Street as crews from the city parks service used chainsaws to clear the blockage.

The N2 Slane/Collon Road at Glassallen in Co Louth was also closed for a short period as a result of another fallen tree.

Fortunately there were no serious injuries reported as a result of several similar incidents around the country.

Last month mother-of-three Lynda Collins was killed after a tree fell on her on Waterloo Road in Dublin.

According to Met Eireann statistics, it was the driest March for up to 14 years in many parts of the country.

It was the driest since 1969 in Claremorris, Co Mayo.

Rainfall totals of between 20mm and 50mm were only around half the normal level for the month of March, with the lowest amount recorded in the east and south.

Most stations recorded between just six and nine wet days during the entire month, well below the normal range for March of between 12 and 17.

According to Met Eireann, sunshine totals were above normal everywhere for the fifth successive month, with Cork experiencing its sunniest March since 1970.

At Shannon Airport and Valentia, sunshine levels were the highest since 1955.

Met Eireann forecasters said last night that although the high winds will die down, we can expect more wet and blustery conditions over the weekend.

Brace yourself for those April showers.

Irish Independent