Ireland's two main political parties hold crisis talks on Tuesday to avoid general elections, after deputy PM Frances Fitzgerald of the ruling Fine Gael party came under further pressure to resign when fresh documents about her disputed handling of a police whistle blower who alleged corruption were released on Monday. The Fianna Fail party threatened to move a motion of no confidence on Tuesday evening unless Fitzgerald quits.
Ireland's ruling party Fine Gael will request support from the Independent Alliance for the country's involvement in a new European defence arrangement (Pesco) signed by 23 EU countries on Monday. The Independent Alliance ministers have not yet discussed the proposal, but would be inclined to support it as long as it did not involve Nato, according to the Irish Times. "Increasing military spending doesn't conflict with neutrality," PM Varadkar said.
Follow latest updates as Tropical Storm Ophelia batters Ireland, with homes and businesses without power and schools closed
We’re closing this live blog now. Thanks so much for joining us and do stay safe out there.
Two of the storm’s victims have been named Michael Pyke from County Tipperary and Clare O’Neill from County Waterford. Pyke was killed after he went to cut up a tree which had fallen on a road in the Ballybrado area. The 31-year-old died at the scene. It’s a devastating tragedy for the family of this young man. They’re a hard-working family and for his life to be taken like that is just shocking. It would bring home to us the dangers of going out into the wind. She was a very jolly woman, very helpful. It’s a big shock, it’s a miserable morning, a young woman like that in such a tragic accident.
In case you missed it, here’s a photo gallery from earlier, which mostly shows how Ireland was battered by the storm.
The remnants of the Ophelia hurricane are due to batter the western parts of Scotland from around midnight tonight although effects are already being felt.
☔ Eeekkk the winds are picking up! is on her way so remember to check before you travel! If possible, stay indoors! ♥
Dumfries & Galloway getting the brunt but to spread across West to Central and Southern Scotland. Plan ahead & stay safe
Several wind warnings for northern parts overnight & into tomorrow. Keep up to date here:
Here is a live animated map showing where Storm Ophelia is now. It is currently heading towards the west coast of Scotland and forecasters have warned that Scotland is “in for a rough night”.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland have helped rescue a number of people from apartments on the Belfast Lough shore.
Number of residents evacuated from apartments in Rodgers Quay, Carrickfergus due to risk of flooding posed by tidal surges.
People in the Republic of Ireland are being advised that there may be some disruption to health services over the next few days.
Thank you to - doing us proud today, as always. Whilst we all stayed indoors, you went out to help others in need. Grateful. I want to thank all those who came to work today and went above and beyond. We do expect some continued disruption over the coming days but we can expect a gradual return to normal services. The message for tomorrow is if you have an appointment turn up as planned, unless you hear otherwise. The main focus of our community services tomorrow and in the coming days will be dealing with the most vulnerable patients.
Locals on Ireland’s most northerly point have braved Storm Ophelia for a first-hand view of its impact on the Atlantic, the Press Association reports. I was sitting in my house looking out the window when I saw the roof of one of the caravans near us blow clean off. It just got lifted by the storm and blew along. There are boats all along the pier here which the fishermen haven’t taken in. I’m not sure they’ll still be there when they come back tomorrow. It’s the first time we’ve ever had a red weather warning round these parts, so I came up to see what it would be like. It’s not that different to what we’d be used to the rest of the time because we have strong winds round here all the time as it’s so exposed. I think we’ll be safe enough.
Trafficwatch NI has an interesting up-to-date figure on how Ophelia is causing chaos on Northern Ireland’s roads tonight. As of 6pm this evening there were 179 fallen trees or branches across the region’s roads.
up to 6pm we have 179 reports of fallen trees / branches in the 4 regions Eastern 48 Northern 30 Southern 83 Western 18
Here’s a video Jon Williams of RTÉ News has posted on Twitter showing trees felled by the storm in Cork.
Perhaps most extraordinary image of : trees felled by storm near ’s stadium, Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Age UK is urging people to check on older family members and friends during the storm and make sure they are safe and comfortable.
As Hurricane hits our shores, please check on older family & friends that they are safe & comfortable. RT.
Although the Irish Defence Forces have been deployed through the day to help with flood defences and rescue missions across Ireland one of its units had to cancel training due to Ophelia. Its 11th Infantry Battalion has had to call off an exercise to prepare them for UN peacekeeping duties in Lebanon. Their mission readiness exercise puts commanders and soldiers through a series of scenarios based on threats in the South Lebanon region.
A charity has warned those with severe asthma to check forecasts and stay indoors where possible to avoid the dust.
Toxic air could be a risk to people with asthma. If you have severe asthma check weather forecasts & stay indoors if possible We are deeply concerned about the toxic air from Saharan dust that Hurricane Ophelia has churned up, as this could pose a severe risk for the 5.4 million people in the UK who have asthma. Winds picking up dust and particles in the air could trigger potentially fatal asthma attacks.
About 16,000 customers are without electricity in Northern Ireland. That number is expected to rise as winds continue to strengthen. Here is a map has produced outlining the areas where there are power outages this evening.
A member of the ruling Fine Gael party in the second chamber of the Irish parliament believes Ireland will be entitled to financial aid to help with reconstruction in the aftermath of Ophelia. Senator Neale Richmond said the EU Solidarity Fund should be accessed. The fund was established by the EU in 2002 following severe floods in Central Europe. Since then it has been used to help out in disasters such as forest fires, floods and even earthquakes. Given the huge amount of damage inflicted across the country by Hurricane Ophelia, Ireland will be eligible for such funds. Any application has to be received by the European commission within 12 weeks of any disaster occurring.
All schools across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are to remain closed on Tuesday as the authorities deal with the aftermath of Storm Ophelia. The decision was taken to “avoid any potential risk to life for children and staff” after severe winds caused widespread damage to the electricity network, structural damage and uprooted trees. It is also the case that school authorities will in very many cases not have had an opportunity to check their buildings and confirm they are safe, have power and water, and that routes to the school are safely open.
Following careful consideration by the National Emergency Coordination Group, the Department of Education and Skills, has decided that all schools will remain closed tomorrow
confirm schools should remain closed on Tuesday 17 October 2017 I fully appreciate this decision will impact on the work of the schools and indeed on other businesses and services but the decision has been taken to avoid any potential risk to life for children and young people as well as staff.
The Irish government have announced emergency measures to keep the street homeless safe during Storm Ophelia. Homeless people in Dublin are being picked up by buses and brought indoors and over 200 emergency bed spaces have been sourced in the city area.
Minister provides update on homelessness services during Storm Additional facilities providing shelter and supports to those who need them have opened up across the country today. Notices have been posted in relation to the extra facilities, cafes and emergency beds that are available in the system. There have been over 100 calls to the emergency lines and to the rough sleeper email address from concerned members of the public in relation to homeless individuals. These have all been followed up on.
This is Nicola Slawson taking over from Haroon. Thanks for joining us. I’ll be keeping you up to date throughout the evening. A number of flights to UK airports have been diverted after “smoke smells” were reported on board, the Press Association reports.
Five full emergency landings at London Heathrow today with smell of smoke in the cockpit due to dust from Sahara and Iberia Fires Two flights returned shortly after take-off and two flights requested an expedited landing as a precaution only. We understand other airlines have experienced similar events and we continue to liaise with the Met Office as to the likely cause. The safety and welfare of our passengers and crew is easyJet’s highest priority. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience experienced by the diversions. The safety of our customers and crew is always our priority. Our flights have been operating and landing normally, but we have been liaising with the Met Office about atmospheric conditions.
What we know so far:
The number of customers without electricity in Northern Ireland has soared.
NIE says 18,000 customers are currently without power in NI amid Storm Ophelia:
The department of education in Northern Ireland has followed in the footsteps of its southern Irish counterpart by instructing all schools to close tomorrow.
has announced that all schools should close tomorrow (Monday 16 October) as precautionary measure in light of weather warnings
The latest official update warns that storm Ophelia will “bring further violent and destructive winds for a time, with gusts of 120 and 150km/h”, as well as flooding, posing a threat to life and property.
Latest Met Éireann Weather Update - please remain indoors until the storm has passed
The Gardai have confirmed that another man has died in Ravensdale, near Dundalk, close to the border with Northern Ireland, as a result of a falling tree.
Ahead of her dinner in Brussels this evening, Theresa May spoke with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar this afternoon. She expressed her condolences over the loss of two lives so far in Ireland (since up to three) connected with storm Ophelia. A Downing Street spokesman said: On storm Ophelia, the prime minister expressed her sympathies for the loss of life and said the UK government stood ready to provide any support if requested.
A person in Dundalk, near the border with Northern Ireland, has died after a tree fell on their car, taking the death toll in Ireland as a result of the storm to three, and others are reporting.
Schools in Ireland will not reopen tomorrow, the Irish minister for education has announced, citing the need to ensure child safety.
Following careful consideration by the National Emergency Coordination Group, the Department of Education and Skills, has decided that all schools will remain closed tomorrow
This decision was primarily taken in the interests of child safety and on the basis of information available in what is a developing situation
Unsurprisingly, Cork airport has said there will be no more flights today, with a video illustrating why.
No flights will depart for the remainder of today. Please check arriving flight status with your airline in advance of travel
Northern Ireland Electricity has announced that 1,300 customers are without power as Storm Ophelia starts to batter the region this afternoon. NIE is reporting what it describes as “widespread damage” across Northern Ireland. As the storm system rolls over the north of Ireland, the rail link between Belfast to Dublin has been temporarily shut down.
The Associated Press reports that the wind speed off Cork has reached 118mph.
Most powerful gust yet recorded as riles Ireland: 190 kph (118 mph) on Fastnet Rock off Cork coast. Photo from .
Winds have increased markedly in west Wales over the last hour, top gust 77mph in Aberdaron. CF
Coastal defences in Galway, on Ireland’s west coast, have been overwhelmed.
Coastal defences completely breached at Salthill, Galway. The Atlantic now extends to the promenade.
Readers around Ireland and the UK have been getting in touch to share their experiences of the storm as it passes by where they live. Crawford Deane, in Timoleague, south-west of Cork, shared images of trees strewn across local roads, which he said were mostly deserted:
The Irish Republic’s Electricity Supply Board has said that 360,000 customers are now without power due to Storm Ophelia. The energy supplier warned that more outages are expected and that repair operations could take several days. Meanwhile, power cuts are starting to happen in Northern Ireland, including at the Stormont Parliament, where Bill Clinton was meant to be visiting today.
An international photojournalist has contacted the Guardian with a graphic account of what it was like to be in an aircraft trying to land in Dublin in the middle of Storm Ophelia. You can see Writing from an Aer Lingus plane after it just touched down a few minutes ago, Paulo Nunes Santos wanted to praise the female pilot who guided flight EI483 from Lisbon safely home. I’ve been in hundreds, if not thousands of flights, but never experienced this level of turbulence. We only started feeling it more or less as we started approaching via Cork. The pilot was great. The plane shook like mad and the approach to the runway was the worst I have experienced. But the pilot, she was brilliant.
Irish police have confirmed that a man in his 30s was killed while clearing a tree with a chainsaw in Ballybrado, Tipperary.
Irish death toll in rises to 2. Police say Tipperary man in 30s mortally wounded by own chainsaw as he cleared a felled tree.
There are reports of a second death from the storm. A man was killed trying to clear a tree with a chainsaw in Tipperary, according to the Irish Daily Mirror.
BREAKING: A man has been killed in Tipperary after trying to clear away a tree with a chainsaw. More to follow.
Second storm related death. report incident at Cahir, Co Tipp; man in his 30s killed clearing fallen trees.
Seán Hassett said he filmed his parents’ wobbly flight landing at Dublin. “My heart was in my mouth,” he tweeted.
My parents flight landing , well done to the pilot of EI491, my heart was in my mouth!
The Irish Coast Guard was called out to rescue kite surfers who got into difficulty off the coast of county Louth, north of Dublin.
CG, RNLI & R116 were tasked today to kite surfers in difficulty off Louth. We advise the public to stay away from the coast during
Gardaí are requesting people to stay away from waterways, cliff walks etc. People are not heeding the warnings given.
The Environment Agency has in place for south west and north west England. Cumbria council has closed the Ford bridge in Burneside, near Kendal
EMERGENCY CLOSURE: Ford Bridge, Burneside nr Kendal for public safety.
More strange light is being reported across the UK.
The sky is eerie. The end is nigh.
Has anyone seen the red sun phenomenon caused by Hurricane !? Quite an effect - captured here by
dust stopped play here at ...
Going out on patrol and noticed how orange the sky and sun are. Gorse Hill SNT
The sky is a weird yellowy/grey colour is brewing, batten down the hatches! ❤
There are several reports of a strange dark orange light in northern England.
Strange light. Very warm winds.
Weather in Newcastle is so weird today. It's dark and the sky is like an orange-amber colour caused by this hurricane
Irish Rail has cancelled all trains for the rest of the day.
No more train departures on any line on our network for rest of day. If safe to do so, all routes resume Tues 17 Oct
, as disruption from Ophelia spreads to the UK. At least four downed trees are causing traffic problems in the county, the council said.
The number of homes and businesses without power has almost doubled to 230,000, according to RTE.
230,000 homes and businesses without power
Approx 1,000 homes without power in Cong
The violent winds caused by Storm Ophelia has affected the filming of Game of Thrones. Set building for the cult television series, a large part of which is filmed in Northern Ireland, has been suspended due to the storm.
The storm has ripped off roofs in Cork, according to dramatic footage and photographs.
blows the roof off a school in Cork.
. roof lifting at their home ground in Turner's Cross
Roof of Cork City's football stadium blows off as Ophelia batters south of Ireland
The fatal accident occurred in Aglish in west Waterford around 11.40am. The victim is a woman in her 20s and was travelling in the car with another woman who was also hurt. Reports from the county say the limb of a tree pierced the windscreen of the vehicle during the storm.
statement on Aglish death.
The A tree fell on the car in Aglish, Co Waterford this morning in which she was the only occupant, according to a spokeswoman for Waterford County Council.
In its latest update the electricity supplier ESB said It said:
An increase in hurricane-force winds wreaking havoc across the Britain and Ireland is entirely consistent with global warming, according to scientists. A warmer world means more energy in the climate system, especially in the oceans, which is where big storms derive their energy from.
The broadcaster RTE is reporting that a woman has been killed by fallen tree in Waterford
Woman killed by falling tree in Waterford - first casualty of
"Waterford Council have confirmed one fatality in an incident Aglish" Co Waterford tells now
Government buildings in Northern Ireland are to close at 1pm, PA reports. The head of the Northern Ireland civil service, David Sterling, held an emergency meeting with the permanent secretaries from all government departments on Monday morning.
Here’s our news story rounding up the latest on the storm.
These before and after stills show trees uprooted by the storm.
Images from our Roches Point weather webcam. Trees are coming down. Roches Point has a mean wind speed of 111km/h Gusts of 156km/h
Anglesey county council, in north Wales, has instructed all schools to close after lunch because of the threat posed by Ophelia.
We're advising all schools to close after lunch due to amber (wind) warning. Schools will inform parents of local arrangements.
This video, from Sky News’s Dublin correspondent, vividly illustrates the storm’s force:
WATCH: Flooding will now be a problem as eye of storm passes over south west of Ireland.
A series of flood alerts and flood watches are in force for south-west and north-west England.
Flood Alerts on N Devon & N Cornwall coasts due to very energetic waves & strong winds. fo on :
Flood warnings issued for Chesil, Lyme Regis and West Bay. Strong winds forecast. Take care on the coast:
Red sky in the morning, shepherds warning… A red sun being seen in parts of the UK has been caused by particulates thrown up by Ophelia, according experts.
There's so many particulates in the air because of that the sun in Exeter has turned red at 10am
Anyone notice the red sun and strange light quality this morning? This has been caused by Saharan dust being drawn northwards by
Belfast international airport has confirmed that it has cancelled 24 flights, most of them to or from the UK. A spokesman said the airport is on standby to take diverted flights destined for Dublin including a number of transatlantic flights.
11.58 am Find live flight information via this link-
Up to 100,000 homes and businesses in Ireland are now without power, according to Derek Hynes, operations manager of the electricity supplier ESB. He warned a news briefing that more homes will be without power by the end of the day. He said: We have, and we will have had, trees falling on our network over the course of this morning. We do have, and we have more, live electrical wires on the ground. Please stay safe by staying clear of all fallen electricity wires. We are approaching 100,000 homes and businesses without electricity. They are predominantly in an area from Cork city west and north up as far as Tralee. That currently comprises a total of about 400 individual outages. Each one of these individual outages is a potential threat to members of the public in terms of fallen wires on the ground.
Storm watchers reckon Ophelia is making landfall in County Kerry.
Looks like 's surface center is making landfall in Kerry County, near Valentia Island, . gusts pounding coast.
Looks like the core (not really "eye" anymore) of is about to make landfall on the south coast of Ireland
has made landfall - sustained winds in Roches Point of 93 km/h; gust of 131 km/h. Sherkin Island weather station down
Met Éireann has issued a new warning for “violent and destructive gusts” of up 93mph (150 kmph) across Ireland and even strong gusts in coastal and hilly areas. It repeated a warning to life and property, with the strongest winds in the provinces of Munster and south Leinster.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The National Hurricane Centre is no longer forecasting for Please refer to Met Eireann for all official forecasts.
Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar, has appealed to the Irish public to stay indoors as Storm Ophelia batters Ireland. Referring to the biggest storm recorded in Irish history, Debbie in the 1960s, he said: “The last time we had a storm this severe 11 lives were lost so safety is our number one priority.”
BREAKING - understands Storm Ophelia has forced to postpone Stormont crisis intervention.Talks w/ DUP/SF may now happen 2m.
Kevin Moran, minister for flood relief, warned that the storm will bring flooding and widespread structural damage. Speaking at that press conference in Dublin he said: “This storm is over 120km in width so it is going to do an awful lot of structural damage to the whole country. There is going to be flooding in some parts of the country, but we don’t know the level. This is unprecedented.
Engineers from the UK are to travel to Ireland to help restore power, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told that press conference. He said: “So far we don’t have any reports of any injuries, but we do have trees down and power outrages. About 15,000 are without power ... in Cork.
An Taoiseach and Ministers briefing the Media and emphasising the need for the public to heed the public safety messages being issued
Wind speeds of more than 77 mph (124kmph) were recorded at Cork airport at 10am, while an offshore speed of more than 109 mph was recorded on Fastnet Rock.
Graphic of the max wind gusts to 10am. Highest gusts since 10am: Cork Airport 124km/h Fastnet Rock (6.5km offshore) 176km/h
Varadkar urges people to stay indoors as the storm passes. He said the government’s priority is to avoid injury. So far no injuries have been reported, he said. He urges people to work from home where possible.
Ireland’s taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, is giving a TV address.
Stream will be here:
There are now 22,000 customers hit with power cuts as lines are knocked down, according to the Electricity Supply Board in the Irish Republic. An ESB spokeswoman appealed to the public to stay away from fallen power lines as many of them are still live.
Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar, is due to give a live TV address in the next few minutes.
Taoiseach statement on at 1040am. News Special from 1030, continues & live
Gust of more than 100mph were recorded as Tropical storm Ophelia approaches the southern coast of Ireland. A speed of of 165kmph (103mph) was recorded at an amateur station in Durrus, in county Cork.
- Les vents deviennent désormais bien violents. Rafale à 165 km/h relevée sur une station amateur de Durrus .
BREAKING: Met Eireann are reporting a gust of 92mph at Rock Alina
Here's our first look at post-tropical this morning as it barrels toward the SW coast of with force winds!
Here's the forecast track of Note the strongest winds will be to the east of the centre of the storm.
Here’s a map showing the forecast path of the storm.
There are already 5,000 homes without electricity due to power lines coming down as Storm Ophelia hits the south and south-west of Ireland. Most of the power outages so far are in Cork and Kerry, where police said trees and power lines have already been brought down.
Boiling Ballyrisode just now.
The Met Office has extended an amber weather warning to parts of Scotland, Wales and northern England threatening power cuts and falling debris.
Amber Warning of Wind for SW Scotland, Lothian Borders A spell of very windy weather is expected today in association with ex-Ophelia. Longer journey times and cancellations are likely, as road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected as well as some bridge closures. There is a good chance that power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage. Flying debris is likely, such as tiles blown from roofs, as well as large waves around coastal districts with beach material being thrown onto coastal roads, sea fronts and properties. This leads to the potential for injuries and danger to life. This warning has been updated to extend it into parts of north and west Wales and into the extreme south-west of Scotland.
The storm has already brought down trees and power lines in south-west Ireland, according to the Irish police. In a said: This storm has arrived. Speaking to colleagues down in the south west this morning we have trees down in County Kerry, we have trees and power lines down in west Cork already this morning. This is just the start of the storm. I would appeal particularly to motorcyclists, cyclist and drivers of high-sided vehicles – you are particularly vulnerable out there this morning. So unless your journey is absolutely essential we don’t want you to put yourselves or indeed the emergency services at risk by being out in the road.
tree down near Killeagh
We’d like to hear from you if you’ve been affected by Ophelia or any of the associated disruption. You can share your pictures, videos and stories with us , or you can also message the Guardian on by adding the contact. We’ll use a selection of your responses as part of our reporting. Please think of your safety first before recording or sharing any content with us.
It’s a rapidly moving picture on the island of Ireland. In the last few minutes the Met Office in Northern Ireland has said the storm will now start battering the region around 12pm and adverse conditions will continue right up to midnight. The Met Office said there would be “short, sharp bursts of winds” of up to 80mph in Northern Ireland but the mean wind speed for the whole day could be up to 50mph.
Start time for Amber Warning for Wind brought forward to midday. Keep up to date with warnings with our App and social media.
The wind is whipping up a sandstorm on a beach in Ballinspittle on the Cork coast, according to RTE’s Stephen Murphy.
- just got caught in a sandstorm in Ballinspittle. Gale force winds in Kinsale
The Met Office in Belfast has said conditions will be at their worst from around 3pm today across Northern Ireland. It added that the storm will continue across the region until around 10pm tonight. So far 11 flights have been cancelled from Belfast City airport due to the storm.
Amber Warning of Wind for Northern Ireland
The coming storm seems to have spooked the crows in Cork.
As Storm Ophelia barrels towards Ireland, the Irish president, Michael D Higgins, has issued an appeal for people to heed the warnings about the dangers it poses. Speaking from Australia where he is on a state visit, Higgins said he hoped everyone “took the necessary precautions” to protect life and property when the storm reaches the Republic from the middle of the morning onwards.
President Higgins urged people to follow Government advice and take precautions in advance of hurricane making landfall today.
People in many parts of Ireland have been warned to stay indoors at various times of the day while the storm passes. A general warning not to cycle today is also in force from Transport for Ireland.
. advises the public to stay indoors from these times:
Due to have urged motorists & the public not to make non-essential journeys - they advise people not to cycle at all
- Dublin Bus services to be withdrawn at 10.00. For regular updates check
Waves of almost 27ft high have been recored south-west of Ireland as the storm heads towards landfall, Dave Throup a seasoned storm watcher from the UK’s Environment Agency notes.
Weather buoy off SW Ireland now recoding 27ft waves as ex Hurricane Ophelia approaches.
To put that in perspective....
Gusts have really picked up here in Portmagee, Kerry.
This is Matthew Weaver with live coverage on the impact of ex-hurricane Ophelia which is due to make landfall in the next hour. It is expected to batter Ireland and Northern Ireland , threatening widespread disruption and life-threatening conditions.
An weather warning for Ex-Hurricane has been issued, but what does that mean? Stay
The biggest third party announcement for the Nintendo Switch back at its reveal event in January was that EA was working on a FIFA game. That was it. After virtually no third party support on Wii U, and a generation of cash-in games from third parties on Wii, I had made peace with the assumption that third party support for the Switch would be like the Wii at best and like the Wii U at work. Everyone was surprised when Bethesda announced DOOM and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus for the Switch; past Nintendo systems had rarely, if ever, received support from a third party like Bethesda in the way of mature first-person shooters. There is a catch, however, and it has some folks up in arms despite it being totally inconsequential.