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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019
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Biggest wave ever recorded off Irish coast today

It’s windy out there – and we’ve all been advised to stay away from “exposed coastal areas”…

Waves off Poolbeg in Dublin earlier today
Waves off Poolbeg in Dublin earlier today

THE BIGGEST WAVE ever recorded in Irish waters was detected in the Atlantic today as the country was lashed by gales.

The huge wave, measuring 20.4metres (67ft) from peak to trough, was recorded by a weather buoy west of Rathlin O’Birne island in Donegal bay. The swell was described by the Coast Guard as a “phenomenon”.

It came as the public were warned to avoid exposed coastal areas this evening, with gales and severe weather forecast to continue.

The Coast Guard have asked all members of the public to stay away from piers, beaches and sea walls, warning of the possibility of huge waves. All small vessels have been urged to take shelter, and their owners to moor them securely.

Met Éireann this morning issued a severe weather alert along with a gale warning, forecasting winds of up to 140kph. The gusts will be strongest along the north coast, reaching storm force at times.

Declan Geoghegan, manager of the Irish Coast Guard, warned of the possibility of “very dangerous conditions” inland as well as at sea. He said people should be extremely wary if any flood waters rise as swollen rivers meet high seas.

“Do not attempt to cross at fast running river or flood water fords as they may be stronger and deeper than you think,” he said. “Flooded urban areas may contain many hazards, not least of which include submerged open manholes and downed power lines.”

Meanwhile, the AA is urging drivers to take care this evening, saying that on some roads temperatures are already falling below zero with a strong risk of slippery conditions. Snow and sleet showers are expected to return in some areas tonight, with northern counties and the midlands especially at risk.

Irish Rail has currently issued no travel alerts. The winds are expected to slow later tonight, with tomorrow bringing more brighter spells.

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Michael Freeman

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