Swift sailings cancelled amid gale warning

Monday 10 March 2008 12.32
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Sandymount - Preparations for flooding in seafront areas
Sandymount - Preparations for flooding in seafront areas
Irish Ferries - Swift sailings to Holyhead cancelled
Irish Ferries - Swift sailings to Holyhead cancelled

All Irish Ferries Swift sailings on the Dublin to Holyhead route for today have been cancelled. The cancellations followed warnings of gale force winds on all sea areas today.

Passengers will be accommodated on the cruise ferry sailing at 8.55pm tonight. All other Irish Ferries services and all Stena Line services are expected to sail to schedule.

Weather inland is expected to be stormy tomorrow night and on Monday afternoon with flood alerts issued to Dublin coastal areas.

Storm force winds and high tides are forecast to bring one of the strongest storms of the winter over the next two days.

Flood barriers have been put in place, and sailors and fishermen have been warned about conditions on the Irish Sea.

A band of exceptionally low pressure is expected to bring severe winds - particularly in the south of the country.

Sea defences have been erected at areas north and south of Dublin city. Temporary road closures have also been announced.

Dublin City Council says there is a likelihood of flooding tomorrow night and early Monday afternoon because of high tides.

Dam bags have been placed on seafront areas in Sandymount, Ringsend and Clontarf.

Wind gusts of up to 120 or 130km/h are likely, with rainfall of about 20-30mm expected between Sunday night and Monday.

Unusually high tides are also posing a risk of flooding in some areas.

The Liffey boardwalk and nine sections of road will also be closed during the flood alert periods - from 11pm on Sunday night to 2am on Monday and from 11.30am to 12.30pm on Monday.

Met Éireann is also advising drivers to expect difficult conditions on roads around the country.