'Black cloud' damages buildings and uproots trees in east Galway

Thursday 03 October 2013 00.01
A number of gravestones were knocked over in the cemetery in Clonfert
A number of gravestones were knocked over in the cemetery in Clonfert

A freak weather event in east Galway caused structural damage to a number of buildings this evening and knocked down several trees.

There are no reports of any injuries but power supplies were affected around the Clonfert area.

Locals described how a "black cloud" was spotted above Clonfert shortly after 6.30pm.

One eyewitness, who was in the local church at the time, heard what she described as a "terrible sound" and went outside to see the cloud spinning as it moved along.

Parish priest Fr John Naughton said the way in which trees had been damaged was "almost indescribable".

He said branches had been whipped away and that a number of old trees in the area had been uprooted.

A number of old gravestones in the cemetery adjoining St Brendan's Cathedral in Clonfert have been knocked over by the winds.

A number of roofs have also been dislodged from farm buildings.

It is understood the roof of the tea rooms at the back of the Emmanuel House of Prayer in Clonfert has been badly damaged.

A number of trees have fallen on the approach road to the house.

Fr Naughton said the cloud seemed to have moved along a narrow strip around Clonfert.

Met Éireann says funnel clouds can form in isolated cases following heavy showers and when this happens they generate locally strong winds, similar to those reported in east Galway tonight.