Storm force winds with gusts of up to eighty miles an hour have caused major disruption around the country, leaving thousands of homes without electricity.

Fierce storms have created hazardous driving conditions, particularly on secondary roads and motorists have been warned to look out for fallen debris and power-lines. Some coastal districts, particularly in Galway, have suffered surface flooding and a truck went off the road at Baile na hAbhann in Connamara.

The 150 inhabitants of Cape Clear, off the West Cork coast have been cut off from the mainland for four days and are running low on food supplies. Michael Corrigan says the islanders do not mind being cut-off for a day or two, but they will be facing an emergency situation if they remain isolated for much longer. With the ferry service inoperable, there are a number of people stranded on the Island and on the mainland. He does not think matters should have escalated to this critical point.

You can send a fax to Australia in a half a minute, surely it is not beyond the bounds of any reasonable thinking that a helicopter could be put on standby after a certain amount of time, say two to three days.

Power-cuts have affected residents in Clonmel, Tipperary, Kerry and North Dublin and Kerry and the Electricity Supply Board is working to restore power to all homes.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 19 February 1997. The reporter is Carole Coleman.