Recalling a three day storm that left a trail of death and destruction across Ireland.

On 6 January 1839 'The Big Wind' raged across Ireland RTÉ News looks back one hundred and fifty years at the tempestuous three day storm. 

The storm started in the south east and veered to the west and then north, tearing up trees along its path and lifting roofs of houses in the towns and cities across the country. 

Many residents were forced from their homes taking shelter in churches. 

At Esker, near Athlone, a mother and her three children died when the gable end of their house was blown in. Three people in Dublin were killed by falling debris. 

Climatologist Denis Fitzgerald provides an account of the unprecedented winds and other storms that have hit the country since. Storms in February 1903 and January 1974 also produced winds of remarkable strength. 

January is our windiest month.


An RTÉ News report broadcast on 6 January 1989. The reporter is Kevin McDonald.