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Storms wreak havoc across country
The daily weather report for 16 Dec 1917, showing low pressure and strong winds over Ireland Photo: © Crown Copyright [1917]. Information provided by the National Meteorological Library and Archive – Met Office, UK.

Storms wreak havoc across country

Cork, 18 December 1917 - The country is recovering after being buffeted by a day and night of violent storms.

Travel and telecommunications were interrupted and the damage to buildings, roads, train tracks and ships was extensive.

Few parts of the country were spared, but casualties were mercifully few.

The single loss of life occurred in Cork City, where an elderly gentleman was killed by a collapsed chimney in Meat Market Lane, off Patrick Street.

The deceased has been named as Mr William Moore, a well-known sign-writer who was visiting his son, Charles. The fatal accident occurred just after dinner; William went into the kitchen to wash his hands when the whole gable chimney collapsed into the kitchen. He was dead by the time he was extricated from the rubble and removed to the North Infirmary.

Elsewhere in Cork City, trees were uprooted and damage was recorded to the stands at the Cork Athletic Grounds and to a number of the ornamental pieces of stonework that adorn the city’s cathedral.

In Skibbereen, the high winds – laced with hail and snow – stripped houses of their roof slates.

Damage in Dublin
Meanwhile, the coastline of south county Dublin experienced particular difficulties, with vessels torn from their moorings in Kingstown. One steamer had a mate and twelve men on board. Thankfully all were returned to shore safely.

The severity of the storms can be gauged by the height to which the water rose, forcing up the flooring planks on Carlisle Pier.

The railway line between Kingstown and Blackrock was flooded and at Monkstown, a telegraph pole was uprooted and thrown, along with other obstacles onto the tramline. The Dalkey to Dublin tram service was suspended for several hours.

Going outdoors brought all manner of risks and pedestrians had to contend with flying roof slates, swinging signboards, hanging lamps and fallen trees.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]


Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.