Met Éireann has issued a Status Orange wind warning for counties Donegal, Mayo and Galway, with gusts of up to 120km/h expected ahead of Storm Ciara's arrival over the weekend.

The warning for Donegal and Mayo will take effect at midday tomorrow, and will last until 4pm that afternoon.

The warning for Galway will come into place from 1pm tomorrow and last until 6pm that evening.

The forecaster has also issued Status Yellow wind and rainfall warnings for the entire country through this weekend.

A yellow warning will come into place from 9am tomorrow morning and will last through to midnight the following day.

The forecaster has said the storm will produce very strong winds across the country, with a risk of "damaging gusts".

A Status Yellow rainfall warning for the entire country will come into effect from midday on Saturday and will last through to 3pm on Sunday.

Met Éireann says spells of heavy rain will spread eastward through the weekend, with as much as 40mm of rain expected.

The forecaster has warned that a combination of spring tides and high seas, as well as stormy conditions, will result in an elevated risk of coastal flooding.

The risk of flooding will be highest along southern, western and northwestern coasts.

The organisers of the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture say they are reviewing plans for its opening ceremony, in light of the bad weather.

Organisers say the event will still go ahead at present, but that it may be subject to alteration.

The stage for the Galway 2020 opening ceremony

The launch event in the Claddagh area of the city is due to begin at 6pm tomorrow evening.

Galway 2020 says further discussions will take place on Saturday morning, after which it will issue an update on its plans.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the launch, which will feature pyrotechnics, hundreds of volunteers from around the region and an address by President Michael D Higgins. 

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has asked people to stay away from Connemara National Park for the time during which wind warnings are in place. 

Storm Ciara was named by the UK Met Office on Wednesday and is moving eastwards towards the UK and Ireland.

Meanwhile, Donegal County Council says its severe weather assessment team has been meeting in preparation and is monitoring local conditions.

It has urged the public to be vigilant with regards to falling debris, and is asking motorists in the county to take care while driving in poor conditions.

The council has said there is a risk of power outages, and has urged people to make sure vulnerable family members are safe and warm.

The Road Safety Authority has asked road users to exercise caution over the weekend, and to check weather conditions before setting out on journeys.

It has also advised pedestrians to stay visible and make sure they can be seen, and to avoid walking on roads where possible.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences