Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Priest thankful Storm Eleanor didn't damage church

Wed 03 Jan 2018
By Eno Adeogun

A Priest in Ireland has said he is "very thankful" his church wasn't damaged by Storm Eleanor which battered the island and parts of the UK.

Winds gusting up to 100 miles per hour caused flooding, travel disruption and damage to buildings.

Fr Tony Finn from St Augustine's Parish Galway told Premier the extent of the storm had made people in the area have to find shelter.

Speaking about his church's close encounter with the storm, he said: "If the church was flooded, it would mean a lot of damage, it would mean a lot of people wouldn't be able to attend our services and it also would mean maybe closure for some time."

Brian Lawless/PA Wire


Flooding did occur in parts of Galway where 97mph gusts were recorded.

The Met Office's yellow warning's still in place for Wales, England, most of Northern Ireland and parts of southern Scotland.

Fr Finn said many people underestimated the strength of the storm.

The Latin Quarter Galway/PA Wire


He told Premier: "We knew that there was a storm coming but we didn't think that it was going to be this bad because it came so fast and it went so fast."

The UK and Ireland have been left counting the cost of the storm after violent winds tore a destructive trail across the country and plunged thousands of homes into darkness.

As the storm bore down on the UK and Ireland, tens of thousands of homes and businesses suffered power outages.

They included 55,000 properties in the Republic and 20,000 customers in Northern Ireland.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, which provides power to 3.8 million people across northern Scotland and parts of central England, said it had restored energy to 18,000 homes since midnight.

The distributor added that 700 households were without power for more than six hours and there had been 37 high voltage faults.

Peter Byrne/PA Wire


Flooding risks could remain for coastal areas for several days, the Environment Agency has warned, as it urged people not to attempt "storm selfies".

The Environment Agency still had 13 flood warning issues at about 3pm on Wednesday, along with 111 flood alerts.

Fr Finn added that he is "hoping and praying" that people - especially older people living in the parish - will be safe.

Listen to Fr Tony Finn speaking with Premier's Alex Williams:

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