Mayo to experience 'violent' winds for up to three hours

MAYO will experience "violent" winds from Hurricane Ophelia later this afternoon and it will last for up to three hours.

Met Éireann's Gerry Murphy said Ophelia is "moving quickly" and each part of the country "will experience very strong winds for about three hours."

The hurricane, which has been downgraded to an ex-tropical storm, is still considered life-threatening and not something Ireland has experienced before, forecasters informed the public.

Accoridnhg to , residents in Cork are already in the midst of Ophelia, with up to 120,000 people in the south-west already without power and a number of roads blocked by fallen trees.

The Coast Guard has rescued boats in Cork and Galway while kite surfers needed help of the coast of Louth.

Gusts of 124km/h have been recorded at Cork Airport, while 6.5km off the south-west coast, Fastnet Rock recorded winds of a whopping 176km/h.

A senior garda has now appealed for people to exercise caution and not to put themselves or emergency personnel at risk during Hurricane Ophelia.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Michael Finn, who oversees the Garda Traffic Unit, warned road users not be to make non-essential journeys with gusts already reaching 150kmph in the south-east.

"Our appeal to the public this morning is, if your journey is not absolutely essential, do not go on the road. We know that this storm has arrived. I've been speaking to my colleagues in the south west this morning. We have trees down in Co Kerry, and trees and power lines down in West Cork. Parts of Clonakilty are out because of the storm damage and this is just the start of the storm.

"My appeal particularly to motorcyclists, cyclists and drivers of high sided vehicles. You are particularly vulnerable out there in this storm. Unless your journey is absolutely essential, we don't want you to put yourselves or indeed emergency services at risk by being out on the road," Mr Finn said.

"We want to appeal also to people in the coastal areas. While it might be attractive to go and see some of the sites, you're putting yourself at serious risk

"Don't be lulled into a false sense of security by the calm before the storm, because we know from our colleagues down in the south west that we have gusts of up to 150kmph, right now on our coats, be prepared.

"If you're out there now, things can deteriorate very quickly because once those storms comes up, and its travelling fast and the winds are rising, you are vulnerable on the roads, so unless that journey is absolutely essential, don't travel today," the senior officer added.