‘It’ll be grand’ – Taytos and tea stockpiled as Irish people react to Hurricane Ophelia with classic humour
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‘It’ll be grand’ – Taytos and tea stockpiled as Irish people react to Hurricane Ophelia with classic humour

IRISH people have reacted with typically defiant humour as Hurricane Ophelia – potentially the worst storm to hit Ireland in over 50 years – bares down on the Emerald Isle this morning.

The Atlantic whirlwind is expected to make landfall in Co. Cork at around 11am – where hundreds of birds have been filmed escaping the coast to safety.

Elsewhere, Northern Ireland and Wales will be hit by gales of up to 70mph and the rest of Britain will see heavy rain – exactly 30 years after the Great Storm of 1987 killed 22 people in England and France.

A Status Red Weather Warning has been extended across the island of Ireland as Met Eireann warns of a potential “danger to life” in South West Ireland due to the 80mph gales.

But the people of Ireland are not the sort to be panicked – and thousands have taken to social media to poke defiant fun at the ex-hurricane.

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One Cork native said: “Lads I'm going to be pure embarrassed if Ophelia is just a big gust a wind, I have friends from other countries praying for me.”

Another joked: “My husband just farted in bed and woke me up. Thought it was the beginning of Ophelia.”

While one defiant Dubliner summed Irish priorities up perfectly, writing: “Lads.. I’ve got about 11 tea bags left.”

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But of course, a hurricane is no laughing matter and there is expected to be significant damage to property and flooding in some southerly areas.

Dublin Fire Brigade advised homeowners this morning to “secure garden furniture, trampolines, bins and large inflatable minions” in preparation for today’s gales.

Meanwhile, Sarah Kavanagh, who lives in Cork, tweeted a video of birds flying inland shortly after 8am, saying: “Ummmm... think they know there’s something big coming?”

There is of course a danger to life as well as property and a large tree was filmed this morning blocking a road in Killeagh, Co. Cork – one of the counties expected to take the brunt of the storm.

President Michael D Higgins urged people to follow Government advise and take the necessary precautions after Met Eireann advised the public to stay indoors this morning.

Transport for Ireland tweeted: “Due to #Ophelia, Gardai have urged motorists & the public not to make non-essential journeys - they advise people not to cycle at all.”

While Taoiseach Leo Varadkar warned: “Public safety is our key concern today. Advice is to stay at home, no unnecessary travel or other outdoor activities.”

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More than 5,000 homes have already been left without electricity due to power lines coming down as Ophelia hits southern Ireland.

Most of the power outages are centred in Cork and Kerry so far, with the ex-hurricane heading north this afternoon before dissipating at around 2pm.

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