Lorenzo The Magnificent


A fallen bin in Galway during Storm Lorenzo yesterday; ‘Crisis’ Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy; Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann Evelyn Cusack at the National Emergency Coordination Centre in Dublin yesterday

Oh, the humanity.

This morning.

Following Storm Lorenzo yesterday, a Status Yellow wind warning remains in place for counties Longford, Westmeath, Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Clare until 11am.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland earlier, chair of the National Emergency Co-ordinarion Group Keith Leonard spoke to Dr Gavin Jennings about Storm Lorenzo.

From their discussion:

Dr Gavin Jennings: “The country seems to have survived?”

Keith Leonard: “Absolutely. And I think, Gavin, maybe there’s kind of two factors that play into that. The first is that the storm has appeared to have stalled slightly before it made landfall last night which took some of the energy out of the actual storm as it tracked down through the country.

“I suppose the second point to make is, I think, that the public advice and the safety advice that was given out yesterday and the day before was very well heeded by people and communities and people looked after each other very well during this. Which I think has been a huge positive influence on the outcome.”

Jennings: “Is it over?”

Leonard: “I think we’re seeing the worst, the peaks of the winds have gone through. We still have some yellow warnings in effect and, as you’ve heard already from your previous reporters, we have some serious issues in Donegal town. There may be other issues of flooding throughout Donegal which seems, there seems to be a lot of rainfall has fallen there. So probably, as well, we’ve reports now of maybe 7,500 people without power.

“I think Longford, and Ballymahon, have experienced some wind. So it’ll probably be another few hours before the full effect of this storm has blown through.”

Jennings: “You’re due to meet later today, is that right?”

Leonard: “That’s correct.”

Jennings: “Is it necessary now?”

Leonard: “I think it is. As I say, we have a recovery situation in Donegal which we’ll have to look into and find what support we can provide for Donegal and we also have to collate the information and obviously, as well, there’s always a lesson to identify, apiece, at the end of all of the national co-ordination effort so I think we will be meeting today. Yes we will be meeting.”

Jennings: “What lessons do you think we’ve learned so far?”

Leonard: “I suppose, we’ll have to reflect on that as we go through the meeting. But I think probably we want to work on how we refine and balance all these responses are how we balance the public safety message with making sure that society continues to function and operate as normally as possible.”

Jennings: “Did we overreact?”

Leonard: “I don’t think so. I think the information that we had from early on was that this was the most easterly, most category 5, hurricane. As it approached Ireland, the wind was, I think, in excess of 1,600 kilometres which is a huge Atlantic storm. And I think probably we were fortunate in the fact that it did stall over the north of the country before it came inland which helped to reduce some of the impact.”

Jennings: “Almost all climate experts and weather predictors would suggest that  we’re going to have a lot more storms like this?”

Leonard: “I’m not qualified to give, maybe, the climate analysis of this but I definitely think that local authorities who are the lead agencies for this are putting in an increasing amount of work, year on year, into how to respond to winter storms and to respond to severe weather in general.”

Jennings: “Keith Leonard, thank you very much for speaking to us…”

Listen back in full here


Earlier on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland

RTÉ’s Paschal Sheehy reporting from Blennerville, Co Kerry this morning

RTÉ’s regional correspondents spoke to Morning Ireland presenter Bryan Dobson from their respective locations.

Paschal Sheehy, in Co Kerry, reported:

“I have a picture-postcard scene in front of me from my office this morning. I’m on Blennerville Bridge – the gateway to the Dingle Peninsula in West Kerry.

“And I am looking out at the windmill and it’s a rough scene here but certainly not exceptional by any manner of means.

“I have memories of crossing this bridge, walking to primary school when I was a child and the waves lapping over the bridge from one side to the other.

“I was here at high tide last night. The seas were rough but nothing like what I would have expected if the winds came at 130kph and, in fact, they didn’t.

“The highest wind speeds recorded in Kerry overnight were about half that – 67kph, gusts of 67kph at Met Éireann’s weather observatory in Valentia.”

“And so it was a quiet night…”

Ciaran Mulooly, in Mulranny, Co Mayo, reported:

“It’s been a night of high wind and considerable rain but nothing in line with the forecast as to what people had feared…”

“For the most part it looks like Storm Lorenzo did not come anyplace near the height it was supposed to and predicted to on this part of North Mayo.”

Teresa Mannion, in Galway, reported:

“I think my reporting here this morning is similar to Ciaran there. In Galway, there have been no significant overnight developments either in the city or the county as we speak.”

“Last night’s high tide, at 9.24pm to be exact, it came and went without any major flooding incident. There was a pit overtopping at the prom in Salthill but nothing more really…”

“…I was the sole person to call Galway City’s [Council] number last night and earlier this morning so they had no calls. There was three to Galway County Council – all about fallen trees…”


In Donegal town…

LIVE: Thousands left without power as Storm Lorenzo hits (RTE)

Yesterday: It Is Upon Us

Pic: Paschal Sheehy


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49 thoughts on “Lorenzo The Magnificent

  1. martco

    the important point in all of this is everyone did what their telly told them to do

    and we should just keep doing that

    plus Keith there needs his job as national redalert supervisor

      1. Pip

        It’s generally regarded as being a bit pathetic to give yourself the Dr. title just because you have a PhD.
        IIRC Jennings was offended about something cast at him and began referring to himself as Dr., to assert his full significance.
        Sad, really.
        Pip, B. A. (2nd class, lower quadrant).

      2. Slightly Bemused

        He is a medical doctor. He worked in A&E before becoming a broadcaster. To be fair, he does not push that: it is other who grant him his entitled honorific

        1. Pip

          Aaah. But he only ‘became’ a Dr. in the public eye when he was rearing up about being questioned about his handling of some interview/article or other.
          It came across as a bit ‘how very dare you.’

        2. V

          I’m not so sure
          I remember him, oops Dr Jennings being a bit pushy about his title during some online spat

          Mind you if I got med and got out the other side of it ye’d know all about it too

  2. jockey

    Not sure I liked the tone of this, as if it was all a big deal over nothing. It’s good to have these warnings in place when those more qualified than us can see there could be trouble ahead. They aren’t the drama queens anyways, they just passed on their calulations. The people who over-did it were the members of the media with their lightning bolt ‘breaking news’ and evocative headlines, and around-the-clock coverage with reporters standing in the rain for no reason. Why does everything have to be so extreme these days?

    1. Slightly Bemused

      As someone who worked in emergency response (until the old body could not keep up) I agree. Better have warnings that people heed than no warnings and people dead. Especially the response teams trying to save the idiots. Too many of them have died over the years trying to save others.

      1. Paulus

        Agreed; and when some gung-ho idiot “gets into difficulties” on the top of some foggy mountain where he shouldn’t be – then he should be presented with a bill by the mountain rescue team that gets him down safely.

      2. ResilienceIsOverRated

        Agreed. Batten down the hatches, wrap up (in cotton wool), and don’t come out until posh-boy gives the all clear.

        A bit of snow – paralysis
        A bit sun – hose restrictions
        A bit of rain – Defcon5

        How do poor countries like Portugal manage? we’ll never know.

        Anyway, resilience is over-rated.

  3. GobDaw

    One week prior to the 2020 budget where we are expecting increases and/or additional ‘Green Taxes’, I wonder if there is an (unwitting) incentive to highlight the big bad weather wolf for perhaps better Met funding?

    Over-reacting to seasonal weather only devalues the message.

  4. Nigel

    I see there’s a constituency now for the idea that we shouldn’t be kept informed or take preperations when threatened with a large storm?

    1. GobDaw

      What large storm? From the perspective of the major population centre, this went largely unnoticed. The BBC forecast was quite accurate – no need for drama. The extemities of the west coast were of course right to take precuations as they are accustomed.

      1. Nigel

        The large storm that missed us by a whisker? Were you actually paying attention? There was no drama, there were sensible precautions and efforts to keep apeople aware of what was going on. There was no panic, no looting no riots, it was just a serious storm that could have hit us, but didn’t. Yay, lucky us. That’s weather for you, get used to it.

      2. Medium Sized C

        There was a large storm this was originally a Hurricane, Met Éireann notified us all of the risks in an appropriate manner.
        The storm shrunk, although it was rough in some parts of the coastal north west.

        I mean its the weather forecast…. they get it wrong sometimes, because it’s the weather.
        I think the response to the overreaction to the media is itself an overreaction.

    2. liam

      We have weather reports warning us then a circus that actually makes us look like the biggest idiot’s in the world
      Yesterdays posh boy spectacle was the circus that cost millions of euro to put on and all paid for out of our taxes
      I presume you go for the circus as what should be the option

  5. yahho

    The storm had petered out by the time it nudged past the Azores. The BBC forecast a typical Autumnal breeze for most of us. No need for crisis management. Accurate forcasting with appropriate measures.

    1. Nigel

      Every single forecast said it would peter out once it hit cold water. But since it was an (unprecedented) category five, the degree to which it would peter out left us at risk of something a bit stronger. We got lucky. This second-guessing after the fact is chilldish. I’m still glad I pulled the bins in around the side of the house.

      1. Medium Sized C

        I didn’t and the brown bin git its lid blown open.
        I am thankful that it didn’t rain as much.

      2. ciaran

        Except it wasn’t “second-guessing after the fact”. As was pointed out, BBC (and others) was accurate. Met eireann / RTE was incorrect.
        We didn’t get lucky. There was never going to be anything to get ‘lucky’ about. Stop over exaggerating it in such a childish and deliberately misleading manner.

        1. Nigel

          Oh my God we took precautions against a possible storm like real grown-ups do! The scandal! The shame! How will we ever hold our heads up high again! Only in Ireland! Aren’t we a bunch of eejits altogether!

          1. martco

            “like real grown-ups do”

            I’d say more like children do….they way they tend to do what they’re told to do like

            sorry @Nigel this hyped disaster p0rn command centre nonsense..it’s pure bllx. you fire ahead & do what your telly tells you to do, I’ll make my own “grown-up” rational decisions for myself if it’s all the same with you thanks

          2. Nigel

            I wish I was an edgy rebel and able to give cheek and back-talk to the weather forecast but I’m just too meek.

          3. martco

            well now I wouldn’t dare trash talk the weather, it is the weather after all @Nigel

            or meteorologists for that matter, I occasionally guess wrong in my job too

            but I will trash talk the hyped disaster p0rn command centre nonsense

            and I’ll continue to make my own “grown-up” rational decisions for myself taking all the available information into account…I reckon my chances are good to excellent

          4. Nigel

            I guess I just don’t give the remotest, tiniest, most miniscule toss about the supposed disaster pr0n aspect. It’s all just standard media stuff.

          5. martco

            ah here whoa whoa whoa @Quiet Kevin

            @Nigel has a point there, in itself a hurricane tracking unusually around the North Atlantic is change/alteration to norms for sure

            please, don’t be conflating my distain for over hyped disaster p0rn command centre nonsense with whatever your climate argument is, you go start your own sub-thread further down if u don’t mind please, I was here first, rite?

    2. eoin

      + €24.8m, the budget for Met Eireann for 2018, composed of
      Salaries, €12.3m
      Admin costs, €8.6m
      Subs to international forecasting organisations who provide accurate forecasts of major weather events, as well as better satellite-derived information on Irish weather [national and local] and better graphics than Met Eireann, €3m
      Flood Forecasting system €0.9m
      Hey, I’ve got an idea, why don’t we just pay the €3m to the international forecasters and show the €250,000 rain/wind/temperature guessers at Met Eireann the door.

      1. V

        I’ve a better idea

        Lets just cut it in half, and give one half back to the Exchequer

        Give the balance, 12.5m per annum to Alan @carlowweather
        He can incorporate, put yourself and meself (I’m Chair of course, you can be company secretary), Bodger, Lil and Mill, the Brudder and Bisto on the Board.

        Replicate Bank of Ireland’s directors remuneration, top ups and expenses.

        Hire Jean Byrne, on Tubs salary scale, as her production costs will be pittance anyway;
        like just a selfie alone gives the forecast
        The tighter the dress the worse the weather
        and when she’s in the Leather, colour/ shade per the appropriate weather warning

        Alan can have all his drones providing the footage
        and he can engage all the other local private weather stations as content providers

        I’ve no problem hosting the Emergency Weather Situation Room here from D12
        The Star Bingo Hall is perfect.

        or even on the old BS.tv hangout channel
        Shur’ haven’t I the screen back drop already

        We can even do the big wave shots with lads out kite surfing from my ‘van

        1. Cian

          Half of carlowweather’s tweets are screenshots from Met Eireann… I can see a small problem with your plan.

          1. V

            We’ve got the budget to figure out a work around Cian
            And we’ll do in for a fraction of the cost
            and without pay and contract renegotiation or any work-to-rule obstacles

            And all without the need for a Mulville Mediation

    3. Cian

      @yahho “BBC forecast a typical Autumnal breeze for most of us. “

      Then BBC was wrong.
      In Galway there were gusts of over 100km/hr recorded, and a 10-minute mean wind speeds of 70-87km/hr recorded. That is a way more than an “Autumnal breeze”. These were gale force winds.

  6. some old queen

    Pretty sure there is a certain level of optics in all of this for posh boy so next time I suggest we do a Teresa Mannion on him .

    Stick him out on the roof of Montrose, point a very large fan in his direction and throw buckets of water while he is being interviewed?

    1. Nigel

      I mean, they should do that for all of them, for every interview.
      ‘Minister, about the new Brexit proposals by the British Prime Minister…’

  7. Sensitivity

    Can we show some sensitivity please? The National Emergency Coordination Centre needs to emphasise its crucial role in securing the Irish people.

    Particularly in regard to its Buget 2020 submission. Your cooperation is appreciated.

  8. Lurch

    Trust a FG minister never to miss a photo op to show how much they care about the ordinary folk….when it doen’t cost them anything.

    Gross hypocrisy considering the degeneracy simultaneously taking place as they try to push through approval for the construction of a terminal to process vast quatities of filthy polluting American fracked gas in Shannon, tying Ireland to 30-50 years depoendency on one of the most destructive fuel sources imaginable.
    Absolutely abhorrent.

  9. Listrade

    1. There’s a reason why weather is classed as a”chaotic system”. It may not be too affected by a butterfly flapping its wings, but trying to predict the behaviour and impact of one weather system is extremely difficult.

    2. It was the media that ran with the world ending warnings. It’s clear what an orange warning is, we have an agreed definition with UK (so we don’t have different weather warnings for NI) not difficult to look that up and give a non-rapture prediction. Early Emergency meetings were because the storm grew in strength and it could have needed a Red warning. That’s what should happen. Red Warnings are a lot more serious (higher chance of loss of life), so a lot more preparation needs to go in if it is going to escalate. It didn’t escalate that far, but you still need to plan as early as possible.

    But the media had it’s emergency broadcasts. That’s their MO. Create panic for the viewing figures. Don’t worry about some simple fact checking, the sky could very well fall in. Then when the sky doesn’t, you get another week’s worth of discussion debating whether Met Eireann is worth all the money it’s getting when they’re clearly useless. Rinse and repeat.

    1. some old queen

      I’d look forward to a decent storm myself- sheds need re roofing.


      South Armagh entrepreneur.

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