5pm: Over 1,000 Kerry homes without electricity as stormy conditions persist

NOTE: 5.30pm: Power restored to most customers in Tarbert and Ballydesmond areas Over 1,000 homes and businesses in Kerry are without power this evening as Storm Barney continues to batter the southwest of the country. ESB Networks An Orange Weather Warning – the second highest such warning – is in place for Kerry and other counties until at least 9 o’clock this evening. Kerry County Council is advising people to stay indoors if possible and to avoid unecessary journeys. Met Éireann says that west to southwest winds are reaching speeds of 65 to 80 km/h with gusts of 110 to 130 km/h in places. This afternoon, there were reports of trees and other debris on roads around the county and gardaí say motorists should travel with extreme care. ESB Networks says that power outages have affected a number of areas with almost 500 customers without electricity in Tarbert, 370 in Ballydesmond on the Cork-Kerry border, 100 in Knocknagoshel and 115 on Valentia Island. Outages affecting smaller numbers of customers in Currow, Ballymacelligott, Causeway, Ballybunion, Bonane and Athea are also reported. ESB crews expect to have the service restored in most areas in the coming hours. Shannon Ferries services between Tarbert and Killimer have returned to normal following earlier stoppages. Kerry Airport is not reporting any impact on flights to and from Farranfore this evening.