Outdoor enthusiasts must not hinder the efforts of emergency services with reckless and dangerous behaviour during Storm Barra, Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway has said.
Senator Conway, who lives along the West Coast in County Clare, is urging people, particularly thrill-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts, to heed the Met Éireann weather warnings in place and stay away from coastal areas over the coming days.
Senator Conway said: “Storm Barra poses life-threatening dangers to the public and officials have advised that outside areas and travel should be avoided in red/orange wind warning counties.
“Orange level Wind warnings are currently in effect for Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Mayo, Wexford, Dublin, Louth, Wicklow and East Meath, with a red level wind warning in place for Clare, Cork and Kerry.
“Driving conditions remain dangerous at times, with the risk of fallen trees, fallen power lines and flooding from the heavy rain.
“I remember my own community of Lahinch was severely damaged when a massive Atlantic storm hit the West Coast of Ireland in January 2014.
“Millions of euros have been invested since that time in coastal protection and flood defence works, including Rock armour. We are better protected now, and it remains essential people act responsibly and keep themselves and others safe.
“When that weather emergency occurred, our emergency services had to spend valuable time keeping social media enthusiasts and amateur photographers safe. There were incidences of water thrill-seekers also taking reckless chances by putting their lives in danger but also endangering the lives of our emergency services.
“Our frontline rescue workers will have enough to deal with over the coming days in doing their best to keep us safe, without having to deal with people who engage in this reckless and mindless behaviour.
“I would call on people to respect the efforts of our rescue services by staying at home and heeding the warnings that are in place,” Senator Conway concluded.