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Burns' Day Storm

  • 21-01-2013 1:16am
    Registered Users Posts: 848 ✭✭✭

    Apologies for deflecting any attention from all the snow lust, but I was just wondering if anyone had any more information on this event in Ireland?

    According to the article: 'it made landfall on the morning of the 25th over Ireland, where 17 died, including 8 on a bus which was struck by a falling tree.' I've done a bit of online scouring but can't find any reference to this incident. In fact, doesn't even have it listed as one of its major weather events, which is sort of surprising given the number of fatalities. And it's not exactly an event lost to the annals of history, it only happened in 1990.

    Is Wikipedia spoofing me?


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,679 ✭✭✭✭drunkmonkey

    We were just talking about that accident at lunch today, I thought it was 5 that were killed, 4 foreigners and a young Irish chap..could be all wrong though...

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,344 ✭✭✭jprboy

    I don't know about that storm but there was one in January 1991 which resulted in the death of 14 people in Ireland. 7 of those were killed when a tree fell on a bus in Portumna on January 5th - 17 year old Joe O'Meara from Carrigahorig, Lorrha in North Tipp and six Swiss tourists. Always see a memorial notice for this in the local paper at this time each year.

    Seven people died when a large tree fell on their minibus outside Portumna, Co.Galway, at around 6:00pm on Saturday evening. Those who died were six Swiss tourists and a Tipperary youth. A local man escaped from the vehicle with minor injuries. A doctor, who lives 50 yards from where the accident occurred, said that the others died instantly. The tourists, two married couples and two men, all thought to be in their thirties, were here on a shooting holiday. They were joined for the day by Joe O'Meara (17) of Carrigahorig, Co.Tipperary and a guide from Portumna. That was by far the worst incident caused by Saturday's storm but another seven people also lost their lives.

    Gale force winds and heavy rain have swept the country for much of the time since Christmas but these were minor in comparison to the weather we experienced on Saturday. It was clear from early Friday that we were in for something special. The forecasters were given extra time on television and radio news bulletins to explain just how bad it would be. They promised "strong storm force" winds with gusts of 100mph and up to one inch of rain.

    The wind started to rise sometime in the middle of the night and we woke to radio news telling us that two men had died in Galway. They were asleep in a van parked in Lower Merchants Road when a wall was blown on to the van. They were named as John Mongan (20) of Hillside Park and Patrick Dodd (38) of Cooke's Terrace. Three other people in the van escaped although one received minor injuries. Later we heard that the wind fanned a chimney fire in Ballingarry, Co.Limerick, and the flames spread throughout the bungalow. Charles Treacy (78) died in the blaze and his sister was critically injured. At Ballybrack, Co.Dublin, Peter Roche (40) of Shankill was killed when a tree fell on his car. A falling tree also killed William Heslip (43) while he was tending cattle on his farm near Newry. In Rathcormack, Co.Waterford, Richard Kennedy (35) was electrocuted by a fallen cable on his brother's farm. On Sunday morning the body of a man was found under a tree in Coolock, Co.Dublin.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,134 ✭✭✭✭maquiladora


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,201 ✭✭✭ongarboy

    I think there is some mixing up on Wikipedia over the 1990 and 1991 storms in reference to the fatalities in Ireland (particularly the minibus incident). The storm that killed 17 people in Ireland definitely occurred in January, 1991 as my grandmother had just passed away a couple of days earlier (5/1/91) and she was waked in her house without any electricity due to the power cuts caused by the storms. (the candlelights during the wake gave an eerie atmosphere that is so vivid in my mind to this day). I remember we were very worried about aunts, uncles and cousins travelling on the roads across Ireland during the storm to the funeral as we had heard about all the storm deaths including the awful one with the Swiss tourists.

    I had kind of forgotten about how serious the death toll was until I read the Irish Emigrant article above. Thankfully, I don't think we've had any natural or accidental disaster with such a high death toll since....long may that last!

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 518 ✭✭✭keith_sixteen

    Apologies for bumping an old thread, but with the day that was in it, my Dad and I were talking about past events and this one came up.

    Some more info:
    A tree falling on top of 7 people travelling in a minbus on January 5th 1991 is one such shock. Last Sunday week the community of Portumna unveiled a plaque to the memory of the 6 people from Switzerland and local lad Joe O Meara (Carrigahorig, County Tipperary) who were tragically killed following a freak accident on 5th January 1991. The names of the Swiss nationals were Ronald Bohlem, Michelle Bohlem, Jose Bohlem, Jean Paul Bonnin, Elizabeth Bonnin, Pierre Landi.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,271 ✭✭✭✭sryanbruen

    Apologies for bumping an old thread, but with the day that was in it, my Dad and I were talking about past events and this one came up.

    Some more info:

    That was not the Burns' Day storm though.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 518 ✭✭✭keith_sixteen

    sryanbruen wrote: »
    That was not the Burns' Day storm though.

    That's already been established on the thread.