Thousands of farmers suffered power outages as a result of Monday’s ex-hurricane Ophelia, which posed the most immediate challenge to dairy farmers.

ESB Networks said on Wednesday that 119,000 of its customers remained disconnected, with most expected to have power restored within three to four days, but some pockets likely to have to wait until Tuesday. Estimated reconnection times are available through the utility’s dedicated website and smartphone app,

Of more than 1,000 Irish Farmers Journal readers responding to an instant online survey on Wednesday afternoon, 12% were without power and 6% said this had significantly affected their farm.

Some dairy farmers visited by the Irish Farmers Journal in Co Waterford had generators or were reconnected on Monday night and missed only one milking. Others, however, were struggling.

“The ESB crew says the main 110kv line is down and it will take a while to fix it,” farmer Michael Keane said, adding it was affecting a number of farmers in the Kilmeaden area. He wasn’t able to milk and “the cows are getting uneasy with the lack of water”, he said.

Power lines were down along several local roads, with poles snapped in places under the force of winds and falling trees.

Michael said one of his neighbours owned a generator and was sharing it from farm to farm. A brand new generator could be seen being towed across Kilmeadan during the Irish Farmers Journal’s visit on Tuesday, but the appliances were in high demand as soon as the hurricane warnings were publicised.

Listen to affected farmers in our podcast below:

In Co Cork, a call for help from Ballymakeera farmer Padraig Hallissey on Twitter on Tuesday night resulted in Peter Hynes – half an hour away in Aherla – lending him a tractor-powered generator within a few hours.

Co-ops have stepped in, with Glanbia texting its members to offer help with power and water outages. An estimated 500 Glanbia members were facing difficulties as a result of the storm on Tuesday night with the co-op appealing for generators.

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