Ex-hurricane Ophelia felled a large number of cider apples in Bulmers’ orchards last week, just ahead of the cider apple harvest.

In a statement to the Irish Farmers Journal, a Bulmers spokesperson said: “With harvest due over the coming weeks, much of this year’s Irish apple crop was felled by last week’s unprecedented weather event.”

Tony Egan took these photos, which have become an internet sensation and show the thousands of apples on the ground.

“To help affected growers and orchards, including our own, relieve production pressure and maximise the throughput of Irish apples, C&C (the company behind Bulmers) has secured extra storage space and additional pressing capacity, if required.

“C&C is actively working with Irish growers to accept and process fruit as quickly as possible, to ensure the highest quality crop for pressing and production,” the spokesperson said.

Con Trass, the IFA apple chair, said that of the apple growers, Ophelia only really hit those growing apples for cider.

“It is only really cider apple growers that have been affected as there’s only a small portion of eating and cooking apples left to pick.

“Cider growers are only starting their harvest. I know that Bulmers is doing its utmost to facilitate growers.”