Update: orange wind warning for storm Hector
The northwest will be the worst hit by high winds as a storm hits the country this Wednesday night.

Met Éireann has upgraded its weather warning to orange status in counties Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Sligo and named the approaching storm Hector.

South to southwest winds will reach mean speeds of 65km/h to 80km/h, with gusts of 110km/h to 125 km/h, from 9pm this Wednesday to 10am on Thursday.

Counties Dublin, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, Roscommon, Clare and Kerry are under a yellow warning for the same period, with mean wind speeds of 55km/h to 65km/h and gusts of 90km/h to 110km/h forecast.

In Northern Ireland, the Met Office has issued a status yellow wind warning from 3am to 3pm on Thursday, with gusts of 50mph to 60mph. The warning includes a small chance of damage to roofs and injuries from flying debris, and a slight chance of power cuts.

The storm will be accompanied by rain across the country from Wednesday evening, followed by showers on Thursday.

Read more

Lightning blew fence to ‘smithereens’

From the archive: safety tips to prepare your farm for hurricane Ophelia

Summer holidays a high risk time for children on farms – HSA
The HSA and primary school principals have joined forces to promote farm safety before high-risk summer holiday period.

Summer holidays are a high-risk time for children who are off school and spend a lot of time on their family farm or visiting friends’ and relatives’ farms.

It is also a very busy time for farmers when much work needs to be done.

The Health and Safety Authority (HAS) and the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN) have issued a joint appeal to primary schools to promote a strong farm safety message to children before they break for the summer.

Farm accidents have claimed the lives of 23 children in the last decade and account for 11% of all farm fatalities over the period.

Farms remain the only workplace in Ireland where children still continue to die. Farm deaths involving children are always a horrific tragedy for families and heartbreaking for communities and schools alike.

The HSA website has numerous online farm safety resources for teachers to use in the classroom which can be covered in an interactive, fun and stimulating way. IPPN is supporting the HSA in communicating this important message to its members.

HSA education manager Joanne Harmon said: “Teachers can access a range of online farm safety resources for primary schools on our website at www.hsa.ie/education, under teacher supports and resources and some are available as gaeilge.

“These can be run on the classroom whiteboard or printed off to photocopy.

“The HSA’s elearning portal also hosts a short course entitled Keep Safe on the Farm which can be found at http://hsalearning.ie. This is aimed at primary school children and comes with teachers’ guidelines and is linked to the SPHE curriculum.”

Harmon added that farm safety is an explicit topic in the SPHE curriculum at primary level.

“Schools can make a real difference by empowering children to raising their own awareness of farm hazards and encouraging them to bring the safety message home to parents and grandparents,” she said.

Read more

Maintenance and patience are key to tractor safety

Quads 'most dangerous piece of machinery' – HSA

Two injured in under-age tractor driving incident
Police in Northern Ireland said two juveniles were injured in an incident with a tractor driven by a third one.

The PSNI's Cookstown unit said on its Facebook page that it joined two ambulances and paramedics at the scene in Coagh, Co Tyrone this Sunday.

"Two juveniles fell from a tractor being driven by a third juvenile," police said. "Both sustained injuries significant enough that they required transfer by ambulance to hospital. The tractor should not have been on the road and should not have been carrying passengers."

Officers have prepared a file for the Public Prosecution Service against the driver for "a range of offences," adding that the incident "could have been a lot worse".

Read more

Disqualified driver charged with driving tractor without insurance

PSNI clampdown on quadbike helmets