ESB Networks has confirmed that it will not reopen its stand at the National Ploughing Championships in order to maximise efforts to restore power to over 100,000 customers.

At the moment, in the region of 104,000 customers remain without power following the damage caused by Storm Ali – which brought gusts in excess of 150kph to parts of the country.

Due to the workload, ESB Networks has decided to redeploy all of its staff to restore supply to customers “as quickly and safely as possible”.

Because of this, it will not reopen its stand at the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, for the remainder of the event – which will now run into Friday.

At one stage today (Wednesday, September 19), approximately 186,000 customers across Ireland were left without power as a result of over 1,400 individual faults on the network.

Fallen trees on overhead lines are responsible for most of the damage to the network, according to ESB Networks.

The areas most impacted include: Cavan; Sligo; Donegal; Castlebar; Galway; Portlaoise; Dundalk; Mullingar; and parts of north Co. Dublin.

In a statement, ESB Networks outlined that it is continuing to assess the damage to the network and that it is carrying out the necessary work to restore power.

People are advised never to approach fallen wires or a part of the electricity network that is damaged. ESB Networks urged the general public to report any dangerous infrastructure by calling: 1850-372999.

Day 2 of ‘Ploughing’ cancelled

The second day of ‘Ploughing 2018’ was cancelled earlier today due to health and safety concerns.

The decision to cancel day two of the event was made just before noon. The news came as Storm Ali swept across the country, causing severe damage in places.

Weather conditions originally forced the NPA to delay the opening time of the event to 11:00am this morning but this was later pushed back to 12:00pm.

However, due to the severity of the weather conditions, the full day’s activities were then cancelled.

In an unprecedented move, it has recently been confirmed that the ‘Ploughing’ will now extend into Friday due to today’s closure.