Mini tornado lands in Lanesboro

Homeowners in Lanesboro were this week given a new meaning to the term ‘battening down the hatches’.

Homeowners in Lanesboro were this week given a new meaning to the term ‘battening down the hatches’.

Just as the nation geared itself up for Ireland’s crunch Euro 2012 opener on Sunday evening against Croatia, all the talk locally was of damage caused by a suspected tornado.

Eye witnesses reported witnessing a trampoline whistling through the air before landing on top of a car, roughly two miles outside Lanesboro, shortly after midday.

And according to local Councillor Mark Casey, it’s not the first time abnormal windstorms have buffeted the south Longford town.

“We had something similar to this three or four years back when a shed roof was totally blown off. Though I didn’t see what happened on Sunday, my neighbour did and she was just terrified,” he said.

It comes as residents in a remote pocket of north Donegal reported seeing a much larger tornado sweeping over the Inishowen Peninsula on Monday morning.

Gardai in Longford said last night (Tuesday) they had received no reports of the tornado, while meterological experts declined to definitively rule out such an event from taking place.

“There does seem to have been some high cloud which could give weight to it (tornado),” said a spokesman from Met Eireann.

“These are very localised events and they (mini tornados) do happen quite frequently.”

Cllr Casey said it was his understanding the sudden burst of high wind may have been exacerbated by the region’s inordinate supply of localised bogland.

The independent local representative was more concerned however that no injuries had resulted from the sudden change in weather conditions on what was an otherwise mild weekend.

“It came (tornado) completely out of the blue but thankfully no one was hurt,” he added.

The last sighting of similarly freakish weather visiting the wider midlands region occurred three years ago when a mini tornado ripped slates from rooftops in the Co Roscommon village of Cloonkeen near Castlerea.