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Sunday, 20 January, 2019

O'Dwyer in the firing line as Ophelia wrecks seven stables

Trainer Conor O'Dwyer surveys the damage to a stable block used for his retired racehorses
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Seven stables at trainer Conor O'Dwyer's Friarstown yard on the Curragh were destroyed on Monday as Storm Ophelia swept across Ireland, causing extensive damage and flooding and leading to the deaths of three people.

O'Dwyer revealed on Tuesday: "The roof was torn off seven of our stables by very strong gusts around 2pm yesterday. The lower part of the stable doors were also ripped away. At the time there were horses in the stables concerned but, fortunately, they were all perfectly fine."

He added: "The damage was bad enough but things could have been a lot worse."

The south and west of Ireland bore the brunt of a weather system that started as a hurricane and was the worst storm to hit the country since 1961.

Eugene O'Sullivan, who trains at Lombardstown, near Mallow, County Cork, said: "We had 50 trees down and the roof went off three stables and a cattle shed.

"I've never experienced such strong winds before but we were lucky enough and, thankfully, there were no injuries. Other farms around the area fared worse than us."

Tom Cooper, who trains in Tralee, County Kerry, also ducked the worst of the weather, reporting: "We escaped any damage. We were able to ride out and I've often experienced worse conditions. It was like a wet, windy winter's day but that's all."

Nenagh-based Tom Hogan, said: "We had a couple of trees down and there was some very minor structural damage, but we got off lightly. The horses – Gordon Lord Byron included – are fine."

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The roof was torn off seven of our stables by strong gusts around 2pm yesterday. The lower part of some of the stable doors were also ripped off
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