Five weather warnings in effect and 3,000 without power as Storm Desmond strikes
More than 3,000 people are without power as Storm Desmond bears down upon the country.
The power outages are mainly confined to the west coast - with Kinsale the worst hit with 1,300 outages and Clonakilty also suffering a severe outage, with 500 homes affected.
Met Eireann have issued five weather warnings including a Red Alert warning for heavy rain in Donegal, Connacht, Clare and Kerry.
There is also an Orange Alert wind warning for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo with winds of up to 130km/hr expected, as well as three other warnings for the south and east coast.
Forecasters have predicted up to 150mm of rain on high ground and 70mm of rain to fall elsewhere and described the weekend's weather as "incessant falls of heavy rain".
"People in the West won't be able to get out their front doors," Met Eireann's Siobhan Ryan said this afternoon.
... Highest level RED rainfall warning for selected counties. Highs of 10 to 12, in very strong SW winds.— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) December 4, 2015
The Irish Coastguard also issued a warning, saying: "As you know there is a major storm on the way.
"Please use common sense and stay away from headlands, piers and cliffs that take heavy spray.
"The spray can be replaced by a life ending wave in a blink of an eye."
Heavy rain + high winds causing challenging driving conditions around the Country at the moment. Please drive carefully and slow down. Bsafe— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) December 4, 2015
Highest temperatures will range between 10C and 12C. The howling gales are expected to ease somewhat tonight.
However, the miserable wet weather will continue well into tomorrow night.