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A mini tornado left a trail of destruction after it came in off the river Shannon at about 6.30pm last Wednesday Photo by: You Tube Screen grab

Freak tornado damages homes in Galway as family tell of lucky escape (VIDEO)

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A mini tornado left a trail of destruction after it came in off the river Shannon at about 6.30pm last Wednesday Photo by: You Tube Screen grab

A tornado caused structural damage to a number of homes in the Co. Galway last Wednesday.

Eyewitnesses said the storm lasted only minutes but caused thousands of euro worth of damage.

One family had a lucky escape after a tree fell through their mobile home. Noel and Mary Kelly escaped unhurt with their four children when a mini tornado shook Clonfert, Co Galway.

Noel Kelly told the Irish Times about the tree that came crashing through their mobile home, where they are living while their home is being extended.

“We were having our dinner,” said Kelly. “At the time I had no idea the wind was as bad as it was and then the tree came down. We heard the awful bang and then the noise.

“The child was in the playpen right next to it. There were bits of the tree inside and you could see through the roof. He could have been killed,” said Kelly

"We just got everyone out as quick as we could. The mobile home is destroyed but it's a miracle we weren't killed. Mary got a horrid shock altogether and the kids were frightened alright but everyone is okay," he added.

Power supplies in almost 800 homes were affected around the Clonfert area of Galway on Wednesday evening as a result of the freak storm.

“It was a huge mass of black cloud and rain carrying debris with it up into the sky,” Brendan Coughlan, a farmer from Clonfert told the newspaper.

“It came down through the fields. It came down by a neighbor’s house and hit our house, smack on.

“Debris was flying everywhere, sheets of galvanise, roofs, bits of trees and branches, and feeding troughs. Anything that could move was thrown up in the air,” he said.

Extensive damage was done to historic graveyard beside Clonfert Cathedral. Numerous headstones were toppled due to the storm.

Siobhan Ryan of Ireland’s weather service provider Met Eireann said the mini tornado could have occurred anywhere in Ireland.

“They form for different reasons when there are turbulent skies or thunderstorm activity.

“It is a rotating column of air. You have different wind shear occurring from the top to the bottom of the column and they just zip up and down. You get this funnel or vortex occurring.”

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