Ireland is set to escape the worst of the Halloween Hurricane thanks to changing wind directions – but flights and ferry sailings have still been cancelled for Monday as Britain bears the brunt of the massive storm.

Aer Lingus has already cancelled a number of Monday flights between Ireland and London’s Heathrow airport.

Ferry sailings on the Irish Sea have also been cancelled as Britain braces itself for the ‘worst storm to hit in years’ according to the Irish Independent newspaper.

Irish state carrier Aer Lingus announced on Sunday that it had been forced to cancel four flights between Dublin and London Heathrow as well as one flight each way between London Heathrow and Cork and Belfast.

The airline took the action as the south of England and Wales prepares for a major storm with hurricane-force winds and heavy rain.

Ryanair spokesman Robin Kiely told the Irish Independent that the budget airline will review the situation on Monday before making any decision to cancel flights.

A spokesman for Aer Lingus said: “Due to the severe weather forecast for London Heathrow, all airlines have been advised to reduce their schedules”.

Aer Lingus says it will accommodate passengers on the next available flight or they can change their bookings or request a refund on the company’s website.

Train services in the South of London have also been cancelled due to the stormy weather.

Irish state weather service Met Eireann is now forecasting that Ireland will escape the storm but some parts of the country were still battered with wind and rain on Sunday.

Winds of up to Storm Force 10 lashed the north and west coasts on Sunday night while lightning storms in the southwest disrupted internet and phoneline connections on Saturday.

The Atlantic coast remained blustery with the Coastguard warning of sea swells reaching 20 feet.
Jim O’Brien, a weather forecaster with the Irish government agency Met Eireann, told the paper that most of Ireland is expected to emerge fairly unscathed from the Atlantic storm.

He said: “The storm is approaching but it’s expected to pass to the south overnight. We should avoid it unless something terrible happens.”