Galway and Lahinch, Co Clare were two of the worst hit areas in early January 2014 when a massive Atlantic storm hit the West Coast of Ireland. 

It was the storm of the year and cost in the region of $300 million countrywide. The Irish Coast Guard had to strongly advise the public to avoid exposed coasts, cliffs, or any other coastal areas during the storms.

The lighthouse on Inishbofin Island off the Galway coast, the most westerly landmark in the country, was put out of action by gale force winds which caused the light to disappear into the sea at the height of the storm.

Islander Patricia Coyne said at the time : “These storms of the last week have been the worst in living memory. The damage to the lighthouse was the worst of all.

“There is no light now and I suppose you could say no lighthouse either. It’s gone completely and we’ve never seen anything like it.”

Human remains were also disturbed in Galway cemeteries along the coast by the pounding seas and gale-force winds.

Local politician Trevor O Clochartaigh said: “It is distressing for everyone to see such damage. A huge wall which was protecting the graveyard has been knocked and the sea just spilled in and did all the damage.”