The Dark Hedges in Co. Antrim, featured in the hit TV series Game of Thrones, suffered fatally overnight from the hurricane-strength winds of Storm Gertrude.
Three trees in the the iconic Northern Ireland tourist attraction were uprooted as fierce winds caused power outages across the country.
Located on the Bregagh Road in Armoy, Co Antrim, the Dark Hedges are one of the most photographed tourist attractions in Ireland, bringing Game of Thrones fans the world over to the Orchard County.
Used in the series as the location for the “King’s Road”, the stretch of road and its wooded border is one of the must-see Northern Ireland sites for the show’s avid followers.
The beautiful tunnel of beech trees was originally planted in the 18th century by the local Stuart family to decorate the entrance into their nearby Georgian mansion, Gracehill House.
Now 300-years old, the Bregagh road will remain closed throughout the day as the fallen trees are cut up and removed.
Storm Gertrude, the seventh storm of the winter, battered Ireland on Thursday night leaving 10,000 homes still without power as of this morning. Thousands more were reconnected to the ESB (Electricity Supply Board) system by 9am Friday morning following a night without power. The worst affected areas included Achill in Mayo, Kilcoole in Wicklow and Killeshandra in Cavan.
Power outages were also reported across Northern Ireland with the Northern Ireland Electricity Networks responding to over 170 incidents of damage that disrupted supply. Over 17,500 homes were left without power overnight but 13,000 are now reconnected.
Throughout the country trees were uprooted, several landing on cars, but as of yet, no injuries have been reported.
Authorities were also forced to close the Blaney and Foyle bridges in Donegal and Derry for safety reasons. The Foyle Bridge has since been reopened but with a 30 mph speed limit in place.
The weather warnings set to end by 9am Irish time were extended as high winds still rush across the country.
An orange wind warning was in place for Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Dublin, Longford, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Meath, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Waterford where speeds of up to 80 mph (130 km/h) were experienced.
A yellow wind warning will remain in place for Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo until 3pm on Saturday. Coastal parts of the North and Northwest will be affected by southwest winds of between 37 to 40 mph (60 to 65 km/h) and gusts at around 62 mph (100 km/hr).
A yellow snow and ice warning also remains in place for the whole country until 12pm on Saturday, with icy patches expected to develop overnight and early on Saturday morning. Sleet and snow showers are expected to develop in the North and Northwest through the night giving snow on high ground.
Although Friday is to remain windy, wind speeds are expected to ease with some hail showers occurring in the north and west.