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Cancer nurse among three killed by storm Ophelia in the Republic of Ireland

County Waterford cancer nurse Clare O’Neill killed as storm Ophelia tore through the Republic of Ireland on Monday.

A cancer nurse has been named as one of the three people confirmed to have died in the Republic of Ireland after storm Ophelia hit Ireland and the UK on Monday.


Clare O’Neill died while driving in County Waterford in the Republic of Ireland on Monday

Clare O’Neill was killed when a tree fell onto her car as she was driving in high winds in County Waterford.

The storm brought gusts of 100mph to Ireland and Northern Ireland, and also affected parts of England, Scotland and Wales.

Cork ARC Cancer Support House confirmed Ms O’Neill was working as a cancer support co-ordinator at its East Cork and West Waterford service, based in Youghal.

‘Deeply saddened’

Its director of services Ellen Joyce told local newspaper the Evening Echo: ‘We are all deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our friend and colleague.

‘She was a wonderful nurse and a special person who will be missed by the Cork ARC Cancer Support House team, our volunteers and all the people and patients she worked with here and in Youghal.

‘Our thoughts are with her family at this most difficult time.’

One man died in County Louth, and another man was killed in County Tipperary following Monday's storm.

Potentially fatal asthma attacks

Storm Ophelia also whipped up ash from wildfires raging in Spain and Portugal – as well as Saharan dust – causing air pollution levels to spike across much of the mainland UK.

Asthma UK’s head of helpline Sonia Munde said: ‘This could pose a severe risk for the 5.4million people in the UK who have asthma.

‘Winds picking up dust and particles in the air could trigger potentially fatal asthma attacks.

‘When a similar dust storm happened in April 2014, a third of people told us they’d had an asthma attack as a result of the pollution and 84% said they had used their blue inhaler more than usual.’

The charity urged anyone with severe asthma to check weather forecasts and stay indoors where possible.


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