A nursery in the county of Tipperary has been left in ruins, as Hurricane Ophelia wiped up to 10,000 trees.
The owner of the 70-acre nursery, Grainne Murphy, spoke to RTÉ at her sadness at discovering the damage caused. The family business has been left in chaos, with winds knocking many trees at Annaveigh Plants, near New Inn.
The nursery has over 150,000 trees across it;s 70 acres and they are in a four-year growth cycle. Grainne Murphy said many trees were broken in half and said the family were on the verge of tears at the damage. She reported that over 60% of the trees had been lost, including those due for sale very soon.
"On our first walk around the nursery, after the winds died down, we were on the verge of tears. Many trees were broken in half. We could no longer see the rows between the trees", said Grainne in an interview with RTÉ news.
The family estimate that it will take up to 6 months to repair the damage caused, while it could cost them hundreds of thousands of euro to recover. The nursery also lost almost 15,000 bamboo canes, used as support for the trees.
“It was quite a sad sight. I have no idea of the cost but it will require significant skilled labour. It will cost at least hundreds of thousands of euro to sort the whole thing", Grainne continued.
The family will now be unable to fill existing orders for many customers in Ireland and across the water. They have notified all customers who may be affected. Grainne insists it is nothing the family hasn't dealt with before, referencing the damage caused by the freeze in 2010 and the ash clouds from the Icelandic volcanic eruption.
"It's not a breaking point but is a very critical time for our business. We have got through many tough things in the past without assistance such as the ash blight and the big freeze of 2010. As soon as you are getting back on your feet, you get another blow. It will be a tough next few years.", she concluded.