We were warned by Met Éireann that Barney was about to hit – and those rather clever meteorologists weren't wrong either: the storm has well and truly arrived in Ireland.

Indeed, 45,000 people are currently without power: ESB says the outages have been reported in parts Clare, Offaly, Westmeath, Kerry, Tipperary, Kilkenny and Wicklow.

Those in Limerick and Clare have even been told to avoid travel unless absolutely necessary. 

Meanwhile, flights are being diverted from Dublin and Cork airports, while Shannon Airport has recorded a wind speed of an astonishing 129km/h. 

Furthermore, Dawson Street and Trinity Street in Dublin's city centre have now been closed for safety reasons.

And southbound Dart services are currently only operating to/from Dalkey due to a power failure near Killiney.

The Dublin Fire Brigade has instructed those without electricity not to use any naked flames for light other than candles. It added that wheelie bins may need to be tied down. 

This afternoon a Ryanair flight was forced to abort two attempted landings at Shannon – before diverting to Liverpool.

With winds at Cork and Dublin also too strong for flight FR-1183 from London Gatwick, the pilot had to safely steer the craft towards Liverpool instead. 

Aer Lingus flights to and from Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol have all also been cancelled, as have City Jet planes to and from London City Airport.

Met Éireann this evening is saying that it will remain very windy, especially in the east – but that conditions will gradually ease before midnight with good clear spells developing.