Ferry services cancelled as 120kph winds and heavy rain forecast

A man cycles through some early morning fog on a country lane near Copthorne in West Sussex.

A man cycles through some early morning fog on a country lane near Copthorne in West Sussex.

Some ferry services on the Irish Sea have been cancelled as the country prepares for a storm in the run-up to Christmas.

Met Eireann issued an orange alert with coastal regions and high ground in Donegal, Mayo and Galway expected to be worst hit by gale force winds gusting up to 120kph on Friday.

Storm Barbara is expected to sweep over the country from the south and west bringing milder temperatures but heavy rains with the gales.

The Road Safety Authority urged drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to exercise caution.

Irish Ferries is operating as normal until Friday when Swift services from Dublin to Holyhead have been cancelled along with the planned service on the Oscar Wilde at 10.45am. The same ferries operating back to Ireland from Holyhead have also been cancelled.

Passengers are advised that they can be accommodated on the Ulysses cruise ferry services at other times and to check notices.

A woman walks her dog through the early morning fog clears near Copthorne in West Sussex

A woman walks her dog through the early morning fog clears near Copthorne in West Sussex

Stena Line, which operates from Dublin to Holyhead and Rosslare to Fishguard, warned that some of its services may be affected.

“Winter Storm Barbara is set to bring wet and windy conditions to the UK,” it said.

“Unfortunately this may cause disruption to some of our scheduled sailings this Friday and Saturday.”