Europe

Donegal church damaged in Christmas Day lightning strike

The building was struck by lightning on Sunday Image copyright David Huss
Image caption The building was struck by lightning on Sunday

A church in the Republic of Ireland has been damaged following a lightning strike on Christmas Day.

The Archdeacon of Raphoe said it was lucky no-one was in Donegal Parish Church when it was struck by lightning at 21:30 local time on Sunday.

David Huss told the BBC that the church could be closed for several weeks while repair work is carried out.

The strike has left the Donegal Town church without electricity and punched a large hole in its outside masonry.

Image copyright Google
Image caption It is thought that the lightning may have hit the spire and travelled through the building

"It was an extremely powerful strike," Archdeacon Huss said. "Many people commented on the unusually bright flash and extremely loud clap of thunder."

"The church is the tallest structure in town so it became the focal point of the strike."

Image copyright David Huss
Image caption A number of the electrical lights and sockets were blown

Archdeacon Huss said he had received many expressions of support from across the community for which he was extremely grateful.

"Thankfully we have a great team in the parish and we will work together to get back on our feet as quickly as possible," he said.

Image copyright David Huss
Image caption It is not yet known how much the repairs will cost