ESB to carry out review of Aran Islands outage

Power was finally restored to 372 customers on Inis Meáin and Inis Oirr on Monday evening following Friday's outage which lasted the entire weekend, leaving the islands' business owners deeply unhappy at the height of the busy tourist season.

The fault on a subsea cable between Inis Mór and Inis Meáin was located 2km off the Inis Mór coast on Friday evening. The cause of the fault has not yet been identified, but it is speculated the heavy duty double armoured 36km cable was struck underwater.

A spokesperson for ESB Networks said the company was aware of the difficulties caused to its customers.

"We apologise for the interruption to their electricity supply and reassure customers that their supply was restored as quickly as possible.

"However, weather difficulties, with high tides and tidal swells, hampered our efforts significantly on Sunday last. We also wish to put on record our appreciation for the understanding afforded to ESB Networks crews by islanders while on Inis Oírr putting the generators and transformer in place."

ESB Networks will now be carrying out a review of this outage with a view to exploring what can be learned from the fault.

Installed between 1994 and 1997, the cable has been in operation without fault for almost 20 years. ESB has a similar feeding arrangement for 30 other islands around the coast of Ireland. The company claims the electricity infrastructure on the islands is designed to a very high standard and any disruptions to supply are mainly due to weather related factors such as storms and lightning and are normally of a short duration.

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