The high winds battering Manchester have ripped marquees off the ground on Albert Square where the city’s Irish Festival has been taking place.

Dramatic pictures from the scene on Thursday morning show tents ripped off the ground and apparently dragged into the Albert Memorial monument at the heart of Albert Square.

Tables were scattered across the cobbles, and metal railings around the edge of the square also appear to have collapsed.

Albert Square winds

Organisers at the scene said no one had been hurt.

The council has confirmed it has closed Albert Square to pedestrians on Thursday at 11am, with the marquee company on site.

High winds continue to batter the city centre as Storm Gareth makes its way across the UK.

Manchester Cllr Pat Karney confirmed that organisers are at the scene to assess the situation, and are “working furiously” to get the structures back up, ahead of the huge celebrations expected at the weekend for St Patrick’s Day on Sunday.

Albert Square

Albert Square

Irish Festival marquees

Events at the O’Driscoll Irish bar were also scheduled to take place tonight, with signs at the venue saying the bars open at 12noon, but it was later confirmed that Thursday’s events would NOT be taking place.

Cllr Pat Karney said: “The marquee blew down this morning and the Irish Festival committee are on site. It is a very large marquee this year, and basically the high winds and the position it’s in on Albert Square is what’s happened.

Albert Square high winds

“It’s just atrocious weather, but we are working furiously to try and get it open and ready for the St Patrick’s Day celebrations this weekend.”

Great Northern Warehouse Manchester

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