Overnight snow closes schools and disrupts transport around the country

Overnight snow closes schools and disrupts transport around the country
A car that slid off the road in Co. Clare this morning. Pic: Press 22

Update: A number of schools have been forced to close as a result of overnight snow.

The Department of Education says schools in Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo and parts of Cork were forced to shut their doors due to the local conditions

Meanwhile, Transport services were also heavily impacted this morning with difficult road conditions in a number of areas.

A man was seriously injured in a five-vehicle crash on the M7 between the junctions for Birdhill and Nenagh in Tipperary, with Gardaí saying that road is due to stay closed into this afternoon, while conditions are also tricky in Limerick, Cork, Kerry, Galway, Donegal and Sligo.

Irish Rail have said that some of their services were forced to be cancelled this morning.

Spokesperson Jane Cregan says their extreme weather plan is in place in a bid to prevent further disruptions tomorrow.

Ms Cregan said: "We did have a number of disruptions at the start of this morning, particularly in the Sligo/Longford area. Now, as of lunchtime, all services are operating."

Some Bus Eireann services were also disrupted, with the S2 service in Sligo cancelled for the time being.

A number of services in Cork were delayed as a result of road conditions there.

A snow-covered Cork city this morning. Pic: Larry Cummins
A snow-covered Cork city this morning. Pic: Larry Cummins

Wintry showers should ease off for the rest of the day, but temperatures dipping below freezing again tonight could lead to further disruptions tomorrow morning.

Earlier: Let it snow: Motorists warned to drive carefully as snow hits

Many parts of the country are waking up to snow this morning after wintry showers overnight.

There is a yellow snow-ice warning in place until Saturday.

Met Éireann says there will be widespread frost at night with icy stretches on untreated surfaces.

Traffic battling the snow and sleet on the N71 Cork to West Cork road this morning. Picture: Szymon Landwojtowicz
Traffic battling the snow and sleet on the N71 Cork to West Cork road this morning. Picture: Szymon Landwojtowicz

Met Éireann's John Eagleton says the greatest risk of snow showers will be overnight tomorrow and Thursday.

"The big threat of snow this week remains late on Wednesday night/Thursday," said Mr Eagleton.

"The winds turn easterly and a depression to the south of Ireland injects a lot of moisture into those easterly winds.

"So that's the potential for a good bit of snow."

Tonight will see rain, sleet and snow "affect much of the southern half of the country in strong easterly winds".

That will continue into Thursday with predictions of "strong easterly winds and highs of just 1 to 4 degrees."

AA Roadwatch are warning motorists to take extra caution on the roads this morning.

Drivers are being reminded that it takes up to ten times longer to stop on an icy road.

In affected areas, slow down, keep further back from the vehicle in front and keep all manoeuvres gentle.

Pedestrians are also being asked to take care as paths and roads remain icy and slippery with a risk of black ice.

Dublin Fire Brigade are advising people to "walk like a penguin" - have a nice wide base, toes pointed outwards and take small steps - to wear sensible shoes and keep your hands out of your pockets so you can put them out in you fall.

According to Inner City Helping Homeless up to 80 people are still sleeping rough in Dublin despite the cold weather.

The charity's CEO, Anthony Flynn, has called on for emergency measures from Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

He said: "Although we've seen a 55% reduction in the number of people that are sleeping rough through the Christmas period and into January, we still have up to 80 people a night that are sleeping rough across the capital.

"We are urging with the Minister and pleading with the Minister to introduce contingency plans."

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