By Eoin English
Experienced civil defence volunteers have advised people to stay off the roads across West Cork.
Driving conditions are treacherous, they said, with deep snow and potentially lethal drifts, and there are also reports of dozens of abandoned cars on various regional and local roads across the region.
Civil Defence officer John Kearney said he has never seen such challenging road conditions in the region.
"We're focusing on supporting the front line services," he said."We recommend not venturing out on the roads as it is extremely challenging. Extreme caution is advised and be aware that conditions are not suitable to go out."
He is among dozens of Civil Defence volunteers and vehicles who have been deployed in the region today to help local GPs and HSE ambulance crews during the extreme weather.
They had to come to the assistance of a pregnant woman near Kinsale last night after she went into labour.
An ambulance couldn't reach her home and Civil Defence volunteers had to use a jeep, and then travel by foot, to reach her home.
They managed to transfer her to the ambulance, which then took to her Cork University Maternity Hospital.
This morning, members of the Cork South Civil Defence unit were called to assist an ambulance crew whose vehicle had become trapped in deep snow near Riverstick.
They were on route to a patient when the vehicle became trapped. The Civil Defence crews used their jeep to tow it free.