'It's not safe for the parents and pupils'
PERCHED on a snowy hill outside Tralee, Co Kerry, Listellick National School is a winter wonderland.
But the pretty scene belies hidden dangers lurking around the 215-pupil school after weather conditions not witnessed for almost 50 years.
The roads on which pupils and teachers must travel are treacherous, the school yard is covered in menacing ice and a frozen pipe has stopped the flow of water to the taps.
"The question of opening this week or not is a health and safety issue," principal Micheal O Cinneide told the Irish Independent.
With more snow forecast, Michael says next Monday is the earliest he could consider re-opening the school for the new term.
Problems became evident on Saturday night when a frozen pipe burst.
"We have been running the heating system continuously for 36 hours to try to thaw the pipes but there is still no water flowing through the taps in the toilets, although the toilets are working.
"And when the pipes do thaw, I don't know whether we will discover another leak," Michael added.
He said a lot of parents would have to drive cars on icy side roads to get their children to school and the school itself was also on a side road.
"I managed to get to the school today, but one of my big fears is parents and teachers travelling on these roads and bringing children in; it is not safe."