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At -12C Carlow is the coldest

IT doesn't get much colder than this. Mercury levels in Co Carlow plunged to a chilly -12C as a snow blizzard left the county a picture-postcard shade of white.

Many locals were grumbling that this was cold like they had never experienced before. And officially they were right.

For when Met Eireann collated its data from weather stations nationwide it emerged that Carlow town was in fact the coldest recorded place in Ireland on Wednesday night.

Its Stevenson screen measurement of air temperatures at Oak Park, in Carlow town, read a freezing -12.1C.

However, the mercury levels would have to drop even further to make it a national record, as the lowest air temperature noted in the 20th century was -18.8C at Lullymore, Co Kildare, on January 2, 1979.

Just weeks after extreme flooding in Co Carlow, the snow blizzard on Wednesday night wreaked havoc on the roads and forced many businesses to shut their doors early.

And in nearby Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, the remains of respected local farmer Dick Moore were transported to and from the church by 4X4, as the road was deemed impassable for a hearse.

His son told the congregation at the requiem Mass that his father, "always a practical man", would have appreciated the need to resort to a more appropriate vehicle.

Meanwhile, Carlow farmers said they were concerned at the problems caused by the big freeze. Local Irish Farmers' Association member, John Brennan, said the priority for farmers was getting feed and water to livestock and dealing with milking machines freezing in the sub-zero temperatures.

Irish Independent