More snow on way -- but end in sight
LARGE parts of the country -- including the north-west, south and midlands -- will be hit with snow and sleet today but the big freeze is coming to an end.
Met Eireann said the weather would get warmer over the coming days as a "decent thaw" begins. But it will still be cold.
Tonight is expected to fall to -8C in some places, rising to -1C or -2C by tomorrow.
Yesterday was another day of bitterly cold weather, with disruption to public transport services and the closure of Belfast and a number of regional airports. Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann operated most services, with some diversions.
Luas, DART, commuter and intercity trains ran but some services were delayed.
Almost 5,000 householders were without telephone and broadband, and parts of Meath, Kildare and Waterford were inaccessible for technicians.
There was a major improvement in Dublin where footpaths were largely clear of ice, but Louth, Monaghan, Cavan and Meath remained bitterly cold.
Dublin Bus stopped operating services from 9pm because of the conditions, but the M3 Parkway to Clonsilla rail service resumed after being cancelled for three days. Traffic was down to one lane on some motorways including the M7, M4 and M6.The Royal Canal froze.
Ice and black ice remained a major problem in parts of Wicklow, Wexford and Carlow, while housing estates in Kilkenny and Waterford remained under snow.
At one point yesterday morning, temperatures were as low as -6C in south Wicklow.
Motorists faced nightmarish conditions throughout Cork due to ice-covered roads and freezing fog, with conditions very bad in Cloyne, Cobh, Douglas, Rochestown, Bantry, Coppeen and Rosscarbery.
Back roads around Watergrasshill were described as treacherous as temperatures remained at -8C as late at 10am.
Part of the M7 motorway at Birdhill in Tipperary was closed in the morning after a four-car collision. Freezing fog and black ice meant driving conditions remained dangerous in Limerick and Clare, and there were several minor collisions.
A number of schools closed in Limerick, which has escaped the brunt of the bad weather.
Council crews were out fixing four serious leaks across Galway city after dozens of households were left without water. Road conditions remained dangerous, particularly on the Monivea and Headford roads.
Roads in Mayo around Westport, Swinford and Knock were described as treacherous.
Snow hit parts of Donegal yesterday and, while all main roads were passable, motorists were asked to avoid driving if possible.
Sligo was cold, and while roads had been treated they were re-freezing.
Just over 15cm of snow fell in Derry in just two hours.
Dozens of school bus routes were withdrawn as dense fog and ice meant roads were unsafe to travel.
Westmeath and Kildare were still very dangerous, and just one lane of the M4/M6 motorway was open to traffic because of ice.