Schools across the country could be forced to close as Ireland braces for the 'Beast from the East'
Schools across the country could be forced to close later in the week as the country braces for heavy snow.
Temperatures will plunge to as low as -10C this week as a vast weather front from the Russian Arctic, dubbed the ‘Beast from the East’, sweeps across Ireland.
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The Government will convene a meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group (NECG) today given the seriousness of the threat posed by the approaching weather system.
The front is set to sweep over Ireland with snow, ice, sleet showers and temperatures as low as -10C – but a wind chill factor will make it feel even colder.
The Department of Education said schools would be monitored daily as snow sweeps across the country.
“In the event of a Status Red warning, decisions are made locally on closures. But the department will follow any advice from the National Emergency Co-ordination Group,” a spokesperson said.
Sean Hogan, chairperson of the National Emergency Committee, told RTÉ Radio one that the objective is to keep schools open.
"When the snow falls now it won't melt away like it did in December. We expect the snow will stay on the ground and cause difficulty for people.
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"We will try keep Ireland moving ... we're not sure what will come and there will be some uncertainty. It will deteriorate from tomorrow and that snow will accumulate. Our job is to prepare for that and make sure all the arrangements are in place."
While schools are open today, Mr Hogan said that schools may close towards the end of the week.
"We will be joined by our education colleagues today (at the National Emergency Committee meeting). Because this is going to vary across the country, individual schools will have to make their own decisions based on advice.
"The Department of Education will attend our meeting and they will pass on advice to the schools and the schools will make their own decision. They will then issue a statement to parents locally about whether schools are open or not.
"Our objective is to try and keep schools open as much as possible until we see what happens on Thursday and Friday. That depends on local conditions."