Severe weather conditions will grip country until end of week
SEVERE weather conditions could continue to wreak havoc across the country in the coming days, with heavy snow falls and thunder storms expected into the middle of the week.
Met Eireann anticipates further snow showers across the country with coastal areas in Connacht, Ulster and Leinster bearing the brunt of the extreme conditions, with thundery showers also expected throughout the country.
Single figure daytime temperatures coupled with freezing night temperatures are expected to persist throughout the week with a further accumulation of snow nationwide.
Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey, who was controversially on holiday in Malta last winter during the most extreme weather conditions, insisted that he has no plans to leave the country this time.
"You have to learn from your mistakes, maybe I'll go somewhere after Christmas," he said when he hosted a media briefing on the downturn in the weather at the Department of Transport office in Kildare Street, Dublin, yesterday morning.
The severe conditions have already led to 30 flights being delayed at Dublin Airport as well as delays to Bus Eireann and DART services. Lightening directly struck a pedestrian bridge at Blackrock DART Station causing minor damage and delays yesterday.
Further delays are anticipated on bus and train services over the coming days.
A spokesperson for the Dublin Airport Authority said that although some flights were cancelled earlier in the
day due to ice on the runway, staff at the airport are on standby and will continue work to prevent further flight delays.
However, passengers are urged to contact their airline before travelling to the airport.
The Department of Transport has rolled out 300 new snowploughs to clear clogged roadways. More than 55,000 tonnes of grit has been acquired by the department this year, as they aim to avoid the shortages encountered last year after the bad weather.
However, motorists coming to Dublin early yesterday claimed that the two main arteries, the M1 and the M2, had not been gritted on Friday night, leading to delays on both routes.
Sporting fixtures have also been hit. Racing at Fairyhouse scheduled for today was postponed until Thursday after three inches of snow fell on the course. The Leinster Club SHC Final between Oulart-The-Ballagh and O'Loughlin Gaels scheduled for Carlow has been called off, as has the Ulster Club SFC between Crossmaglen and Glenties.