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Sunday 22 April 2018

Snow forces runway closure

Flights were delayed today as heavy snowfall shut down Dublin Airport's main runway.

Passengers were warned to contact their airlines before travelling to the airport as the cold snap continued to wreak havoc on the country's transport system.

The main runway was reopened around 7.30am after a quick succession of heavy snowfalls forced its temporary closure overnight.

A Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) spokeswoman said: "Delays are expected to the flight schedule today and passengers intending to travel should consult their airline or airline's website before coming to the airport."

Gardai also urged drivers not to make any unnecessary trips as forecasters predicted temperatures will plummet again to as low as minus 10C by this evening.

Met Eireann has issued a weather warning of further snowfall of between 3cm and 10cm in many parts of Leinster, as well as east Munster.

Higher ground is expected to be worst affected, with the risk of some local drifting.

Ground frost will persist during the day and will be severe by this evening, leaving ice on untreated surfaces.

Bus Eireann said a number of its bus routes have been affected.

Hundreds of schools around the country were closed yesterday for a second day as the heavy snowfall settled.

Catherine Byrne, Fine Gael spokeswoman for older citizens, called on communities and the wider public to pay careful attention to the needs of their older neighbours during the period of cold weather.

The Defence Forces said troops were giving assistance to hospice, health and meals on wheels services in Dublin, Cork, Wexford, Kildare and Galway city and county.

Ferry services were also delayed or cancelled.

AA Roadwatch warned fresh and compacted snow was a major problem in the Leinster and south-east regions, with icy stretches in the south-west, west and north-west.

Conditions were treacherous in some areas.

Volunteers at Muintir na Tire were on hand to support older and more vulnerable members of communities who may be housebound during the cold snap on 086 600 0751.

In Cork, soldiers in 4x4 vehicles and some using snow chains, were transporting patients from Cork University hospital to Cobh. Nurses were being taken to work from isolated areas in parts of Galway and Cork.

Home help staff, community nurses and medicines were being transported to patients in remote hilly areas of Wexford and around Galway, while troops were on standby to assist doctors on call in Wicklow.

Support was being given to palliative care nurses and medicines to isolated patients attending Harolds Cross, St Francis , Mulingar and Drogheda Hospices.

And soldiers were also assisting in the delivery of hot meals to the elderly in Balbriggan, Co Dublin, and Athlone.

Dublin Bus said that due to adverse weather conditions there had been some diversions and curtailments, while Bus Eireann said services around the country were operating as per normal with some delays and diversions in affected areas.

"School closures combined with weather and road conditions, particularly on secondary and minor roads, are also likely to result in some disruption to school transport services in affected areas," said a spokesman.

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