Saturday 23 March 2019

Storm Emma: All schools may not re-open Monday

Having fun in North Dublin as storm Emma hits Ireland
Pic:Mark Condren
Having fun in North Dublin as storm Emma hits Ireland Pic:Mark Condren
Snow this morning in Coollattin Co. Wicklow. Photo: Bill Nolan
A woman man walks her dog along the banks of the Royal Canal in Drumcondra, Dublin as the severe weather conditions continue Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Snow drifts on the Fagan Farm in Gartlandstown, Co Westmeath. Photo: John Fagan
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

All schools may not be able to re-open on Monday because of the ongoing disruption caused by weather.

While the worst of the blizzard may have passed, predictions of further snow, ice and low temperatures around the country will mean a slow return to safe conditions in many areas.

Rural schools in the regions worst hit by the extreme weather events are most at risk of a delayed return.

Advice to schools to keep their heating on during this week’s closure will have minimised the risk of frozen pipes, but some secondary roads may be impassable on Monday, at least.

Séamus Mulconry, general secretary of the Catholic Primary School Management Association (CPSMA), which represents 90pc of the country’s 3,200 primary schools, said: ”I  don’t think we will really know until Sunday what the outlook is for Monday and whether a principal can make an informed call”.

As blizzard-like conditions approached Ireland, the Department of Education directed all schools, as well as third-level institutions and colleges of further education, to close for yesterday and today.

However, depending on how the weather situation evolves today and over the weekend, the Department may leave it to individual schools in certain areas to make their own decisions about whether to re-open on Monday.

A Department spokesperson said the situation was being monitored and they expected to be in a better position on Saturday about the position for Monday.

Leinster, Munster and Galway remain under “red” alert today, while there is a Status Orange warning in place for the rest of the country.

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