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Monday 12 November 2018

Warning to slow down after fatal road crash in Arctic conditions

A robin perches on a branch in snowy Lucan. Photo: Collins
A robin perches on a branch in snowy Lucan. Photo: Collins

Laura Lynott

More snow is expected to hit Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, as drivers are being warned to slow down to avoid accidents after a fatal collision and series of mini-crashes.

An orange warning was issued by Met Éireann as the mercury last night dipped into sub-zero temperatures once again. The warning won't be lifted until at least midday.

A status yellow wind warning was in effect for Munster, Leinster and Galway, with 110kmh winds expected across many counties. This alert was in place until 3am today.

Met Éireann said it expected rain to turn to sleet and snow in the north of the country, making road conditions difficult for commuters and parents on the school run.

Conor Faughnan, AA director of consumer affairs, asked drivers to slow down, increase stopping distances and avoid travel if unnecessary.

Mr Faughnan said he urged caution for all road users, including pedestrians at risk on icy pavements.

"Unfortunately there was a fatality on the M7 on Tuesday night near Nenagh on the road from Dublin to Limerick and the motorway was closed," he said. "And there was another significant crash on the motorway near Galway just east of the city on Tuesday night.

"We won't know what caused these crashes for some time but we must remind drivers in these conditions to slow down and increase their stopping distances.

"Black ice is a real danger. It isn't visible to the eye, so if you're driving too fast for the road conditions, you could skid out of control."

Mr Faughnan called on motorway users to drive well below the 120kmh maximum speed limit and said it was vital for drivers to increase stopping distances.

He also warned that hilly northern routes, secondary roads and roads within housing estates may not be gritted and therefore posed a particular danger.

After the storm on Tuesday night, power was last night restored to 1,600 farms and businesses in Cavan and Monaghan and efforts were being made to reconnect around 400 other properties.

Main roads in the Midlands were gritted but secondary routes were said to be icy.

And the Sally Gap and areas around the Wicklow Mountains were very icy.

Fairyhouse racecourse in Meath was forced to close down yesterday after an inch of snow. Last night's race meeting was rescheduled for February 14.

There were a number of minor crashes yesterday, but no injuries were reported.

A total of 200 schools were closed in Northern Ireland. And the Met Office in the UK issued an amber weather warning with travel disruption and interrupted power across communities.

Irish Independent

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