Heavy snowfall closes runway

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 (four inches) 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.

© Press Association