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Hillwalkers warned of avalanches in Wicklow Mountains

The Wicklow Mountains and Ireland's other high peaks could be hit by avalanches in the coming days, Mountain Rescue Ireland has warned.

The rescue service said some walkers and climbers are not aware of the dangers they face in the Alpine-style weather conditions at present.

It follows an incident on Sunday, where several people were escorted off Carrauntoohill in Kerry, who would not otherwise have made it down safely.

Mountain Rescue warned all hillwalkers and climbers that going up any Irish mountain in current weather conditions is essentially "Alpine winter mountaineering".

And Mountaineering Ireland chairman Ruairi O'Conchuir said that high peaks in counties Wicklow, Down, Mayo, Galway, Kerry and Donegal should all be avoided.


The warnings came as Met Eireann today issued a severe weather warning with up to 5cm of snow predicted to fall in east Leinster.

Mountain Rescue Ireland represents 12 voluntary mountain rescue teams in Ireland, many of which have been very busy carrying out rescues during the festive holiday period.

Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Service have carried out several rescues in the Sally Gap area and around Glencree since the freezing weather began.

Mountain rescue teams (MRTs) say they are unable to recover vehicles stranded in the snow but have rescued many walkers and motorists since the big freeze started.

Dublin and Wicklow MRT have also responded 11 times in 10 days to reports of drivers getting stuck on the Military Road, which links Dublin and Wicklow through the Sally Gap junction.