| 5°C Dublin

No excuse for weather disruption

THE country was still struggling today to cope with the spell of bad weather-- one which had been accurately predicted.

It was perhaps fortunate that many people were not working when much of our public transport system failed to function.

The disruption, however, still caused inconvenience to bus, rail and airline passengers while many of our roads appear to have not been gritted.

While Dublin Airport, which was closed yesterday for several hours, was open today, many people would have been unable to get to their flights because of the condition of roads.

Many more people will take to the roads tomorrow in preparation for a return to work on Monday.

This is the second major snowfall within a year but the question must be asked: are we learning anything from the experience?

It is not good enough, at a time when the economy needs every single boost it can get, that bad weather can cause such havoc.

Authorities will argue it does not make economic sense to invest heavily in snowploughs and other major equipment which might be used only once or twice a year.

Looking back over the past 12 months, even to the causal observer, extreme weather events appear to be getting more common.

We are told the below-freezing temperatures will continue for up to 10 more days.

That does not bode well for next week when businesses re-open fully and children return to school.

Department of the Environment officials should use what is left of the weekend to review their response to a snowfall responsible for such disruption. If it is found wanting, urgent action is needed to prevent even more chaos next week.