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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 19 October, 2018
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Schools to 'remain vigilant', parks and heritage sites to close as Ireland braces for arrival of Storm Callum

A Status Orange warning takes effect in 13 counties tonight as gusts of up to 130 km/h are expected along Irish coasts.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE GOVERNMENT HAS said it is carefully monitoring the development of Storm Callum as it warned the public to be aware of local conditions in their area.

The National Emergency Coordination Group convened at 3pm to discuss potential measures to be taken for the storm, with gusts of up to 130 km/h expected along Irish coasts tonight.

A Status Orange wind warning takes effect from 10pm for Cork and Kerry, and from 12.01am in Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Dublin, Louth, Wexford, Wicklow, Meath and Waterford.

In a statement this evening, the Government said the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management severe weather team was working with Met Éireann and the Office of Public Works to monitor and track the developing storm.

The Department of Housing said crisis management teams and local coordination groups have been activated in coastal counties affected by the warning, and that local authorities were actively monitoring the situation.

Local authorities have been contacted to put arrangements in place to ensure the safety of rough sleepers.

A number of extra emergency beds have been made available, while outreach teams have been mobilised to engage with those sleeping on the streets.

The Department warned the public to stay away from coastal areas for the duration of the warning, and urged motorists to drive with caution and stay away from flooded areas.

It added that the NECG will meet again tomorrow at 10am to review the impact of Storm Callum and to coordinate a response if necessary.

Relevant authorities and agencies will continue to monitor and respond to the situation throughout the night.

Parks

This afternoon, the Office of Public Works announced the closure of a number of heritage sites until site checks were carried out following the storm.

They include the Garden of Remembrance, Arbour Hill Cemetery, Grangegorman Military Cemetery, and the People’s Gardens in Phoenix Park in Dublin, as well as Donegal Castle and Garnish Island and Derrynane House in Kerry.

The Department of Arts, Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht also announced that Wicklow Mountains National Park and Woodland Nature Reserves in Wicklow, Wexford and Kilkenny would also be closed to the public.

Visitors are also asked not to visit Killarney National Park, Cork and Kerry Nature Reserves – including Glengarriff Nature Reserve – for duration of the Status Orange warning in Cork and Kerry.

Coole-Garryland Nature Reserve, Derryclare Nature Reserve Diamond Hill, Ellis Wood Trail, Knockma Wood and Laughil Wood in Galway, Oldhead Wood and Wild Nephin/Ballycroy National Park in Mayo and Dromore Nature Reserve in Clare will also remain closed.

Meanwhile, the Cliffs of Moher visitor centre announced the attraction would be closed tomorrow.

Schools

Some local authorities have already closed roads and started to distribute sandbags in preparation for the storm.

In a statement, the Department of Education warned schools and all education centres in affected areas to remain vigilant and aware of updates from Met Éireann, local authorities, radio stations and gardaí.

“In all events, and if in any doubt, schools should err on the side of caution. Schools are empowered to make closure decisions if, in their judgment in the interests of child safety, it is prudent to do so,” it said.

“Any and all decisions about school closures will be informed by, as well as prevailing and predicted conditions, any damage that might have been caused to school buildings overnight or at any time during the storm, and whether such damage – where it exists – might present a risk to child safety.”

Meanwhile, the Commission for Aviation Regulation has said that passengers scheduled to fly into or out of Irish airports tomorrow may experience some disruption due to high winds.

And the ESB has also said it is on alert for any damage and power outages that may occur as a result of the storm.

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