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Dublin: 1 °C Friday 19 January, 2018
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High winds cause flight disruption, tough driving conditions

Several Dublin-bound flights have been diverted to Shannon and Belfast, while there’s snow sticking to road surfaces in counties Cavan and Monaghan.

Image: flight landing via Shutterstock

Updated at 2.47pm

THE STORM SYSTEM passing to the north of the country is continuing to make for tough driving conditions on the nation’s roads this afternoon.

There have also been some flight delays and diversions as a result of the high winds. A number of services scheduled to land at Dublin Airport were diverted to Shannon and Belfast.

The DAA is advising anyone with travel plans or hoping to pick up friends or family members to check with their airline before heading to the airport.

At Cork Airport, flights have been arriving pretty much on schedule, aside from the odd delay. It’s a similar story at Shannon this afternoon.

‘Alert’

An ‘orange alert’ warning from Met Éireann remains in effect, and much of the country experienced high winds overnight and this morning.

Additionally, thousands of people have been left without power, following lightning strikes in the West.

AA Roadwatch has been reporting particularly difficult conditions in the Galway area since early this morning. The M6 Dublin – Galway motorway has also been badly hit, according to the traffic monitoring service:

There are a number of collisions on the M6 Dublin/ Galway Rd around J17 Athenry. GardaÍ may have to close the road again. Slow down on that route.

Gardai are still dealing with a crash on the M6 westbound on the off ramp for J19 Oranmore. Slow down and take extra care. Conditions are very poor on the M6 this afternoon.

Additionally, there’s snow sticking to road surfaces in Cavan Town, and on higher ground around Baileborough and Ballyconnell. In Monaghan, there’s also snow on the road in the Carrickroe and Corcaghan areas.

Warnings

The Road Safety Authority has issued a warning urging drivers to be on the lookout for fallen debris, and for other vehicles swerving to avoid obstructions.

Here are the other main points of advice from the authority:

  • Notify the Gardaí about fallen debris on the roadway. NEVER stop on a motorway to remove debris.
  • Control of a vehicle may be affected by strong cross winds. High sided vehicles, motorcyclists and cyclists are particularly vulnerable to strong winds.
  • Watch out for ‘black ice’, especially in sheltered/shaded areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls.

Gardaí are also warning drivers to take care and ‘arive alive’. Officers have been out in Dublin this morning distributing high-vis gear to pedestrians and cyclists:

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[Image: An Garda Síochána via Twitter]

Trains and buses

Train and bus companies are reporting no major problems as a result of the weather;

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Irish Rail is reminding customers that last trains depart at 9pm. Full service details are available here.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Bus Éireann spokesman John Sheridan said managers were monitoring routes around the country, but that services were running as planned.

He said customers planning a journey later today should be aware that the company is also running an amended schedule, with the last buses timetabled for 9pm.

Dublin Bus is running a limited Saturday service today, with last departures at nine. There will be no Nitelinks.

Ferries

Several ferry crossings planned for today were cancelled as a result of the weather. Operators made the call yesterday, after the storm warning was issued.

All Irish Ferries ‘Swift’ sailings for today are off, with passengers being accommodated on the larger ‘Cruise’ vessel. Sailings between Rosslare and Pembroke for today are also cancelled.

Stena Line cancelled its 2.15am and 8.20am sailings from Dublin Port. The company’s warning that later sailings today may also be subject to delays. Sailings from Rosslare to Fishguard for today are also off.

Outlook

The latest forecast from Met Éireann is for moderating winds, but some wintry and thundery showers, especially in Connacht and Ulster.

The wintry showers will become confined to coastal counties in the north, west and south this evening — with frosty weather settling in tonight, ahead of a cold, dry and bright Christmas Day.

Stormy conditions are expected to return on Friday, and continue into Saturday morning.

First posted at 8am

Read: White Christmas? Snow reported in parts of Ireland today>

Read: About 9,500 homes lost power as wild weather wreaks havoc on Christmas plans>

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