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Dublin: 9°C Friday 23 October 2020

Bus Éireann cancels school service as Status Red warning issued over storm Ophelia

The state bus service said that it would not be operating the school bus routes in Cork, Kerry, Clare, Mayo and Galway.

Hurricane Ophelia.
Hurricane Ophelia.
Image: Nasa

Updated at 7.20pm

BUS ÉIREANN HAS cancelled its school bus service for a number of counties on Monday as Met Éireann have issued a Status Red weather warning over incoming Storm Ophelia.

The state bus service said that it would not be operating the school bus routes in Cork, Kerry, Clare, Mayo and Galway (the counties affected by the Status Red warning) on Monday.

“Yesterday, Bus Éireann contacted parents, school management bodies and school transport contractors by email to inform them that this situation may arise,” Bus Éireann said in a statement.

This decision is guided by Met Éireann’s Status Red weather warning, which advises that ‘action is taken’ to protect against the possible effects of severe weather.

It said that many of the 116,000 children who use the school transport scheme daily make their way to pick up points to board the bus.

These can be on minor roads which can be exposed to the severe conditions. Bus Éireann said it wanted to eliminate any risk that might result from this.

In a statement, the Department of Education and Skills said it had been informed of Bus Éireann’s decision.

“Ensuring the safety of children, teachers and all those who work in schools is of the utmost importance to the Department,” it said.

“There are clear guidelines for schools in the event of a status-red weather alert concerning wind.

“These guidelines advise schools in the affected area/s are advised to consider remaining closed.

School managers are advised to remain vigilant, and keep themselves appraised of any updates from Met Eireann, the Garda Siochana, and other relevant response agencies.

Services are set to resume on Tuesday.


Met Éireann issued the warning as Hurricane Ophelia transitions into a post-tropical storm and is expected to make landing in Ireland on Monday.

The warning issued for counties Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork and Kerry will kick in at 9am on Monday.

The warning is in place between then and 3am Tuesday morning.

Met Éireann said that Hurricane Ophelia is expected to transition to a post tropical storm as it approaches our shores on Monday bringing severe winds and stormy conditions.

“Mean wind speeds in excess of 80 km/h and gusts in excess of 130km/h are expected, potentially causing structural damage and disruption, with dangerous marine conditions due to high seas and potential flooding,” the weather service said.

A Status Orange wind warning has been issued for the rest of the country.

Mean wind speeds between 65 and 80 km/h with gusts between 110 and 130km/h are expected, however some inland areas may not be quite as severe.

ezgif.com-optimize Hurricane Ophelia Source: Nasa/Twitter

Weekend weather 

The country will see unseasonable warmth this weekend ahead of Ophelia’s arrival.

The weekend will be warm and wet in places.

Many areas will become dry during the day with some bright or sunny spells – mainly in the midlands and east.

However, Met Éireann says patches of rain, drizzle and fog will persist in some places, mainly along south, west and northwest coasts. It’ll be very mild in many areas, especially in the east, with highest temperatures of 16 to 20 degrees.

Tomorrow will see persistent rain becoming heavy in places.

With reporting from Paul Hosford

Read: Ex-Hurricane Ophelia won’t get a new name on this side of the Atlantic – here’s why

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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