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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 24 February, 2020

Met Éireann says it is 'looking at ways' to include Northern Ireland in future weather alerts

Warnings for Northern Ireland are currently covered by the UK Met Office.

The current Status Yellow warning is only valid for counties in the Republic of Ireland
The current Status Yellow warning is only valid for counties in the Republic of Ireland

MET ÉIREANN HAS confirmed that it is considering the inclusion of counties north of the border when it issues national weather warnings in future.

It follows calls for the national forecaster to include Northern Ireland when it issues weather alerts, with warnings currently valid for areas in the Republic of Ireland only.

While localised Met Éireann forecasts cover the entire island of Ireland, warnings for Northern Ireland are covered by the UK Met Office.

However, a spokesman for Department of Housing on behalf of the forecaster said today that it is was “looking at ways” to incorporate alerts issued by its UK counterpart for the six counties in future.

“Warnings are essential to advise people of forecasted severe weather, help protect life and property and as such need to be issued with a single authoritative voice,” the spokesman said, adding that the current system was developed in line with best practice.

The news was welcomed by Sinn Féin senator Niall Ó Donnghaile, the party’s spokesman on North-South Integration, who said that warnings should “know no borders” because weather did not either.

“The absence of weather warnings for the North being included on their public output … has caused much controversy and frustration in recent times,” he said.

“Not least given the increasing levels of adverse weather events which are becoming a worryingly more regular reality for people.

“All we needed here was some ‘Blue Sky Thinking’ and credit to Met Éireann who have today indicated they are up for that.”

Ó Donnghaile added that it was important that public services should accurately reflect situations across the entire island of Ireland, particularly at a time that people were “deeply concerned” about the return of a border on the island.

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