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The National Emergency Coordination Group meeting with Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien.
Cold Snap

Cold snap: Schools and public transport to operate as normal but icy conditions to remain until Friday

A Status Orange low temperature and ice warning for the entire country will run from 5pm until 12 noon tomorrow.

LAST UPDATE | 11 Dec 2022

SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC transport will continue to operate as normal while icy conditions persist across the country throughout the coming week, according to the government. 

The National Emergency Coordination Group convened a meeting today with the Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to assess the impact of the current cold snap. 

Met Éireann and all governmental departments were in attendance to decide what action may need to be taken in relation to the current severe weather. 

Following today’s meeting, a statement from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage said public transport system continues to operate as normal and that the public are advised to monitor transport providers websites and social media channels for updates.

It also confirmed schools are to remain open as normal this week.

Widespread gritting is to continue, as well as ploughing where necessary, while Local councils have activated their winter maintenance plans.

Speaking after today’s meeting, Minister O’Brien said: “We will continue to monitor the ongoing weather conditions and ensure that all arms of the state are responding speedily and appropriately to meet any challenges.

“I would advise everybody to monitor national and local media, including social media, over the coming days to keep up to date with information regarding the developing weather situation. 

“Above all, make sure you stay warm and safe and keep in touch with vulnerable or elderly neighbours.”

He added: “The message to people is that life will go on as normal, everything will remain open, but we just want people to remain careful, especially on the road”.

O’Brien added that emergency plans have been “up and running for the past couple of days” and that he is confident that essential services will be provided.

He also dismissed the likelihood of a Status Red warning and said supply to the energy grid is stable and that he has received a “positive outlook” from EirGrid and Gas Networks Ireland.

Minister O’Brien was also asked about the situation regarding asylum seekers in tented accommodation.

As of Friday, close to 100 international protection applicants were being housed in tented accomodation in Knockalisheen, Co Clare.

In response, Minister O’Brien said: “In relation to the situation with regard to those seeking international protection, including the instance in Clare, those families and those individuals have been moved out and will not be staying in the temporary sheltered accommodation this evening.

“We discussed that at the meeting and alternative accommodation is being sought. They will not be sleeping in the sheltered accommodation this evening or for the rest of the week.”


A Status Orange low temperature and ice warning for the entire country will run from 5pm today until 12 noon tomorrow.

The forecaster is warning that a severe frost and further icy stretches will set in tonight, accompanied by patches of freezing fog, with temperatures likely to fall below -5 degrees in many areas.

A Status Yellow low temperature / ice warning has also been extended until 12 noon on Friday, 16 December. 

Met Éireann said possible impacts include treacherous conditions on paths and roads, travel disruption, potential for burst water pipes and damage to engines, and increased risks to vulnerable members of the community.

A Status Yellow warning for snow was in place until 12 noon today for Dublin, Kildare, and Wicklow, while a similar warning will come into place for Donegal and Mayo tonight. 

The Status Yellow ice and snow warning for Donegal and Mayo will run from 11.30pm tonight to 12 noon tomorrow and substantial levels of snow is expected over high ground while snow showers will lead to accumulations in places.

Meanwhile, a Status Yellow ice warning is also in place until 11am this morning in the North in counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, and Derry.

Elsewhere, the winter weather advisory for the country has been extended until 12 noon on Wednesday.

Met Éireann predicts that it will remain very cold into the middle of next week due to an Arctic airmass, bringing sharp to severe frosts, and ice or black ice on roads and footpaths.

Some showers of hail, sleet, and snow will also occur, mainly in coastal counties and freezing fog is likely at times.

Meanwhile, Dublin Airport said this morning that “the first wave of departures has taken off successfully without any delays.”

Airlines have also advised they “expect to operate a normal schedule today with a minimum of cancellations”. 

More than 50 flights were cancelled yesterday, while over 140 were cancelled on Friday. 

However, Dublin Airport is advising passengers that they “should continue to check the status of their flight with their airline in advance of travel”.

However, Aer Lingus has warned that it is “experiencing challenges with our London Heathrow operation due to freezing fod conditions there”. 

As a result, some London Heathrow services have been cancelled and those travelling to Heathrow are advised to expect delays. 

All Aer Lingus customers have been advised to check the status of their flight before travelling to the airport.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has advised motorists to keep abreast of local and national weather forecasts before setting out on a journey.

Motorists should carry a screen scraper and de-icer to clear their windows and mirrors before undertaking any travel.

However, hot water should not be applied to the windscreen as it can crack the glass, the RSA said. 

Freezing fog and black ice advice

It offered the following advice for fog and freezing fog conditions expected over the coming days:

  • In patches of fog, switch on fog lights where visibility is reduced. As you enter fog, check your mirrors and slow down. Use your foot brake lightly so that your lights warn following drivers.
  • To prevent windscreen wipers from freezing and seizing up in freezing fog, add anti-freeze screen washer to the water tank. Check that the wipers for wear and tear and replace them if they are.
  • Do not drive on the tail-lights of the vehicle in front. This can give a false sense of security and you will be too close to be able to brake safely. In heavy fog, turn off your radio and let down your driver’s window a fraction, so as you can hear other traffic.
  • Remember to switch off your fog lights once the foggy conditions improve.

The RSA has also offered this advice for black ice:

  • If the road looks polished or glossy it could be black ice. Often difficult to see, it is nearly transparent ice that often looks like a harmless puddle or is overlooked entirely. It can occur especially in sheltered / shaded areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls.
  • In icy conditions manoeuvre gently, slow down and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Too much steering is bad and avoid harsh braking and acceleration. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends.
  • Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and allow extra space when overtaking them.

Additional reporting by Eoghan Dalton

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