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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
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Storm Barra: Schools in Dublin and 11 other counties advised to remain closed

The decision was taken this afternoon following a meeting of the NDFEM.

THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION has said that all schools that are currently or forecast to be in a Red or Orange alert area should remain closed tomorrow. 

Schools in the remainder of the country should operate as normal as storm warnings are gradually eased tonight and into tomorrow. 

The department confirmed this evening that schools in Dublin have also been advised to close after a Status Orange weather warning was issued until 7am tomorrow morning. 

Schools in Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Sligo, Waterford and Wexford are also being asked to remain closed tomorrow.

Under Met Éireann’s current wind warnings, Clare will remain under Status Red until 1am tomorrow before it changes to Orange until 6am.

A Status Orange currently applies in the following counties until 6am tomorrow: Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Mayo, Wexford.

A Status Orange applies in Leitrim and Sligo from 8pm this evening until 8am tomorrow. 

The remainder of the country is under a Status Yellow wind and rain warning until tomorrow at 6pm. 

Schools and colleges in 12 counties under Red and Orange warnings did not open today as a result of the storm, which brought gusts in excess of 140km/h

The decision for schools to remain closed in these counties tomorrow was taken this afternoon following a meeting of the National Directorate Fire and Emergency Management (NDFEM). 

In a statement following that meeting, the Department of Education has said:

The Department is advising that all schools that are currently or forecast to be in a Red or Orange alert area should remain closed tomorrow, 8th December.This will allow for assessment of the impact of Storm Barra to take place.This includes counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Limerick, Clare, Galway, Mayo and Wexford.Schools who are no longer in a Red or Orange Alert area can reopen provided, if there are concerns, school managers have had an opportunity to check for fallen wires and other serious damage in the vicinity of school buildings.If an individual school (in a Yellow area) is still experiencing a particular local issue relating to the storm the Board of Management can make a decision to remain closed for tomorrow.All schools should keep up-to-date with the current weather warnings which are carried on all national and local news bulletins and in particular any change in the status warning for their area.

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris says the advice to close also applies to third-level facilities in the affected counties. 

School closures 

Speaking earlier this evening, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien defended the government’s decision to close schools today.

“I would say that we followed the advice and I think rightly so, and we erred on the side of caution,” he told RTÉ radio.

“I am certain we were right to do that. All parts of the country experienced this storm to different levels, but we followed the best of advice.

“I firmly believe Government made the correct decision that may have led to some disruption with some people, and obviously that’s not something that we want to do.

“But first and foremost, children’s safety and students’ safety, and that indeed of our educators, is absolutely paramount.”

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