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Dublin: 20°C Tuesday 15 June 2021

Shatter says Government is prepared for 'unpredictable' Irish winter

At the start of this winter 210,000 tonnes of salt will be available and are strategically located across the country.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE MINISTER FOR Justice has confirmed that all relevant Government Departments and Agencies are prepared for this winter – although he noted that Irish weather is typically “unpredictable”.

Speaking at the launch of the ‘Be Winter-Ready’ 2012 – 2012 Information Campaign as Chairman of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning he said that the winter of 2010 will be long remembered “as the year of severe cold, snow and ice but last winter, by contrast, was very mild”.

He noted that more recent severe weather this summer was characterised by heavy rainfall and consequent flooding, particularly affecting the Cork area. “This demonstrates the unpredictability of Irish weather and the need to be prepared but I must emphasise that severe weather events in Ireland are not common place,” he said.

The Minister insisted that sufficient resources we being provided this winter, including supplies of salt to treat roads – with 210,000 tonnes of salt being made available at strategic points across the country from the beginning of the season. This compares to just 130,000 tonnes used during the very severe winter of 2010/2011.

He noted that, in advance of severe weather events, local Councils will publish on their websites the priority routes being treated.

Shatter said that emergency plans are in place and regularly updated, while local authorities also have winter maintenance plans in place for the coming winter.

Within my own Department the Civil Defence and the Defence Forces are equipped, trained and regularly exercised to the highest levels to be able to provide support to the Civil Authorities, when required.
Civil Defence has a fleet of 151 4X4 vehicles, water pumping equipment in each Local Authority unit, 10 welfare trailer units serving each Local Authority region and recently acquired pontoons all in addition to an active membership of 4,469 Volunteer members ready and willing to assist Gardaí, Local Authorities and the HSE countrywide.

Read: Baby, it’s about to get cold outside>

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