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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 6 December, 2019
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Snow moves west, but transport hampered as big freeze continues

The East gets some respite from snow – which moves west – but freezing temperatures and transport turmoil goes on.

A man feeds seagulls by the River Liffey in central Dublin amid the snow yesterday.
A man feeds seagulls by the River Liffey in central Dublin amid the snow yesterday.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive

THE EAST COAST of Ireland largely escaped any new snowfall last night, as Ireland’s bitterly cold snap shifted to the West – but another bout of sub-zero temperatures has left public transport affected again, and roads and footpaths treacherous.

Dublin city escaped any fresh snowfall, having seen about six hours of uninterrupted snow yesterday afternoon, but overnight lows of -6°C have left footpaths very slippery, with compacted snow turning walkways into woefully slippery ice.

Luas services on both the Green and Red lines have been affected, with the Green line only operating between Sandyford and Beechwood, while the Red line has been curtailed to run between Tallaght and Abbey Street only.

Iarnród Éireann continues to operate its full schedule of services with minimal interruptions, though warns passengers of heavy delays on peak routes due to excessive demand and delays in signalling.

Dublin Bus services are also heavily curtailed, with some routes shortened due to the inaccessibility of housing estates.

Dublin Airport, however, is still open and fully operational, though passengers should still contact their airline to make sure that their destination airport hasn’t been closed.

Things were worse away from the coast, however, with heavy snow in Donegal and around the west. The night’s lowest temperatures were recorded in Carlow, where the Oak Park automated station recorded temperatures of -12°C in the early hours. Amateur readings in Kilkenny, posted on kilkennyweather.com, showed similar temperatures shortly after 4am.

Cork County Council has also backtracked on an earlier indication that it would not permit local farmers to lay grit on secondary roads, after initially saying it required farmers to have undergone health and safety training before it could allow them to do so.

A government emergency committee had earlier said it was permissable for councils to leave communal stocks of salt and grit for local farmers to use as they could, but Cork had originally refused to operate a similar scheme.

The earlier decision had been condemned by the Irish Farmers’ Association, with president John Bryan saying the effects of the cold weather demanded a rethink of the council’s policies.

The prices of cattle at the country’s markets has spiked this week, with many farmers unable to transport livestock meaning that the available supply is severely limited.

The IFA has also warned that a ban on allowing farmers to grit roads near them meant that stocks of milk – which are currently building up at dairies, with transport to processing plants curtailed – could cause a consumer shortage.

Many of the country’s main roads now have limited access, with the N2, N3, M8, and M9 all particularly dangerous, while several junctions on the M50 are also impassible.

Up-to-date weather and transport information can be found on the following websites:

Twitter users can get weather news through TheJournal.ie’s curated ‘Big Freeze’ list.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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