Updated: 01/03/18 : 05:20:32
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All schools shut as ‘red alert’ now covers Sligo

By Eugene McGloin

ALL SCHOOLS in Sligo and surrounding counties will now stay shut Thursday and Friday.

The total shutdown covers primary, secondary and Third Level colleges in the town and county.

It follows the decision at 11pm Wednesday night to extend the official,‘red alert’ to all parts of the country. The alert will remain in place until 3pm Friday.

Met Éireann has also warned that the alert could kick in earlier than mid afternoon, as previously suggested.

Warning Summary

The Met’s ‘Red Alert’ system can be summarized in a few words, namely: The event is rare, severe.....and stay indoors from 4pm today.

The late, late revision last night on the red alert for snow/ice almost certainly means no trains or national bus services will depart Sligo this morning.

Some Government departments posted notices on the internet late last night and early today advising the public that all appointments were cancelled.

Mail deliveries and supplies are now also likely to be affected in this area.

Consumers with access to the internet are advised to check power outage details on the ESB Network site.

Power faults should be reported to 1850 372 999 or 00353 21 238 2410.

Previously, only Munster and Leinster had been designated on ‘Red Alert’ for today’s national weather warning. 

The new national alert cover the period from 11pm last night to 3pm Friday.

Blizzard conditions, with snow and driving wind, are also expected across Ireland both Thursday and Friday.

Snow accumulations of up to 25 cm will hit some areas over the next 36 hours.

This could arise when the (new) Storm Emma meets the Arctic air mass from Siberia, already here.

Not all areas will experience showers, said Met Éireann meteorologist Joanna Donnelly early this morning.

 Met’s forecast for today says: “Further heavy snow showers will bring accumulations of significant levels with all areas at risk.

“Blizzard conditions will develop from the south Thursday afternoon and evening as heavy snow.

“Strong easterly winds bring snow drifts northwards over the country. Eastern and southern coastal counties will be worst affected,” warns Met.

Stay Indoors

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has also urged all people to stay indoors during the ‘Red Alert’ period.

It is now expected that opening hours for all local businesses and public offices in Sligo will be severely curtailed from early today.

Sligo got several light dustings of hail yesterday, which also seemed to kill the icy cold, but temperatures continued their plummet to minus before teatime.

Old Proverb

The ‘red alert’ upgrade overnight certainly gives new meaning to the old proverb about March — ‘in like a lion, out like a lamb.’

It also coincides closely with the first of the month’s two full moons due at nine minutes to 1am tomorrow, March 2nd

There was no full moon in February, while March will have a Blue Moon.

Full moons have no proven effect on weather but where they coincide with high tides can cause flooding issues.

Finally, RTÉ will broadcast its main radio talk shows today with television pictures.

UPDATES: Essential update will be published on this page throughout the 'Red Alert' period

All Bus Eireann services cancelled.

Limited Irish Rail services in operation

Schools, third level institutions and colleges of further education countrywide will remain closed for the rest of the week.

Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann have cancelled all services today.

Flights are also expected to be severely restricted and intending passengers are advised to check their airlines operating schedules online before travelling to the airport.

The Health Service Executive is also advising people with hospital or healthcare appointments to contact facilities before making unnecessary journeys.

Useful Contacts (courtesy of RTÉ)

With extreme weather conditions forecast for much of the country this week, here are some useful contact numbers and websites:


Road Safety Authority Tel: 096 25000/Lo-Call: 1890 40 60 40 

AA Roadwatch

Weather updates


Bus Éireann - Tel: 1850 836 611 08.30 – 18.00 daily

Dublin Bus - Tel: 01 8734222

Iarnród Éireann - Tel: 01 8366222

Luas - Tel: 1850 300 604 or 01 4614911

Dart - Tel: 01 8366222

Transport Infrastructure Ireland - Motorway incident line: 0818 715 100



Irish Ferries - Tel: 0818 300 400/818 300 400

  • Dublin Port - Tel: 0818 310 100/818 310 100
  • Rosslare Port: Tel: 053 913 3158/053 913 3158

Stena Line - Tel: 01 907 5300 when travelling to Britain or to or from France

  • Tel: +44 (0) 8705 755 755 when travelling to or from Ireland, Scotland or Holland

Brittany Ferries - Tel: 021 427 7801/021 427 7801

  • Cork Ringaskiddy Port Tel: 021 437 8401


ESB - To report an outage Tel: 1850 372 999/021 2382410

Gas Networks Ireland - Emergency Line Tel: 1850 20 50 50

Irish Water supply and service updates - Tel: 1850 278 278


In an emergency dial 999 or 112

Mountain Rescue


Department of Education

Schools - Contact local schools