School closures extended as Storm Emma hits hard

Schools and colleges in Louth and further afield are to remain closed

Barry Landy

Reporter:

Barry Landy

Email:

barry@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Leaving Cert 2017 Dundalk : Happy faces at The Marist

The Marist in Dundalk is among the schools that will remain closed for the rest of the week.

Schools in Dundalk, Louth and across the rest of Leinster and Munster will remain closed for Thursday and Friday as Storm Emma hits the east coast of Ireland. 

The Department of Education have confirmed that all schools, colleges and educational institutes will remain closed for the remainder of the week at least as heavy snow falls in the region. Met Éireann have issued a Status Red weather warning, which currently extends to Friday at midday. 

That may be extended further depending on how the weather develops. 

"Given the disruption to transport and the safety risks arising, most particularly in relation to the ability to get home safely before blizzard like conditions hit Munster and Leinster, all schools, third level institutions, colleges and centres of further education in red areas will be closed tomorrow and Friday," a statement read. 

Prior to this announcement, Education Minister Richard Bruton confirmed that schools could make their own decisions to open or close but as people woke up to the snowfall and Status Red warning today - and with bus services not running - all schools closed their doors. 

Now, the decision has been taken for them by the Government. The move has not come as a surprise given the severity of the weather so far and that is expected to come. 

Blizzard like conditions will develop in heavy snow and strong easterly winds on Thursday evening, Met Éireann say and will continue Thursday night and Friday morning giving significant snow drifts in many areas. 

5cm to 10cm of snow fell overnight and it is expected that 25cm could be on the ground in many areas by Thursday. 

This is the second time in this academic year that schools in Ireland have had to shut it's doors to pupils and students due to a Status Red weather warning, after Storm Ophelia hit in October.