Minister urges people to check on vulnerable neighbours as low temperature warnings issued

Minister urges people to check on vulnerable neighbours as low temperature warnings issued

MINISTER Darragh O'Brien has urged people in Ireland to check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours with the country under a low temperature warning.

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage was speaking after a meeting this morning with the National Emergency Coordination Group (NECG).

The group will meet every day this week with an arctic air mass set to remain over Ireland until at least Friday.

Fog and frost on the River Liffey in Co. Kildare on Friday (Image: Eamonn Farrell /

"We will continue to monitor the ongoing weather conditions and ensure that all arms of the state are responding speedily and appropriately to meet any challenges," said Minister O'Brien after today's meeting, which was called due to the severe weather conditions.

"I would advise everybody to monitor national and local media, including social media, over the coming days to keep up to date with information regarding the developing weather situation.

"Above all, make sure you stay warm and safe and keep in touch with vulnerable or elderly neighbours."

Freezing fog

Met Éireann has warned of hazardous and treacherous conditions as a result of the arctic air mass.

It has issued a Status Orange Low Temperature/Ice warning for the entire country, which comes into effect at 5pm this evening.

Severe frost and further icy stretches will set in tonight, accompanied by patches of freezing fog, with temperatures set to fall below -5 degrees.

The warning is in place until midday on Monday.

Aircraft being de-iced at Dublin Airport on Friday (Image: Sam Boal /

A less severe Status Yellow Low Temperature/Ice warning, which came into effect last night, will remain in place until midday on Friday, December 16.

It urges citizens to be wary of treacherous conditions on paths and roads, travel disruption, supply disruption and the potential for burst water pipes.

A Status Yellow Snow warning for Donegal and Mayo will come into effect at 11.30pm tonight and remain in place until midday tomorrow.

Schools open

Following the NECG meeting, Minister O'Brien urged motorists to drive with caution due to the threat of black ice, freezing temperatures and freezing fog.

Pedestrians have been told to take extra care while walking and to ensure phones are charged before setting off on journeys.

However, the Minister added that Ireland's public transport system would continue to operate as normal and schools would remain open.

A rough sleeper shelters in a cardboard box in Dublin City Centre as the cold weather intensifies (Image: Leah Farrell /

Gritters are in operation while ploughs are on standby.

Local Authority outreach teams are continuing to engage with rough sleepers and encouraging them to avail of indoor shelter, with the OECG saying beds are available and shelter will be provided to anyone who needs it.

Further information on preparing for the severe weather can be found on the Government's Be Winter Ready page here.