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Children enjoy winter fun but motorists hit by snow chaos

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Eamon Lott (6), Riain Keegan (11) and Zach Nevin (9) pictured enjoying the snow in Lucan

Eamon Lott (6), Riain Keegan (11) and Zach Nevin (9) pictured enjoying the snow in Lucan

Colin Keegan

Eamon Lott (6), Riain Keegan (11) and Zach Nevin (9) pictured enjoying the snow in Lucan

Thousands of motorists were caught up in traffic chaos yesterday after unexpected snow and sleet hit Dublin and other parts of the country.

The heavy snowfall resulted in "extremely poor" driving conditions, with some roads impassable and significant delays on others.

Dublin Airport said it was open and operational despite the weather, but added yesterday that some airlines were experiencing delays to their flight schedules as a result of de-icing issues.

A yellow weather warning was issued by Met Eireann yesterday morning for Dublin and the rest of Leinster as well as Munster, Cavan, Monaghan, Galway and Roscommon.

The warning was extended to the entire country until 8am today.

Gardai also issued a traffic alert and advised people to exercise caution and reduce their speed in affected areas.

A spokesperson for Met Eireann said that weather warnings were in place for rainfall as a result of Storm Freya, and that a drop in temperatures resulted in the snow-ice warning.

Driving conditions were described as poor on several major roadways, including the M4 and M7, while a collision on the M8 during the treacherous conditions resulted in gridlock.

Videos on social media last night showed snow ploughs being used to clear heavy snow on the M8, while delays were also caused on the N4 into the city centre due to poor visibility.

Adverse

AA Roadwatch reported very poor conditions through the Sally Gap - which was later closed - and Wicklow Gap, Co Wicklow, while three Allianz Hurling League fixtures were postponed due to the adverse weather conditions around the country.

Cork's Division 1A clash with Tipperary in Pairc Ui Rinn was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Waterford's Division 1B clash with Galway in Walsh Park was also postponed due to the weather and in Innovate Park, Wexford and Kilkenny was also called off after a pitch inspection, although Dublin's game in Roscommon went ahead.

Snow fell across the capital early yesterday evening, shortly after rainfall and snow and ice were reported in Co Limerick and in the south.

Kerry and Carlow, with Leinster and Munster, were expected to see the worst of the weather.

Met Eireann reported that much of the snowfall would be above 200 metres but the forecaster warned that wet and slushy roads were expected to turn into ice overnight as temperatures dropped below freezing.

The last of the rain, sleet and snow was expected to clear into the Irish sea overnight with strong north-westerly winds over Leinster.

Met Eireann said frost and icy patches would clear this morning and that showers of rain and hail would travel eastwards over the country in the morning, and some sleet would remain on higher ground.

But the weather was expected to be more favourable for driving this morning with the freezing conditions abating and sunshine expected.

The southern coastline has witnessed high winds but the country was spared the worst of Storm Freya, which yesterday hit the UK.

The UK's Met Office reported that Freya was causing very strong winds, travel disruption and possibly dangerous conditions.


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