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“This is unprecedented” – Clare shut down by snow

CLARE has experienced its most severe snowfall in decades, with virtually all parts of the county badly affected. Commercial life in the county was almost non-existent today, with many businesses closing and few people leaving the safety of their homes. Shannon Airport is closed until tomorrow morning, while the annual Ennis Book Club Festival, which was due to be held this weekend, has been cancelled. This afternoon all but a handful of businesses in Ennis town centre were closed. Very few vehicles made their way into the central parts of the town, and some of those that did were clearly struggling with the conditions. With inches of snow lying on the footpaths it was also very difficult for pedestrians. “I’ve never seen the likes of this before,” said Councillor Joe Cooney, of the conditions around East Clare. “A number of roads are impassable today and will be tonight as well,” he added. In the west of the county things are …

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Dooley says Government ‘blurring lines’ between journalism and advertising

FIANNA Fáil’s argument that the Government was blurring the lines between journalism and advertising with its Project Ireland 2040 marketing strategy turned heated in the Dáil on Wednesday, when proceedings were suspended after TD Marc MacSharry made an anti-semitic remark about the Government. Speaking from Leinster House, Fianna Fail’s communications spokesperson Deputy Timmy Dooley has distanced himself from his colleague’s remarks, describing them as “emotive”. Deputy Dooley had highlighted the approach taken by the Government in promoting Project Ireland 2040, by demanding that the secretary general of the Department of the Taoiseach and the head of its Strategic Communications Unit come before the Oireachtas Communications Committee to provide details of its marketing strategy. He said his party believes the Government is “attempting to blur the lines between journalism and advertising. Of course, it is appropriate for Government to advertise in media generally and successive governments have done that but it is always made clear that it is government originated and, …

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10-20 CM of snow around Clare

CLARE County Council have said that the depth of snow has generally varied from 10-20cm, but it has been deeper on elevated ground in the north and east of the county. There are reports of drifting in some places, and it says that it expects many roads to be impassable. While the N67 at Corkscrew Hill was impassable for 48 hours, it expects this situation to improve soon. Eighteen calls were made to its helpline up to 9.30am this morning, while the local authority is still advising people to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. The Council has five snow ploughs, that it says are currently engaged on clearing snow along the county’s national secondary and main regional routes.   Owen Ryan  

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Heavy snow hits Clare

THE county has been hit by the heaviest snowfall seen here for many years, which has seen schools and businesses close and made travel near impossible. More snow is set to fall throughout the day, and into the early hours of tomorrow morning, with some improvement expected later on Saturday, although temperatures are unlikely to rise above five degrees Celsius. Met Éireann’s forecast for Munster states, “There will be further snowfall across the province in strong and gusty northeasterly winds; the heaviest snowfall will continue to be across the east of the province. Later in the day the snow may turn to rain or sleet near the south coast. Highest temperatures between -1 and +3 degrees. Strong and gusty northeasterly winds. “The snow will continue overnight but it will become lighter and the northeasterly winds will ease a little also. Lowest temperatures of 0 to -3 degrees. “Snow showers on Saturday will gradually turn back to rain or sleet through …

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Shannon airport

Shannon Airport shutting down until Saturday

SHANNON Airport is closing down from 6pm this evening until 5am on Saturday, due to the weather. A spokeswoman said: “Due to full flight cancellations by our scheduled carriers, and in light of the Red weather alert for the area, Shannon Airport has decided to close the airport from 6pm this evening. The airport will reopen, weather permitting, at 5 am on Saturday, March 3.” “Shannon Airport remains fully operational as of now, with a number of scheduled flights taking off, due to the efforts of airport staff working through the night in challenging conditions to keep the runway operational. However, a number of airlines, including Aer Lingus and Ryanair, have now made the decision to cancel services in the interest of safety. “We strongly advise passengers intending to fly from, or travel to, Shannon Airport on Saturday to contact their relevant airline or check their website before travelling. She added, “We will post regular flight updates on our twitter account …

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First of the beast’s snowfalls hits Clare

The first of the pending snowfalls has begun in Clare this Tuesday evening with shoppers scurrying for cover from the hail and sleet which began falling. As people buy up milk, bread and other emergency supplies ahead of the Beast from the East’s arrival Clare County Council has advised the public that it currently has 1,300 tonnes of rock salt are currently in storage at the local authority’s Depot/Maintenance facility at Beechpark which will facilitate 24 separate treatments of the entire road network.  An additional 500 tonnes of rock salt may be drawn down by the Local Authority if it is required. A Status Yellow Weather Alert is in place for Clare with Met Éireann forecasting that air and ground temperatures will be 5 to 10 degrees below normal, with significant wind chill and penetrating severe frosts. Snow showers, mainly affecting eastern areas on Tuesday, will progressively become more widespread and heavier through midweek. A spell of persistent and heavy snow …

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Council ready for cold snap

Clare County Council says it has ample supplies of rock salt to treat the county’s road network during this week’s cold spell. 1,300 tonnes of rock salt are currently in storage at the local authority’s depot/maintenance facility at Beechpark, which will facilitate 24 separate treatments of the entire road network. An additional 500 tonnes of rock salt may be drawn down by the local authority if required. Clare County Council’s fleet of salt spreader trucks will facilitate treatment of strategic National (excluding the Motorway Network) and Non-National Routes around the county. Clare’s motorway and dual carriageways will be treated directly by contractors on behalf of Transport Infrastructure Ireland, which assumed responsibility for the National Motorway Network in 2013. A Status Yellow Weather alert is in place for Clare with Met Éireann forecasting that air and ground temperatures will be 5 to 10 degrees below normal, with significant wind chill and penetrating severe frosts. Snow showers, mainly affecting eastern areas on …

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Nobody injured in accident

Traffic is slow on the Ennis to Limerick motorway near Newmarket-on-Fergus, following a single vehicle accident earlier this morning.  Nobody was injured in the accident, which was attended by units of the the emergencies and the gardaí from Shannon. Motorists are being urged to be patient as traffic is expected to be slow in the area for the next half hour as the vehicle is being removed.

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