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While children were playing in the snow at schools across the country on Wednesday morning, they could have the day off on Thursday if high winds are still battering the country.

No schools in Red Alert Zone

The Department of Education has said schools and colleges have been cleared not to open if a Status Red weather warning has been issued in their area, as Storm Rachel takes grip along the west coast.

Met Éireann has a Status Red warning in place for exposed coastal and mountainous areas in Clare, Galway, Limerick, Kerry, Donegal, Sligo and Mayo until noon on Thursday.

According to Met Éireann, wind gusts of 130 to 150km an hour are possible as well as high seas near the shore.

The Department of Education said schools should consider not opening where a Status Red weather warning related to wind is forecast. The high winds could coincide with the periods during which students and staff would be expected to travel to and from school. The full guidance is available on the department’s website

General guidance from the National Co-ordination Group on Severe Weather asks that the public monitors Met Éireann’s forecasts for each area, to be aware of the weather conditions, and to heed safety warnings.

The travelling public are encouraged to monitor road conditions as well as transport operator services over national and local radio/tv, websites and social media for possible impacts.

ESB have issued a statement following the new weather warning stating that the “safety of the public is our highest priority”.

“Customers should NEVER approach or touch fallen or low-hanging wires and powerlines. Please ring 1850 372 999 to report these, keep others away from them and also alert the gardaí/emergency services.”
Local outlets will be kept up-to-date with current information on expected restoration times as the situation evolves and becomes clear – in the event of damage due to the high winds.

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