Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

First Minister Peter Robinson calls for Territorial Army help to deal with Northern Ireland weather crisis

First Minister Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson MLA, joins Suzanne Wylie, Local Government Emergency Response Team and Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer during a visit the Multi Agency Strategic Coordination Centre to view the emergency response to the severe weather
First Minister Peter D. Robinson, joins Suzanne Wylie, Local Government Emergency Response Team and Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer during a visit the Multi Agency Strategic Coordination Centre to view the emergency response to the severe weather
Stephen Bryden stands in front of a snow drift of at Cairnhill Road outside Carrickfergus. Image sent in by Gerry Millar
A man walks on the Carnlough to Ballymena road in Co Antrim after abandoning his vehicle due to snow
NIE crews making emergency repairs to the electricity network after fierce snow storms in Northern Ireland disrupted services
A Northern Ireland Electricity engineer as heavy snow falls on the Carnlough to Ballymena
A tractor attempts to clear drifting snow in the hills above the Glens of Antrim, Northern Ireland
A tractor attempts to clear drifting snow in the hills above the Glens of Antrim, Northern Ireland
A snow covered Windsor Park in Belfast
People in Belfast battle against the elements as Northern Ireland hit by snow, sleet and strong winds
A Northern Ireland Electricity engineer as heavy snow falls on the Carnlough to Ballymena road in Co Antrim
Severe weather on the Cushendall Road Ballycastle
Basil McCrea travelling through Dromara snowfields. Image supplied by Jamie Mackrell
Basil McCrea with residents in Annahilt. Image supplied by Jamie Mackrell
Image of a car between a snow bank. Image supplied by Paul Connolly
House of Stephen Bryden on the Cairn Road outside Carrickfergus. Image sent in by Gerry Millar
Northern Ireland Electricity crews making emergency repairs to the network after fierce snow storms (Northern Ireland Electricity/PA)
Motorists battle through blizzards and drifting snow in the hills above the Glens of Antrim
Snow ended Northern Ireland's hopes of playing Russia at the weekend
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/3/2013 An unfortunate motorist on the M1 , with the weather causing problems across the country Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Gallery of Belfast Telegraph readers' snow pictures Garden fox - Carrowreagh, Dundonald submitted by Carol Cinnamond March 22 2013
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/3/2013 Clearing the way on the Belfast Road outside Crumlin Co Antrim with the weather causing problems across the country Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland- 22nd March 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Pitch inspection at Windsor Park ahead of Northern Ireland's World Cup Qualifier against Russia following a night of heavy snow. Workmen attempt to clear the pitch of snow.
Gallery of Belfast Telegraph readers' snow pictures Castle Gardens, Lisburn. By Tom Porter
Beautiful trees on divis mountains. By Pauline
A Winter Sun In Lisburn. By Tom Porter
RIVER BANN,BALLYDOWN,BANBRIDGE, BY STEPHEN McDOWELL
Snowy Fence around Ballymena. By Barry Lau - Ballymena
Belfast Telegraph readers' pics of winter weather: Icy Waterfall on January 11. By Katie S., Killarney National Park
River moyola tobermore. picture submitted by Rod Mulholand.Tobermore. 30.03.2010
Laura Henderson, south Belfast
Snow covered Brooke Park, Derry. Pablo O'Connor and his mum Laura.
My pug enjoys snow for the first time. By 'littlestirishone' Nov 2010
Kells, Antrim.Submitted by 'keveddy'
Craigavon lakes frozen and dusted with snow. By Jeremy Clifford, Craigavon Nov 2010
Frozen Cat: By Pauline Belfast
St Canice's Church Eglinton . By Willie Robb Eglinton Nov 2010
Dromore Lane. By Rod Mulholland.Tobermore. Nov 2010
Two-year-old Sophie Duffy enjoys herself after falling out of her sleigh at LIsnagelvin in Derry
First time on a sleigh. Submitted by Jenny Kordys, Drumaness Nov 2010
Stramore Road. Gilford. By 'jocorleone' Nov 2010
Adam Kerr (6) makes the most of the snow on monday as he adds the finishing touches to an igloo at the Playtrail in Londonderry.
Little Aoibheann McElhone from Claudy braves the cold to make a snowwoman
Snowman. By Rod Mulholland Nov 2010
Summit of Donard. By Brian, Portadown Caption:
Baby, it's cold outside!. By Sinead Hoben, Newry
Snow covered Brooke Park, Derry
Foraging for food , Ballyclare. By Joan Wilson
Broadwater Canal Aghalee. By Michelle Myles, Maghaberry
Swans on the canal, Ballynahinch. By Pauline Rainey. Dec 2010
Sammy & Harvey enjoying the snow by Miriam Taylor, Belfast
Mournes snowboarding. Submitted by Gav
My chocolate labrador Levi . Jason Davidson Ballymoney
Craigavon Lakes 1/12/10. Brian Portadown
Spelga Dam 1.12.10 Taken by Ronan Sherry
My Son Zack enjoying the snow. Dec 2010. By Trish Taylor in Derry
Craigavon Lake. By J O'Neill. Dec 2010
Silent Valley from Slieve Lamagan, Mourne Mtns - by Jon, Portadown
Fiend or foe.... By Robin McCormick. Dec 2010
Looking towards Slieve Binnian, Mourne Mtns - by Jon, Portadown
A red deer stag crosses the road as it comes down from the hills to the River Clunie near Braemar to forage for food as snow continues to cover much of the UK.
Dawn on the wing, Belfast International Airport...by Steven Braiden
The Mourne Mountains, by Yvonne
Belfast Castle. Picture by Bill Corr
Fog over Belfast...by Bill Corr
Hello Snow!...by Jean Elliott, Portrush
On the hill...by Bill Corr, Belfast
The Cave Hill by Bill Corr
Paula Cuesta from Segovia assists with Winter Graduation arrangements at Queen's. Picture by Barbara Groves
Coolnasillagh, Co. Derry. By Joe O'Kane
Tropical palm in Portrush. By Jean Elliott
Co Tyrone.... lovin it. Submitted by Ann. Dec 2010
Julie-Anne and Noel enjoying our Tenth Wedding anniversary at the Sleive Donard
Chess on the Lawn, Farnham Estate, Cavan by Paul in Belfast
Niall McCaughan. Cannons on the Derry Walls
Tim, Carrickfergus ... Portrush harbour
Brian McCalden... Horses Glebe Road Glengormely
Brian McCalden, Glengormley ... Horses Glebe Road
Killygullen Lisnaskea. Taken by Eleanor Kerr
Garden Carwood Ave. Our Stephanie by Mervyn Ellis
Carole, Banbridge .... Home from school!
Knockagh monument...by Ttim, Carrickfergus
Brian, Portadown: River Bann 7/12/10
Frosty afternoon Templepatrick. By Roy. Dec 2010
Paul in Belfast ... The White Garden, Farnham Estate, Cavan. Dec 2010
Paul in Belfast ... Frozen Steps, Farnham Estate, Cavan
Paul in Belfast ....The Silent Courtyard, Farnham Estate, Cavan. Dec 2010
Emma Carson, Garrison, County Fermanagh .... Max the dog is ready for a snowball fight
Donemana by Isobel Brown. Dec 2010
My son Martin and snowman. By Jackie in Crumlin
Santa arrives in Derry early by Gary Nash. Dec 2010
Alison Lynas... Wacky Races at Burntollet Bridge
Gavin Miskelly, Darragh Cross, Mourne Mountains, Co. Down
Having fun when their school is closed, Matthew and Owen Irvine, Maghaberry. Dec 2010
Newtownabbey frosted web Roy. Dec 2010
Frosty afternoon by Roy. Dec 2010
sterling newtownabbeyCaption: frosty afternoonYour email: roy36@hotmail.co.uk
David Montgomery, Killyleagh Co. Down. Delamont Country Park at Sunset. Dec 2010
Frank, from Limavady. Benone looking towards Donegal. Dec 2010
The Marquis of Downshire Memorial, Hillsborough by Graham Construction
David McKendrick's snowy Movanagher lock. Dec 2010
Snowboarding in the Mournes. By Shagster. Dec 2010
Looking through my windscreen at the ice. By Mark Johnston, Bangor. Dec 2010
Jo, Dromore Ghostly abode!
Rod Mulholland .... Tobermore church of Ireland.
Robert Telford .... Rays Wood, Antrim. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore. Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010
Darrell & Shirley Monteith, Seskinore Winter in Tyrone. Dec 2010

First Minister Peter Robinson has called for the Territorial Army to be drafted in to deal with the Northern Ireland weather crisis.

Speaking after a visit to Dromara in County Down, one of the worst affected areas, Mr Robinson said: "Staff currently on the ground are doing vital work, but we also need to consider all other avenues to ensure that we reach those cut-off as soon as possible.

"It has been for that reason I spoke to the Secretary of State this morning and asked her to consider providing assistance, including from the Territorial Army."

His plea came as hundreds of people remained cut off and without power following the freak snowstorm that has left parts of Northern Ireland at a standstill for more than four days.

DUP Assembly member Paul Frew urged Stormont Executive ministers to back the call for help from the TA.

Mr Frew asked Regional Development (DRD) Minister Danny Kennedy, who has responsibility for the roads, and Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (Dard) Minister Michelle O'Neill to contact the military.

"The Territorial Army are in place for emergencies such as this and the engineering teams will have heavy plant which could help clear routes," he said.

"Whilst DRD staff have been working hard, it would be sensible to supplement their efforts with the TA personnel to speed the process along. Many farmers are facing significant loss of livestock because of the conditions.

"The TA will also have the ability to erect temporary shelters if they are needed.

"Whilst Dard will not have machinery at its disposal, the Minister should recognise the emergency situation which exists and the dire need for help within some communities."

Snow drifts and abandoned vehicles continue to hamper efforts to restore power to 800 homes and businesses cut off when blizzard conditions hit.

The TrafficwatchNI website said roads remain closed due to snow accumulations, with worst affected areas including Ballymoney, Antrim and Larne in the northern division, and the south Down area around the Mournes and Dromara Hills.

Newtownabbey, Lisburn and parts of North Down were also affected.

Two helicopters are assisting in the operation to get engineers to the affected properties, all of which are located in rural and exposed areas.

More than 140,000 customers who lost power when the wintry blast struck the eastern counties of the region last Thursday and Friday have since had supply restored.

Many farmers have been particularly badly hit by the severe weather, suffering livestock fatalities and damaged properties. Snow drifts in some areas are as high as 18 feet.

In a statement on Monday night, Chief Superintendent Chris Noble said: "We are all working hard to get the supplies to those in areas where vehicular access is difficult.

"Some of these people have now been snowed in for four days and it is vital we ensure they have adequate food and medical supplies.

"While there has been an improvement in conditions in many areas, there are still hazardous conditions in a number of areas."

Send your weather reports, photographs and videos to us by email digital.editorial@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

For updates on road closures and weather follow us on Twitter at @BelTel

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