People must help each other through the big freeze as temperatures are set to plunge even further, it has been warned.
The Government's emergency taskforce said there is only so much state agencies can do as forecasters predicted records will be shattered over the coming days.
Temperatures are expected to plummet as low as minus 13C in parts of the country, with no let-up in the snow and severe frost until at least next Wednesday.
Sean Hogan, director of the Government's emergency taskforce, said it is impossible to avoid the transport disruption and it will continue for the rest of the week.
"We are appealing to people in the community to help each other," he said. "There is a certain amount the state services can do but it is only through helping each other in the community that people will get through this week ahead. It is going to be a tough week."
Taoiseach Brian Cowen appealed for people to look out for each other, especially those worst-affected by the unusually early winter conditions. "It's important that we also look out for neighbours, particularly the elderly, and ensure that they're looked after," he said.
Met Eireann forecaster Evelyn Cusack said temperatures could plunge lower than minus 10C during the night on Wednesday as winds shift from Arctic to Siberian. There is a "high chance" of weather records bring broken in the coming days, she added.
More snow is expected in the run-up to the weekend, with bitterly cold temperatures expected to dip as low as minus 13C in Wicklow.
The cold snap is wreaking havoc on the country's transport system, with the main runway at Dublin airport being closed for a time and Dublin Bus reporting disruption.