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Santa Claus granted clearance for Irish airspace

Santa Claus has been granted clearance for Irish airspace on Christmas Eve, Dublin's Transport Minister has said.

In an official announcement, Shane Ross said Ireland's aviation chiefs have assured him Santa will be able to fly into the country despite worries over the impact of Storm Barbara.

Mr Ross said he was "delighted and relieved" to confirm clearance by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and urged children to be in their beds early on Saturday to allow Santa to carry out his work.

"I have been informed that a large, jolly man on a low-flying sleigh, assisted by reindeer and perhaps some elves, will be entering Irish air space tomorrow evening," he said.

"I would therefore encourage all children to be safety tucked up in their beds as early as possible to ensure Santa and his reindeer can go about their work successfully."

Mr Ross also said he was happy to confirm that Ireland's stock of milk and mince pies, as well as carrots for the reindeer, have been topped up.

It is believed that Santa will be accompanied by a team of nine reindeer and a large flying sleigh.

However it is not yet known whether he will be accompanied by Mrs Claus, who is sometimes in charge of navigation, the Department of Transport said.

Mr Ross added: "I have also just received a very important message from Mrs Claus, who has asked that everyone take special care on our roads this holiday season and if you're having a festive drink, please leave the car at home."

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