Belfast Telegraph

Hundreds clear snow in Co Kildare ahead of Monday’s return to school

Defence Forces cadets, scouts, GAA and soccer players and Massgoers picked up shovels to tackle two steep bridges over the Grand Canal at Sallins.

There was a community spirit as hundreds cleared snow in Co Kildare ahead of Monday’s return to school.

Defence Forces cadets, scouts, GAA and soccer players and Massgoers picked up shovels to tackle two steep bridges over the Grand Canal at Sallins.

Pubs and restaurants served free tea and coffee to volunteers.

Fianna Fail councillor Carmel Kelly helped organise the community action and said: “It is wonderful, everyone is in good form and has a smile on their faces.

“Everyone has been getting cabin fever for the last few days and wanted to get out.

“Everyone feels like they are doing their bit.”

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Irish Defence Forces cadets take part in the clean-up (Niall Carson/PA)

Youngsters from St Laurence’s National School use the bridges to get to classes but the unprecedented weather left them treacherous.

Ms Kelly said the snowy scenes were picturesque but the conditions challenging.

She added: “We have the two bridges which always cause difficulty, they are quite steep.

“The only safe place was to walk on the main road.”

The canal was frozen over earlier this week as a combination of Siberian cold air and Atlantic Storm Emma hit.

On Sunday snow filled a road at Turnings in the Co Kildare village of Straffan.

It was so high a JCB digger was marooned.

Snow drifts were up to 15 feet tall.

A 100 metre long trench had been dug through a laneway to provide access to a house, snow walls towering eight feet high either side.

Onlookers said it was like a scene from Star Wars.

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