Belfast Telegraph

Warnings as drivers battle snow and freezing weather on risky roads

Motorists have been advised of dangerous conditions on roads across swathes of the country amid snow and ice warnings.

Four weather alerts have been issued for different regions with temperatures expected to dip as low as minus 8C (18F) in some places.

There are reports of snowfalls of between two and four centimetres and forecasts that as much as eight centimetres could fall in the worst affected areas.

The lowest temperatures are expected in the Midlands.

Met Eireann issued a status orange alert - its second highest - with a s now-ice warning for Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Wicklow, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Tipperary.

It said several centimetres of snow could accumulate quite widely across the country with greater totals possible in some areas and also a risk of snow drifts locally where winds are brisk .

The alert is in place until 11pm on Sunday.

Elsewhwere, across the southern part of the country a warning was issued for gale force winds across most of Munster.

Despite the wintry conditions, Bus Eireann services in the east, south, northeast, and northwest have not been affected.

There are also reduced volumes of traffic across the country with many motorists heeding the advice to keep movements to a minimum during the freeze.

Gardai urged people in counties affected by the o range level weather warning to exercise extreme caution when travelling and avoid unnecessary journeys.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn, of the Garda's roads policing unit, said: "Please be aware that visibility is reduced in snowy conditions so drive slowly if you need to make a journey.

"Allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Motorcyclists and cyclists should not compromise their safety by their 'need' to travel in icy, snowy conditions. Be safe," he said.

AA Roadwatch said Carlow, Donegal, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Offaly, Roscommon, Westmeath and parts of Kildare, Sligo and Tipperary seem to be worst affected.

In Wicklow the Sally Gap and approach roads are impassable due to snow and ice, it said.

In Galway, the Loughrea/Ballinasloe Rd (R446) was also impassable and local gardai have advised drivers to use an alternative route.

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