Motorists told to stay off the roads

WHILE adventurous photographer Valerie O’Sullivan was out and about this afternoon capturing this stunning collection of images highlighting beautiful Killarney in the snow, the Kerry Local Coordination Group was meeting to review the Status Red weather warning which will remain in place for until much later.

And with further snowfall and freezing conditions anticipated this evening and tonight, officials are appealing to members of the public not to travel for the rest of today.

At this stage, national primary routes in the county have been treated by Kerry County Council staff but only for the purpose of ensuring ease of access for essential emergency services.

Motorists are warned to stay off the roads which are extremely dangerous.

Kerry Local Coordination Group spokesman, Owen O’Shea, said public safety is paramount, and nobody should risk their own safety or that of others.

The group, which again met at 2.30pm today, will continue to monitor the weather warnings and will issue further advisories in relation to travelling conditions tomorrow.

“Members of the public should heed all advice – including that for the National Emergency Coordination Office – before any travel is undertaken,” Owen O’Shea said.

Meanwhile, the regional steering group for major emergency management in the Kerry and Cork region said weather conditions are still extremely challenging across the region and appealed to the general public to take sensible precautions and, where possible, to remain indoors.

This group, comprising senior management of Kerry County Council, Cork City and County Councils, An Garda Síochána and the HSE, and has met several times throughout the severe weather period.

“Where it is safe, we’d ask people to check in on their elderly neighbours, relatives and other vulnerable members of the community,” a spokesperson said.

All state agencies, including the Defence Forces, Civil Defence, Irish Red Cross, St John’s Ambulance and Order of Malta are working together to provide a co-ordinated response and to ensure the impact of this weather event is managed.

Each agency has been making arrangements to prepare for the expected severe weather and in particular, to ensure the well-being of those who are most vulnerable.

The group has also highlighted that should members of the general public venture outdoors, and need the assistance of the emergency services, then the road and weather conditions may result in it taking some time to get those services to where they are needed.

The HSE’s Department of Public Health has again reminded the public of the importance of staying warm during the cold weather.

Photographs: Valerie O’Sullivan. Click on individual images for details

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