A nationwide status red weather warning has been issued for the whole country.

    Storm Emma – what we know so far:

  • Current weather warnings: Red Snow-Ice alert nationwide valid until 3pm tomorrow;
  • Planned admissions and outpatient appointments for children at at Temple Street, Crumlin and Tallaght hospitals in Dublin have been cancelled today.
  • Fuel allowance to be doubled for this week;
  • All schools, colleges and third level institutions will be closed today and tomorrow – as will all the courts;
  • HSE: Elective, non-urgent or outpatient appointments have been cancelled;
  • Bus Eireann: No Bus Eireann, Expressway or school transport services will be running today;
  • Luas: Services on the Luas are running on both lines every 30 minutes, last tram on each line will be at 12 midday;
  • Dublin Bus: There are no services today, no services operating tomorrow, Friday March 2;
  • Dublin Airport : A number of cancellations, passengers advised to check latest information before travelling to airport;
  • Cork Airport : Will remain closed until 10am, multiple flights cancelled;
  • Shannon Airport : Some disruptions, continuing to operate;
  • Knock Airport: Ryanair and Aer Lingus have cancelled a number of flights due to operate tomorrow
  • Irish Rail: Irish Rail services will finish by 2pm and are not expected to resume until at least noon tomorrow, DARTs between Pearse Station and Bray have been cancelled until further notice;
  • ESB: Some power outages reported around the country;
  • An Post : Where possible post offices will open until 1pm and will remain closed tomorrow
  • Irish Blood Transfusion Service has cancelled all donation clinics across the country today
  • Tesco Ireland stores will close at 2pm today, they will re-open tomorrow from 1pm subject to weather conditions;
  • Lidl stores will now be closed from 3pm today until Friday afternoon;

Update 12.30pm: Dublin Bus services will not operate tomorrow, it has been announced.

In a statement released this afternoon Dublin Bus said, “Dublin Bus services are not operating today, Thursday 1 March. Due to the Red Weather Warning in place until 15.00 tomorrow for blizzard conditions and further snow accumulations, combined with anticipated road conditions, Dublin Bus will not be in a position to operate any services tomorrow, Friday 2 March.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused, however this decision has been made in the interest of the safety of our customers and employees.

“We will monitor the situation closely tomorrow and take advice from Met Éireann and the National Emergency Co-ordination Committee regarding our services on Saturday, 3 March.”

Earlier: Further flight delays and cancellations expected

Aer Lingus and Ryanair are trying to get as many flights in the air as possible at Dublin airport before this afternoon however there have been several cancellations.

Ryanair have said that they expect further flight delays and cancellations at airports today and tomorrow.

In Dublin Airport, a number of flights have been cancelled for Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd March 2018 and all affected customers have been notified of their options by email/SMS text message.

All flights to/from Cork & Kerry Airports have been cancelled for the remainder of the day, Thurs 1st March 2018. All affected customers have been notified of their options by email/SMS text message.

Shannon airport says there are disruptions, while Cork airport remains closed.

Irish Rail will start scaling back services in the next hour, as the country braces for Storm Emma.

Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus services have already been cancelled, while the Luas will stop at midday.

Meanwhile, social welfare recipients are being reassured their money will be waiting for them after the snow storm.

Uncollected payments are often returned to the Department but An Post’s Anna McHugh says this time they will make an exception.

“If you are due to collect a social welfare payment of any kind at the post office and you don’t go out to get it today and we would say that if it is not absolutely entirely necessary please do not venture out,” said Ms McHugh.

“It will remain safe and secure and ready, waiting for you to collect when this period of bad weather passes.”

update – East Midlands Airport, Leeds Bradford Airport, Edinburgh Airport, Glasgow International Airport:

All flights to/from East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Edinburgh & Glasgow airports have been cancelled for the remainder of the day, Thurs 1st March 2018.

Earlier: Emergency services appeal to people to heed warnings during national Status Red warning

Emergency services are appealing to people to heed the warnings to stay indoors.

Darren O’Connor from Dublin Fire Brigade says thrill-seekers could put people’s lives at risk.

“We don’t want to put our crews in danger unnecessarily. We are there to respond to emergencies if required but we would definitely appeal to people to exercise caution.”

The public is being praised for heeding the safety warnings so far.

Seán Hogan is the Chair of the National Emergency Coordination Group which is formulating the country’s response to the snow storm.

“That was the experience with Storm Ophelia too, people listened, took the message on board and we think this is the safest thing to do – it is the only thing to do, in fact,” said Mr Hogan.

“People in Ireland are sound and sensible and doing the right thing.”

The National Emergency Coordination Group are expected to meet shortly and provide an updated advisory.

in place today. Road conditions are extremely challenging today. Don’t make unnecessary journeys. @emergencyIE is advising that the public should be off the streets by 4pm. Please take this advice. Picture from one of our ambulances this morning.

Earlier: Homeless charities under pressure as Status Red warning issued nationwide

Homeless charities are reporting an increase in demand for their services during the cold snap.

It has been reported that 30 people slept rough during the freezing conditions in Dublin last night.

The Peter McVerry Trust had 106 beds allocated at a sports centre in Dublin’s South Inner City, an increase on 81 on the previous night.

The Housing First Street Intake Team managed to encourgae a number of people sleeping rough to come in off the streets.

However a number declined to come into emergency shelter.

The charities are urging the public to let them know if they see someone in need of help.

As conditions worsen, those at risk can move to find even greater protection from the elements.

CEO of the Peter Mc Verry Trust, Pat Doyle, says that can pose difficulties for outreach workers: “That’s a challenge – that people move.

“So we may be working with somebody, we may be visiting, we may be connecting with somebody in the same location every night and then they move.

“And given this weather and given the wind and the snow, people will move now. They will move further into hedgerows, further into laneways, further into squats and that will make them more difficult to find.”

Our Freephone Service will continue to operate through from 10am to 2am to ensure that anyone looking for emergency shelter is accommodated @DubCityCouncil @HousingPress @housingdcc

Meanwhile, The Social Protection Minister is reassuring people their double fuel allowance payment is on the way.

There has been confusion as to when the €45 will be paid.

Regina Doherty explains the reason for the mix up.

“Fuel payments is a top-up to a payment that people are on so different people are on different payments,” explained Ms Doherty.

“Some people may be on disability payment, an illness payment, a job seekers payment and they all get the payment on different days but starting from next week anyone that’s entitled to fuel allowance who normally gets it will get a double payment and a lot of people will get it next week but some people will get it the week after.

“But it is coming.”

480p low
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Update 8am: All outpatient appointments and planned admissions at the three children’s hospitals today have been cancelled.

Anyone who attends the emergency departments at Temple Street, Crumlin or Tallaght hospitals will be seen.

Meanwhile, the ISPCC’s Childline service will be closed until 8am this morning because of fears over the safety of its volunteers getting to their offices.

It is only the second time the service that helps vulnerable children has been forced to close in 30 years.

Caroline O’Sullivan, Director of Services at the ISPCC, says the decision wasn’t taken lightly.

“For any child that is in an emergency situation or is at risk, we are saying to them to contact the emergency number 112 or 999,” said Ms O’Sullivan.

“If children need someone to talk to we would say to them to reach out to an older brother or sister or a parent or an aunt or uncle.”

Meanwhile, NUI Galway have confirmed that they will be closed today and tomorrow due to the elevation to the Red Status weather warning.

This applies to all NUI Galway campuses in Galway, Shannon and Sligo, and Acadamh centres in Carna, An Cheathrú Rua and Gaoth Dobhair.

The university will continue to monitor the weather conditions and publish updates to the University Alerts webpage.

Due to safety concerns arising from the snow/ice, NUI Galway is to close on Thursday and Friday. This follows the elevation to RED STATUS of the @MetEireann weather warning for the West of Ireland http://www.nuigalway.ie/alert 

Earlier: Hundreds without power as Status Red warning issued nationwide

Hundreds of electricity customers in north Dublin are dealing with a power outage this morning.

In Cork, over 300 customers are without power and over 100 people are affected in parts of Kerry.

ESB Networks says it is working to restore power to homes and businesses.

Earlier: Status Red warning issued nationwide

A nationwide status red weather warning has been issued for the whole country.

All schools will be closed and many transport services will be suspended.

Late last night, Met Eireann upgraded their warnings to status red for the entire country.

“In a blizzard scenario people might not be able to see the hand in front of their face so it could be total whiteout in certain conditions,” Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said.

“It is not the occasion to engage in any daredevil activities.”

Mr Varadkar says we will not have seen conditions like this since 1982.

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