Northern Ireland

Icy conditions force schools to shut

Schools in parts of Co Down and Co Armagh closed on Monday amid freezing weather

An ice warning will be in place on Monday night across Ireland
Icy weather led to school closures in parts of Co Down and Co Armagh on Monday. Picture: Niall Carson/PA (Niall Carson/PA)

“Treacherous” icy conditions forced some schools to shut as parts of the north were plunged into a cold snap.

Several schools in the Newry, south Down and south Armagh areas remained closed on Monday morning as freezing weather took hold overnight.

The Met Office had issued a yellow weather warning for ice across parts of Co Down and Co Armagh, which remained in place until 10am on Monday.

The warning told of difficult travelling conditions for motorists on untreated roads and potential dangers on pavements, with pedestrians at risk of slips and falls.

The PSNI had also issued a warning for motorists to expect “widespread ice throughout the road network”.

Our Lady’s Grammar School in Newry’s Chequer Hill area advised parents and pupils it would be shut on Monday morning.

“Due to dangerous, icy conditions on Chequer Hill, the school campus will be closed today for Health and Safety reasons. Teachers will be in contact with pupils regarding work,” a spokesperson said in a statement posted to social media.

A spokesperson for St Mary’s High School in the city’s Upper Chapel Street area said in a post on Monday: “Due to icy, treacherous conditions on the school grounds, buses have been cancelled and the school will remain closed today.”

Other schools to shut on Monday included Ballyholland Primary School, Jonesborough Primary School, and St Mark’s High School in Warrenpoint.

Black ice also forced the closure of several roads, while a gritter vehicle collided with parked cars in Newry on Monday morning after skidding between the Forkhill Roundabout and Meigh village area.

Some bin collections across the Newry, Mourne and Down, and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon council areas were also postponed until Tuesday.

There was no weather warning issued for the north for Tuesday though cold temperatures were predicted for Monday night, and the Met Office has said the north can expect mostly settled conditions for the week ahead, with maximum temperatures of 7 C.