Northern Ireland news

Schools remain closed following heavy snowfall

A car overturned in a ditch outside Ligoniel, north Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann

A SMALL number of schools remained closed today following recent heavy snow across the north.

And the wintry weather is set to continue until late tonight amid fears of further power cuts.

More than 280 schools were shut and thousands of customers were without electricity following heavy snowfall between Tuesday and yesterday morning.

A Met Office ice and snow warning will remain until 11pm tonight.

Schools that remain closed today are:

North Eastern Region Schools

Holy Family Primary School Magherafelt, 1 Castledawson Road

Kilronan Special School, 46 Kilronan Road, Magherafelt

Knockloughrim Primary School, 337 Hillhead Road

St Columba's Primary School Straw, 84 Sixtowns Road

Toreagh Primary School, 62 Raloo Road

Southern Region Schools

Cookstown High School, Coolnafrankie Demense

Cookstown Primary School, Coolnafranky Demesne

Cortamlet Primary School, 19 Cortamlet Road

Newtownhamilton High School, 9 Armagh Road

Newtownhamilton Primary School, 8 School Road


Motorists have been urged to take care as icy roads continue to make driving conditions difficult.

The Department for Infrastructure warned that although main roads were passable many rural routes remained dangerous.

"Despite our best efforts we cannot guarantee ice free roads even after salting and rain can wash salt off the road and ice may form," a spokesman said.

"Drivers should exercise caution and drive with care, increase their stopping distance and be prepared for changing conditions."

He said the department's resources were "currently focused on road salting operations, however we will endeavour to restock salt bins and salt piles on public roads for community self-help as quickly as possible and when safe to do so".

And he encouraged people to keep an eye on vulnerable neighbours "particularly the elderly".

A multi-agency group met yesterday to monitor the weather forecast and plan for any possible emergencies.

Around 23,000 customers were without electricity following Tuesday's snow storm.

However, a spokeswoman for NIE Networks said supplies were due to be restored to all homes and businesses by last night.

Translink had suspended all bus services on Tuesday night but they were resumed yesterday morning.

The Rathlin Island ferry cancelled all of its Spirit of Rathlin sailings yesterday. However, two Rathlin Express sailings did operate.

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