Northern Ireland

Schools closed and travel disrupted in heavy snow

Belfast International Airport has reopened after heavy snow which is continuing to cause widespread travel disruption across Northern Ireland.

More than 40 schools were closed on Friday and of those that opened a number were forced to close early.

So far the worst of the weather has been in Counties Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone but the snow is also causing problems in Belfast.

Roads Service have warned motorists of treacherous driving conditions.

Snow is expected to continue falling throughout the day.

Flights into and out of Belfast International resumed at 1430 GMT but there are knock-on delays. George Best Belfast City Airport is still open and flights are operating.

Passengers are advised to check with their airlines for latest information.

More than 40 schools cancelled lessons before their scheduled opening times on Friday, and a number of others closed as the day progressed.

Colin Brown from Roads Service said crews have been salting the scheduled road network "all night".

"Care should be exercised on all our routes, particularly untreated minor roads," he said.

Regional Development minister, Conor Murphy, said his department was willing to talk to local councils about gritting footpaths.

Snow drifting

Image caption Ethel McIvor of Donaghmore spotted this Road Service lorry getting into difficulty

He was speaking after complaints about the condition of pavements in some areas.

BBC NI weather presenter Cecilia Daly said: "Where the snow is heavy there is a brisk wind which is causing some drifting and dramatically reduced visibility," she said.

"And even as the snow eases off from the west, many roads and pavements will remain icy for the rest of the day."

A severe weather warning is in place in the Irish Republic, where six inches of snow has fallen in County Donegal since 0300 GMT on Friday.

Snow and sleet has been causing problems in Athlone and the midlands area.

Met Eireann has warned that there will also be freezing fog and "very low" temperatures.

A number of schools and colleges have closed in the Republic.

Dublin Airport is fully operational, but there has been disruption to the flight schedule and passengers are advised to consult with their airline's website before travelling to the airport.

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