Eighty per cent of Irish schools were shut last week because of weather, but even more are set to close their doors, as Ireland experiences the worst winter weather the country has seen in 40 years.

Irish Minister for Education, Bat O’Keeffe, announced that all schools would be closed till next Thursday. He said his decision was intended to bring “clarity and certainty to the position,” according to the Irish Times.

Snow and icy conditions are set to continue, and the Irish government is struggling to respond, as it emerged that the grit needed to make roads safe is in short supply.

Last night the government had slightly over half the amount of salt needed to de-ice the country’s roads, according to the Irish Times.

Experts say between 15,000 and 20,000 are required, yet by Monday the National Roads Authority will have just half that amount.
As a result, travel conditions are hazardous. The Garda Siochana (police) have issued travel warnings, and Dublin Airport has suspended flights until further notice.

December was the coldest in several decades for Ireland, and it looks like the coming months will be little better. Gerald Fleming, head of forecasting at Met Éireann, told the Times that the country faced a situation not seen in 30 or 40 years.

Driving conditions in Ireland are dangerous following heavy snowfall.