Farmers in Ulster fear their flocks are dead and their livelihoods destroyed after more severe weather and blizzard conditions.

RAF Chinook helicopters have been mobilised to try to get feed to animals stranded on high ground in parts of Antrim and Derry.

Farm industry leaders say animals are dead beneath the snow and farmers helpless to get to their herds in mountain regions as heavy snow continues to fall.

The bad weather has continued in the Republic – a year after record highs were recorded for April in many parts of the country.

The Irish government’s weather service Met Eireann has issued a national weather warning as the east coast is battered by snow falls and sleet showers.

Treacherous conditions were reported on many roads in Leinster with heavy snow in Meath, Louth, Kildare, Dublin and Wicklow.

Met Eireann say temperatures will stay cold for Wednesday with scattered sleet and snow showers are set to continue.

The Irish Independent reports that sub zero temperatures will return after dark with severe frost and ice expected and temperatures as low as minus four Celsius forecast.

The unseasonably cold weather is set to continue for the Easter weekend with severe frost but the snowy conditions will ease up.

Forecasters in Britain have warned the cold snap could continue until the end of April.