Ireland will be in a deep freeze for another week as the savage winter weather continues forecasters say. The third highest ever level of snowfall was recorded near Dublin.

Conditions will be downright dangerous for travelers with compacted ice making driving conditions very dangerous.

It is the longest sustained deep freeze of modern times and businesses, stores and schools are all suffering greatly.

Prime Minister Brian Cowen paid tribute to workers who have been out night and day keeping roads clear.

"It is at times like these that the true sense of public service shines through. I believe it is important that these efforts are acknowledged," he said.

Met Eireann’s head forecaster Gerard Fleming said temperatures of five degrees Farenheit were observed at the weather station at Casement Aerodrome in Dublin.

Forecasters at Casement  measured 8 inches of snow last night, which is the third highest accumulation on record, after the winters of 1978-79 and 1962-63.

“This gives some idea of the exceptional conditions we are facing,” he said, adding that the severe weather had come very early by normal standards.