Ireland’s first winter storm has the country in an icy grip with snow and severe weather forecast everywhere.

Temperatures had fallen to 19 degrees as the cold snap rolled in from the arctic leaving the country shivering.

Met Eireann the national forecasting service said a deep freeze was on the way and warned motorists to be extra careful.

County Wicklow was taking a harsh beating with roads impassable especially at high altitudes and roads into Wicklow Town impassable.

"Everywhere is heavily flooded," police told the Irish Independent newspaper.

There were blizzards and high winds throughout Ulster while snow was general elsewhere.

Saturday night will be "very, very cold" according to Met Eireann.

"We're facing into a cold regime," a spokesman said.

Snow in the Wicklow mountains - experts say snow for Christmas is unlikelyGoogle Images