Horrendous weather has brought parts of Ireland to a standstill again – with blizzards, torrential rain and gusting winds forecast for the weekend.

Travel plans are in chaos for commuters and thousands of homes have been left without electricity after the latest break in the weather.

Ulster has been worst hit so far with over 40,000 homes and businesses across Northern Ireland without electricity after storm force winds and heavy snow.

A spokesman for Northern Ireland Electricity told the Irish Times damage that is concentrated in the southern and eastern areas, and also parts of the north coast.

Flights have been disrupted at George Best Belfast City Airport where the main runway was closed.

Some ferry sailings to Britain have been cancelled because of poor weather conditions on the Irish Sea.

The AA Roadwatch service has said excess surface water and spot flooding on many routes is making driving conditions particularly dangerous.

Flash flooding is worst in Cork. Shops and homes in Blackpool village have been damaged with flooding reported on main routes across the country.

Ireland’s state weather service Met Éireann has issued a ‘status yellow’ warning, the third most serious warning it can give under a new alert system.

A spokesman said widespread heavy rain or prolonged showers will give rise to spot flooding in many parts.

He said: “Especially at risk are eastern coastal areas due to strong to gale force East to southeast winds.”

Met Éireann has also issued a snow and ice warning for Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal.

They are also predicting blizzards and drifting in the strong winds in some northern parts.