Irish doctor among four killed in avalanche
An Irishwoman was one of four mountain walkers in Scotland killed as a cold snap spread across northern Europe at the weekend.
The friends died on Saturday after the slope they were walking on gave way. They fell hundreds of metres down the mountain and were buried in two metres of snow. The incident happened on Bidean Nam Bian, a 1,150m mountain in the Scottish Highlands near Ben Nevis.
Among those who died was Una Rachel Finnegan, a doctor from Co Antrim, who was based in Edinburgh.
Ireland has escaped the worst of the bad weather to date, but snow fell yesterday in Louth, Monaghan, Cavan and the Wicklow mountains.
Mountain rescue teams came to the aid of six drivers stranded in Dublin and Wicklow over the weekend.
A car with two occupants got trapped in heavy snow near the Sally Gap on Saturday. Yesterday, two people were rescued from a vehicle that got trapped in snow and ice in the Glenmalure area.
It is going to be bitterly cold in the coming days. Temperatures will fall as low as minus-six degrees tomorrow night, rising to no more than one to four degrees during the day in most places. The cold is due to continue until Friday at least.
There is a possibility of snow overnight and this morning in Dublin and along the east coast.
Age Action has repeated warnings to older people to take the necessary steps to protect themselves from the cold. Spokesman Eamon Timmins said the cold contributed to the 1,500-2,000 deaths of elderly people each winter.
He urged elderly people to use their free electricity or gas units if they receive the household benefits package and to remain in telephone contact with family and friends.
Impact at airports
Dublin Airport Authority spokeswoman Siobhán Moore said their snow- and ice-clearing teams are at the ready if needed and the runways had been de-iced over the weekend.
Sleet and snow are also expected inland in Munster and in west Connacht. It will be very cold for the rest of the week with chances of snow along the coast, though it will be mostly dry elsewhere.
Heathrow Airport cancelled 260 flights yesterday, or about 20 per cent of the total. In Frankfurt 294 flights were grounded, and only 40 per cent of flights were completed into and out of Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris.
Aer Lingus was forced to cancel 16 flights yesterday to airports in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, but the airline said it was able to accommodate passengers on other flights. Ryanair cancelled 10 flights yesterday but none to or from Ireland.