Hardy Border residents dismiss capital fears about weather

‘I think the fuss is just because it is the east coast’


Residents of the Border village of Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, expressed some surprise – and even derision – at preparations for the impending weather events on Tuesday.

As the Cavan hills were bathed in early morning sunshine, shoppers in the town said they thought the emphasis on preparation was “because it’s Dublin”.

Shopper Ann Doonan from Swanlinbar said people in rural areas were naturally more prepared because of experience with tough weather.

“We get on with it. In 2010 Brackley Lake froze over completely and people were skating on it. But you didn’t read about it in the papers,” she said.

“It is different here because we are used to it,” she said, “I think the fuss is just because it is the east coast.”

Local Supervalu supermarket manager Sinead Maguire said some people had been buying extra bread and milk but not many.

Standing beside full shelves of bread she said locals had prepared well for Storm Ophelia which had not amounted to much in the area. “We were ready for Storm Ophelia and it did not do too much damage,” she said.

But, she said, when the weather forecast mentioned Dublin or the east coast “we hear all about it”.

Auden Tobin in the local bookshop and newsagent said she agreed. “It’s when it hits Dublin it is a big thing,” she said.

Up the road at the Slieve Russell hotel more than 500 delegates attending the annual conference of the Irish Hotel Federation were not unduly bothered.

Some delegates spoke of “getting to the M50 before 5pm just in case”.

As bright sunshine flooded in through the windows, delegates circulated a meme of a Dubliner dancing in panic because a snowflake had landed on his face.

In the hotel gym, locals said conditions would not disimprove until Thursday or Friday. Patrick Brady said it was laughable.

“They have the snow ploughs out. There is talk of calling in the army. They should come and live here,” he said.

Across the Border in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, Sheila McDonald said: “It’s the east coast, isn’t it? We have heard about it. I suppose we won’t hear the end of it.”