Coping with Storm Emma
A walker and pets enjoying the snowy landscape at the Glen of the Downs, Delgany, Wicklow. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
Sir, – The tonnes of salt being used as grit and now thawing on the national roads during this cold spell will be washed into the receiving aquatic environment, rivers and streams, and so directly impact the ecological status of the rivers.
All species should be considered in this scenario, not just people, and buffer zones near rivers should be established by county councils to neutralise these deleterious substances before entering the aquatic environment.
It is also incumbent on county councils to adequately store the salt left over after the thaw in council storage depots.
The councils should consider discarding the use of salt in favour of stone gritting. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – “Beast from the East”? “Storm in a Teacup” more like. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – I admit I laughed at all the fuss in Ireland because of the “Beast from the East”. Yesterday, I travelled from Detroit to Chicago, a trip that takes about one hour. The plane, originally scheduled to depart at noon, eventually departed at 7pm due to a freak snow storm in the Detroit area. I’m not laughing now. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – During the recent inclement weather, I have become aware of a strange phenomenon. Because of the covering of snow on my roof, I have used less heating fuel, presumably due to its extra insulating properties. My conscience is weighing up the resulting dilemma regarding whether I should return the extra fuel payment. It is, as yet, uncertain which side of the scales will be tipped. – Yours, etc,
A chara, – It must be nearly time for someone to start climbing Carrauntoohil. – Is mise,
LOMAN Ó LOINGSIGH,
Sir, – Will aul Mr Brennan be delivering iced pans tomorrow? – Yours, etc,
A chara, – I commend all the brave soldiers attempting to buy bread in Ireland today. Tiocfaidh arán! – Is mise,
Sir, – At this time of severe weather, when there are no postal deliveries, the letters page has no gaps. Does this prove that the pen is mightier than the storm? – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Things must be really bad in terms of staff shortages in the public service. Leo Varadkar is now giving the weather forecast on the radio.
Or, perish the thought, is he just grandstanding, riding on an issue that is already being adequately handled by the emergency response services? – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Your report of teachers providing online lessons for students during school closures due to adverse weather (“School is out – but homework continues online for some students”, News, March 1st) highlights a worrying trend towards an “always on” mentality in the Irish education system. The increasing expectation that teachers be accessible to students and parents at all times, via email and online platforms, encouraged by some teachers, will inevitably lead to teacher burnout. Beyond this, and more worrying, are the lessons that such practice teaches our students. To suggest to students that a single lesson cannot be missed lacks perspective and undermines efforts to nurture student wellbeing.
During such remarkable, memorable events, if we feel the need to direct our students, we should encourage them to look out for the vulnerable in their communities, to enjoy some downtime with those they live with and, when safe, to go out and relish the experience of a once in a generation natural phenomenon. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – There’s one simple way to assess the safety level for a weather emergency in Ireland. Check out the number of pubs that remain open! – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Is there another country in the world where a prime minister would appear on national TV, not once but several times, to give warning of an impending blizzard? Our Taoiseach is certainly a clever operator and knows how to garner publicity for himself and his party. Full marks for initiative. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Tiocfaidh ár thaw. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Storm Emma has closed down the country’s pubs for two days and not a squeak from the publican lobby. The weather had better improve by Good Friday or there’ll be hell to pay! – Yours, etc,
Sir, – A massive thank you to all staff working in nursing homes for their dedication, commitment and going the extra mile, which they always do. Staff are sleeping over, working extra shifts, arranging families to care for their loved ones just so that they can care for others. – Yours, etc,
Lucan, Co Dublin.