BREAKING: ALL schools to close tomorrow
The Department of Education and Skills has advised in the last few minutes that ALL schools throughout the country are to remain closed tomorrow (Monday).
The decision comes after Met Eireann at 8pm extended its red level wind warning from eight counties to the entire country.
In a statement posted on its website, Met Eireann said it had now issued a national status red wind warning for Ireland.
"Ex-Hurricane Ophelia is forecast to track directly over Ireland during daytime Monday. Violent and destructive gusts are forecast with all areas at risk and in particular the southwest and south in the morning, and eastern counties in the afternoon. Also heavy rain and storm surges along some coasts will result in flooding. There is potential risk to lives."
As a result, the Department of Education has said: "In response to the imminent Storm Ophelia, the Department of Education and Skills is now publicly informing all schools, colleges and other education institutions that they are to remain closed tomorrow, Monday 16 October.
"This decision has been made following discussions with members of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning and in light of the advice from Met Éireann on this unprecedented storm.
"All schools and colleges will be closed tomorrow."
Previously, the Department had told schools in the eight counties included in the first red level wind warning to close. The counties affected were Cork, Kerry, Clare, Wexford, Waterford, Limerick, Mayo and Galway. Now the red level wind warning is extended nationwide.