Weather events are dictating almost everything today, as the country prepares for a storm from 4pm. Heavy snowfall is making roads impassable in several parts of the region and as a result several events are cancelled over the next two days.
Here are Thursday’s updates on the local impacts of the storm, nicknamed 'The Beast From The East'.
4.45pm: There is two feet of snow in Tubberclair and a blizzard is coming across Lough Ree. Visibility is poor. The winds are gaining strength in south Roscommon, where there are light falls of snow at present.
Athlone Musical Society has announced that it is cancelling Saturday night's opening performance.
However, Sunday's matinee 5pm performance and ALL other shows will go ahead as planned.
For those who have purchased tickets for opening night - these can be exchanged for other performance by contacting the theatre directly (Box Office 090 64 92129)
The official Patrons/Sponsors night will now be held on Saturday, March 10.
As the Government warning to remain indoors comes into operation, here's a few pictures of fun in the snow earlier today which were sent in by our readers.
Marian Byrne and her snowman.
Gormla O Duinn with the latest recruit for Southern Gaels.
1.30pm: Motorpark Athlone and Galway will remain closed today and tomorrow, with sales and parts reopening on Saturday at 10am.
Athlone Community Radio is off air until further notice.
12.50pm Some great pictures coming in to here in the Westmeath Independent. Keep them coming folks!
Snow humour is great.. Local dance teacher Julieanne Reynolds in Walderstown sent us this fantastic shot of Emma, the only one to turn up for dance class today!!
Abigail Murphy is a snow angel in Monksland!
A snowman built in Mullingar by John Menton and the dog, Rince, entitled 'A Dream of Summer'
12.22pm: Garda update:
A Status Red Warning is in place. Forecasters predict the nation is to be hit with blizzard like conditions with zero visability later tonight which will extend countrywide. Heavier snow is expected in from the south east with thunderstorms/hail over Munster and south Leinster. Gale force with risk of coastal flooding expected.
Everyone across the country has been advised to stay indoors from 4pm today due to Storm Emma/Beast fom the East. Remember to check in on elderly and vulnerable neighbours.
12.20pm: Reports coming to us that parts of the N55 between Athlone and Ballymahon are treacherous with traffic have great difficulty getting up the hills.
11.50am: Reports of cars unable to progress up High Street and Bastion Street and Custume Place in Athlone due to slippy road conditions.
11.40am: Westmeath County Council crews have been out treating roads since yesterday evening and a further treatment was applied from 5:30am this morning. Snow ploughs are in use on the priority routes, being the National Primary and Secondary roads and the TII Motorway Maintenance Contractor is working to keep the motorways and dual carriageways in operation.
Despite these efforts, all routes are extremely hazardous, some are impassable and the public are strongly advised not to attempt any journeys until the Status Red Weather Warning has been lifted.
The scene at Athlone Bridge at 10am this morning.
11.35am: Roscommon County Council offices are closed today and tomorrow.
Westmeath County Council offices are closed today and tomorrow. Urgent calls should be made to 044 9332000.
The Left Bank restaurant in Athlone is closed today.
11.18am: Westmeath are due to take part in a double header in the Allianz Leagues at TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar this Sunday, with the hurlers listed to play Kerry at 1pm and the footballers down to face Fermanagh at 3pm. However, the GAA at national level has decided to wait until tomorrow (Friday) to confirm how many, if any, of the fixtures will go ahead.
"The GAA can confirm that a fixtures plan is being put in place to cater for any potential negative impact caused by the adverse weather on the Allianz Leagues. If required, the details of this contingency plan will be announced later in the week," said a statement earlier this week.
11am: Post offices are closing at 1pm today until further notice.
All Dunnes Stores outlets are closed.
All Peter Mark hair salons are closed.
Roscommon Hospital clinics and patient appointments cancelled.
Spare a thought for the Civil Defence and Athlone Ambulance Service who are on duty today. Staff are out and about on calls, amid hazardous conditions in places.
10.32am: Roscommon & District FL update ...
"Due to the current weather warnings, both RDFL fixtures scheduled for tomorrow night have been postponed.
Moore United v Ballaghaderreen FC - postponed
Ballinasloe Town B v Lough Harps - postponed
"A decision on Saturday & Sunday's game will be taken at the weekend.
"Tomorrow evening's Anti-Racism Workshop has also been cancelled and will be re-arranged at a later date."
10.12am: The Buccaneers v Clontarf game due to be played on Saturday in Dubarry Park, Athlone has been postponed.
"The IRFU wish to advise that due to the prevailing weather conditions and alerts throughout the country all Ulster Bank League fixtures planned for this weekend have been postponed. The IRFU will announce new dates for these fixtures as soon as possible," said a statement from the IRFU.
Westmeath County Council has announced the closure of public offices and facilities today and tomorrow.
All of the following are closed:
- All Public Libraries in the county
- Athlone Civic Centre
- Athlone Castle & Luan Gallery
- Athlone Regional Sports Centre
- Aras an Chontae, Mullingar
- Civic Centre, Castlepollard
- Belvedere House, Gardens & Park
- Mullingar Swimming Pool