All schools in Co. Leitrim will be closed tomorrow after Met Éireann issued a status red weather alert this evening for the entire country due to the arrival of Hurricane Ophelia in the early morning.
“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,” Met Éireann said on its website.
“Also heavy rain and storm surges along some coasts will result in flooding. There is potential risk to lives.”
The Department of Education said that as a result of the warning all schools, colleges and other education institutions are being told to remain closed.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed T.D. this evening urged farmers, fishermen and people in rural areas to be extra vigilant and take precautions as Storm Ophelia approaches the country.
"I urge farmers and all people in rural areas to ensure that they are ready for the approaching storm and ask them to follow closely the advice of the authorities particularly for those in the worst affected counties. Priority is obviously the safety of people and I would reiterate the advice that only essential travel should be taken. For farmers they should ensure that their yards are secured by securing loose objects."
The Minister also reminded landowners of the dangers of fallen trees in particular the impact this can have on electric wires. The assessment of damage in such circumstances should only be carried by appropriately trained professionals from the electricity companies.
Shed doors should be securely fastened and older slat roofs sheds avoided. If you have to check on livestock, bring a family member or neighbour and in more exposed and remote areas, wait until the storm abates.
The Minister also asked people to check on elderly neighbours in rural areas and importantly avoid any risks.