Before the snow cleared

Ireland Before snow cleared
…Rugby and GAA fixtures were cancelled…

The ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma caused chaos on Ireland’s roads

Ireland is this week still counting the cost of last week’s blizzard and Storm Emma which some estimates put as high as €160m with the country’s restaurant and bars claiming losses of €70m a day.

The country’s transport companies Dublin Bus, Irish Rail and Bus Éireann shutdown as early as Wednesday with normal services only returning this week. Irish Rail and Dublin Bus were reported to have lost €600,000 a day while Bus Éireann was reported to have lost €250,000.

There is no actual definitive figure for losses or damages but two big freezes in Ireland in 2010, in January and December, resulted in payouts totalling €297m and €224m.

Restaurants Association of Ireland chief executive Adrian Cummins was quick to say, almost as if on cue, that his members lost €50m.

Ireland did come to a standstill at one point with widespread reports of panic buying of sliced bread and some dramatic incidents of looting at a branch of Lidl in Tallaght.

Ireland Before snow cleared
…Thieves took advantage of the adverse weather conditions to break into a Lidl store with a JCB…

By the start of this week airlines were trying to clear backlogs caused by thousands of flight cancellations.

Ireland Before snow cleared
…Heavy snow forced the closure of Shannon Airport… Photo: Sam Boal/

All major sports fixtures and a scheduled meeting of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Sligo were cancelled.

Ireland Before snow cleared
…but at least some people were able to enjoy the deepest snowfalls since 1982

Schools and colleges reopened for the first time in almost a week. Amongst the worst affected areas were in Wexford, Wicklow and Kildare. All non-urgent surgeries scheduled for the start of the week were cancelled.

Supermarkets which ran out of fresh food and dairy products predicted it would be a few days into this week before normal service is resumed.

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