THE Department of Education has confirmed that schools in Cork are to remain closed tomorrow in the aftermath of Storm Ophelia.
A number of areas have had major power outages today and other areas are still assessing storm damage, and may not be able to make full assessments until much later tonight or tomorrow morning.
As the eye of the storm passed over Valentia in Co Kerry at lunchtime, winds have begun to strengthen again in the south west, so it is advised that no repair works are undertaken until the storm has fully passed.
In the meantime, Minister for Education Richard Bruton issued the following statement: ‘Following careful consideration by the National Emergency Coordination Group, the Department of Education and Skills, has decided that all schools will remain closed tomorrow. While it is recognised that some schools may not be as badly impacted as others, the information available at this time indicates that over 350,000 businesses and homes are already without power, as severe winds continue to cause damage across the country as the storm progresses.
‘It is also the case that school authorities will in very many cases not have had an opportunity to check their buildings and confirm they are safe, have power and water, and that routes to the school are safely open.
‘It is recognised that the decision to close schools will have a major impact on families and on the workforce. However, this decision has been taken in the interests of safety for children and to provide clarity for everyone concerned.’