Snow chaos in Naas' rural areas as all secondary schools stay closed

St. Laurence's national school in Sallins opens tomorrow

Paul O'Meara

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Paul O'Meara

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paul@leinsterleader.ie

Snow chaos in Naas' rural areas as secondary schools stay closed

Pat Kelly and Brendan Broughall clearing the snow in Kill. Photo: Tony Keane

There is no end in sight to the chaos caused by the weather crisis in many rural locations in the greater Naas area.

The main street in Naas is clear as are most routes into the town, particularly closer to the town. The footpaths are relatively clear of snow and ice too.

But’s a different story in rural hinterlands of Caragh, Sallins, Kill and Ballymore Eustace as well as places like Kilteel, Rathmore and Eadestown.

Naas Mayor Rob Power told the Leader that some residents in Kilteel can expect to be isolated for another two days.

“The problem is that farm machinery can only do so much given the scale of the snowfall and it’s difficult for Kildare County Council and their contractors to reach some of these locations,” said Cllr. Power.

He added however that three heavy duty snow clearing machines are headed for Kilteel tomorrow.

There are similar problems in Caragh and Ballymore where some of the roads leading into the villages are wide enough only to allow a single line of traffic.

“This means that near Caragh someone can be driving for several hundred metres, effectively blind and then meets an oncoming vehicle and someone then has to start reversing,” added Cllr Power.

“In some places, snow has drifted to a height of 15 feet.”

Kill was particularly badly hit by the weather  and while surrounding parts are impassable, traffic is moving freely through the village today for the first time since the snow arrived.

“Even in the village though, many people still can’t get out the residential areas; in particular they cannot drive out,” said a Kill resident.

A major snow clearing operation led by Kildare County Council along with local residents as well as Army personnel made the roads and paths safe in Sallins today.

“Thanks to everybody who turned out today to help,” said Sallins Community Council chairperson Fergus Carpenter.

None of the five second level schools in Naas will reopen tomorrow.

Naas Community College principal Ciaran Keegan said the main reason is that there are concerns about whether all of the students could make it to school safely.

The Piper's Hill area of Naas, which is home to an education campus (including the 1,000 student Piper's Hill College) and new residential development, was so badly hit by the weather that some residents took to social media seeking the services of a machinery operator to get rid of the snow.

However the St. Laurence’s primary school in Sallins will open tomorrow.

“About 100 parents volunteered to help clear a way to the school; it was a great community effort,” said principal Noel Lanigan.