Widespread mart cancellations as big freeze continues

A number of marts around the country will remain closed over the next few days due to safety concerns over the sub-zero weather conditions currently gripping Ireland.

A spokesperson for Ballymote Mart said that, due to the current weather conditions and in the interest of customer and staff safety, Aurivo Co-op has decided to cancel the mart sale that had been scheduled to take place today (Thursday, March 1).

Kilkenny Mart has also cancelled its cattle sale that had been planned for today due to the bitter weather and blizzard-like conditions. Ennis Mart will remain closed today as well.

For tomorrow, Tullow Mart has cancelled its cattle sale which had been scheduled, with a mart spokesperson urging people to stay safe and keep an eye on neighbours and fellow farmers during this harsh event.

Roscrea Mart has also announced it will remain closed tomorrow, as will Skibbereen Mart.

In addition, on a related note, Kildare Chilling has suspended processing both today and tomorrow on account of the weather.

Last night the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine issued a statement urging farmers to “keep safe” over the coming hours and days as weather conditions are expected to turn treacherous.

This comes as Met Eireann last night extended its Status Red snow and ice alert – its highest level of warning – to the entire country, with the south and south-east expected to be worst impacted.

The weather warning will remain in place until 3:00pm tomorrow. Met Eireann has said that temperatures are expected to remain “below freezing” – between -6º and -8º – throughout the country today, with the risk of strong to gale force winds along coastal areas.

Farmers and rural dwellers have been warned to remain indoors from 4:00pm today and to exercise extreme caution.

The department has highlighted the provision of water, shelter and feed for livestock as priority areas.