Wednesday 21 August 2019

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Cork Independent


Snow laughing matter

Wednesday, 16th January, 2019 4:59pm

With last year’s snowfall still fresh in Cork’s memory, local businesses are worried about the same possibility in 2019.

Meteorologists have updated earlier forecasts and warned that snow could hit Ireland this weekend, sooner than the previous outlook which had the white stuff arriving towards the end of the month or early February.

Reports from the Midlands Weather Channel, which successfully predicted last year’s mash up of Storm Emma and Beast from the East before anyone else, have suggested that heavy snow and disruption could hit Ireland very soon.

Pat O’Connell of O’Connell Fish Merchants in the English Market believes that last year’s heavy snowfall was not a once off, and that from an environmental point of view, Ireland is miles behind other countries.

Mr O’Connell said: “It was desperate. You’re caught both ways really because you don’t want to be stocked up in case people can’t get to town, and then on the other hand you don’t want to be without stock. Then you have to get the stock from Kinsale or Castletownbere or wherever the boats are coming in.

“We don’t have the facilities for it. Last time you were looking at two weeks before we were back to normal.

“We need to make sure there’s a contingency plan in place,” he added.

According to Mr O’Connell, global warming and the melting of the ice caps has caused a number species of fish to move further north and out of Irish waters.

Also affected by last year’s blizzard-like conditions was Susan Ryan, manager of Susan Ryan Beauty Salon and Clinic, who told the Cork Independent yesterday that business owners are in a “no win situation” when it comes to heavy snowfall.

Ms Ryan said: “It all depends on where your staff are coming from because there’s an onus on the business to restrict them coming to work and to stay at home and be safe. As a responsible employer I know where my staff are coming from and I don’t want them trudging diligently across Cork trying to get to work.

“Last year there was three days’ complete loss of income, yet staff had to be paid even though there was no turnover. My best friend is married to a Norwegian and he thought it was just hilarious.

“Snow obviously doesn’t curtail him in any way. It’s business as usual.

“But here we get two flakes of snow and we’re all freaked out about it,” Ms Ryan added.

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