Six people have been rescued from a mountain in Co Kerry overnight amid “dangerous” conditions as a snow warning has been put in place for the entire island of Ireland.
Kerry Mountain Rescue Team were responding to reports that a female hillwalker had fallen in the eastern part of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks.
It then received reports that other hillwalkers were in difficulty and found six people stuck 150 metres from the bottom of a gully.
“Conditions on the hill were very poor, rending any approach to the casualties from the bottom of the gully dangerous,” it said.
Rescuers climbed to a point above the trapped people and abseiled down to them.
The casualties were secured to haul lines that were used to bring them all safely to the top of the ridge.
“Apart from being very cold and fatigued, thankfully none of the casualties were injured and the rescue concluded at approximately 1.30am,” it said.
The Irish weather agency Met Eireann has warned that rain, sleet and snow will be accompanied by strengthening easterly winds.
“Accumulations of snow are expected in many areas along with icy conditions,” it said.
The forecaster warned of possible travel disruption, hazardous driving conditions and poor visibility.
An Garda Siochana advised motorists to take care.
“We continue to remind motorists to exercise caution when driving today as visibility and road conditions may be poor in some areas,” it said.
The weather has also caused disruption to some Irish rail services and some TFI Local Link bus services have been cancelled in Limerick and Clare.
Meanwhile, horse racing has been cancelled at Thurles Racecourse following a track inspection.
Cork County Council urged caution on roads around Kanturk, Newmarket, Ballydesmond, Freemount, Liscarroll, Dromina and Charleville following snow showers.
A Status Yellow Snow-Ice warning for the Republic of Ireland is in place until 11pm on Thursday, but this will be immediately followed by other warnings from the agency.
A Status Yellow Low Temperature Ice/Warning applies for the whole country from 11pm Thursday until 10am Friday.
Met Eireann said there will be widespread icy stretches during the overnight and morning period.
A Status Yellow Snow-Ice warning will remain in place for Cavan, Monaghan and the province of Munster.
“Sleet and snow slowly clearing eastwards on Thursday night and early on Friday with further accumulations of snow expected,” it said.
The UK Met Office has applied a Yellow Snow warning to Northern Ireland until 2pm Friday with heavy snow having the potential to “cause disruption”.