College closes until Sunday due to weather conditions

Richard Bruton stated earlier that all colleges in red alert areas will close

  College will close from 5pm today until Sunday morning due to heavy snow which is currently affecting the country.

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) announced via Twitter that Trinity will close, while an email was sent to all students from the College Secretary’s Office this afternoon, informing students and staff that campus will remain closed until Sunday at 10am.

The decision to close college follows an announcement from the Minister for Education Richard Bruton this afternoon that all third-level institutions and centres of further education, as well as primary and secondary schools, located in red alert areas are to close.

After 2pm today, only “the college community” will be able to enter and leave the campus through the Front Gate. Nassau Street gate and Lincoln Gate will remain closed.

“Staff in Estates and Facilities will work to maintain essential services for residents,” Tom Molloy, Director of Public Affairs and Communications said in the email. All conferences, talks and lectures on campus are cancelled while Libraries, catering, the sports centre, the Book of Kells and Science Gallery are also closed.

All clinical placements in Health Sciences are also cancelled. “Those who are employed in an internship capacity should present for duty as normal or should make contact with their hospital. The Dental Hospital has cancelled routine procedures but will operate on an accident and emergency basis,” wrote Molloy.

In a email given to Trinity News, Paul Mangan, Director of Estates and Facilities on campus said: “The decision was taken by the Provost in consultation with senior College officers and took account of the Status Red weather alert, the weather forecast for the next three days, information on the availability of public travel and anticipated road conditions”.

Met Éireann currently has a red alert warning in place for both Munster and Leinster. As a result of these weather alerts, the highest level that can be issued by the Irish meteorological service, all centres of education in these areas have been instructed to close by the Department of Education and Skills.

In a statement released earlier, the Department of Education confirmed its decision, saying the choice was made due to disruption to public transport and a risk to the general safety of those travelling in the poor weather conditions. As of 2pm, no closures have been announced for either Connaught and Ulster, though orange alerts are in place. The Department of Education has said that some institutions may choose to close, with the decision coming down to weather conditions in local areas.

Trinity College was the only university in Dublin that remained open this morning. An email was circulated to staff and students from College stating that the college would remain open for the morning. “The main paths and roads on campus have been cleared and gritted but people on campus should take extra care when walking or driving,” the email said.

Both University College Dublin (UCD) and Dublin City University (DCU) announced closures this morning, whilst Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) also chose to close this afternoon.

This is the second time a weather event has forced the closure of Trinity this academic year, with Storm Ophelia also leading to the closure of college last October. Storm Ophelia caused a nation wide red alert, which saw all universities and schools around the country close.

Shane Hughes

Shane Hughes is a Deputy Features Editor of Trinity News. He is a Senior Sophister Film Studies student, and a former Assistant News Editor.