As I sit in my home office today awaiting the arrival of Storm Emma this afternoon and the promised 24 hour snow blizzards to top up the heavy snow fall already outside my window I am mindful of other such snow events in my life.
I grew up on the Wicklow Carlow border area near Kiltegan in Co Wicklow and I well remember the snow drifts that arrived overnight in December 1962 ( December 28 I think ). I was a small child with my mother and sister in our home. My father and older brothers had travelled to relations in Kerry shortly after Christmas so we felt somewhat vulnerable when we awoke to massive snow drifts and snow up to my waist in our garden. I do recall a local farmer trying to clear snow drifts on the roads so that people could attend Mass in Tynock Co Carlow ( where we lived ). That snow lasted for many weeks as January and February were very cold months. Just like now the wind came from the East down the slopes of nearby Lugnaquilla mountain.
My Mum had a great fear of snow . She recalled snow on cocks of hay in June in 1933 where she lived near Hacketstown in County Carlow . She often told me also about the ” Big Snow” of 1947 when my father had to walk to Kiltegan along the tops of the roadside ditches because the snow was 4-5 feet deep on the road itself.
I was married and living in Carlow in January 1982 when there was also very heavy snow . I recall the Air Corp helicopters collecting supplies from the grounds of the Braun factory to drop to isolated and stranded households along the side of Mount Leinster.
In the more recent past there were record low temperatures and snow in 2009/20102011.
But it is the snow ” event” of 1962 which reminds me most of today’s imminent event . There is perhaps 30 cm snow already with another 24 hours fall to come. I already see snow drifting against walls and my memories of my 1962 childhood snow event return to my mind’s eye.