Snowdrifts block roads forcing people to take refuge in a pub in Ashbourne, County Meath.

The snowdrifts in the Ashbourne area of County Meath are the highest and longest in the county. The main road to Ashbourne has been blocked since the evening of 8 January 1982, forcing about 300 people to spend the night at the White House pub. Two days later, 12 adults and four children are still there.

Those remaining are angry at being trapped for such a lengthy period. Maureen Paul and daughter Hannah are trying to get back to England. Tony Farrell, Kevin Mannion, Tommy Keaveney and John O'Reilly are unable to get in touch with their wives. Tony Farrell explains the telephones are out of order and as the electricity supply was down,

She mightn't even see the television to find out where we are.

Eventually a Roadstone earth mover hired by Meath County Council arrives on the scene to shift the snow. But according to the driver,

Had he got the same call from Meath County Council at any stage during the last two days he could have come.

The earth mover cuts through about a quarter of a mile in one hour. Two JCBs privately hired by Premier Dairies are also hard at work ploughing through five miles of drifts. So far,

It hasn’t been possible to contact Meath County Council to ask why the giant snow eaters couldn’t have shown their teeth at least 36 hours earlier.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 January 1982. The reporter is Brendan O'Brien.