Motorists are being advised to drive with caution this evening as widespread showers of snow and low temperatures are forecast, which may cause difficult driving conditions.

Sligo County Council has warned that driving conditions are treacherous in the county following heavy snowfalls this afternoon. 

There are also reports of difficult driving conditions in parts of Donegal, Antrim and Derry in the North, as well as in parts of Kerry, Meath and Kildare.

Earlier Met Éireann said last night was the coldest in Ireland in a decade.

Air temperatures dipped as low as -8C in some areas. The road surface temperature went as low as -16C.

The cold snap is forecast to continue well into the weekend.

Tonight will also be bitterly cold with temperatures again falling as low as -6C in places.

People with elderly neighbours or relatives living alone have been asked to check regularly on them particularly during the present cold spell.

The appeal was issued by Age Action Ireland, an organisation promoting better policies and services for the elderly.