Nine people required assistance on Ireland's tallest peak Carrauntoohil yesterday, as volunteers urge the public to avoid climbing without the proper equipment and experience.

At about 1pm yesterday, Kerry Mountain Rescue Team was tasked to assist a male walker who had become stuck, or crag fast, in icy conditions on the Devil's Ladder.

As volunteers were making their way to his location, another group of three got into difficulty in the same location.

Team members roped the casualties and lowered them to easier ground, a statement from the organisation said.

Another two groups were later lowered from the same location, making a total of nine people who required assistance.

"The team would like to remind people that current conditions in the reeks are very serious and any route, including traditional walking routes, should only be attempted by those with prior winter mountaineering experience and the appropriate winter climbing equipment including axes and crampons," said the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team.

The organisation urged people to consider the emergency services if they plan on walking in the mountains during both the cold snap and the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.

If a walker is in difficulty, they will "of course do what we can", but if someone is uninjured or lost, they are asked to consider waiting until morning or until they have better visibility to get themselves out of the situation.

If a walker is seriously injured or not physically able to get themselves off the hill, the volunteers will attend with the minimum number of team members needed to complete the task.

"Because of this, the evacuation will be less straightforward and the overall time to transport you to medical attention will be much longer. Helicopter support will only be requested if a time critical injury is sustained, but this is not a guarantee of availability as helicopter operations in the mountains are complex and limited by weather, light conditions etc." said the statement.

"Kerry Mountain Rescue are asking all hill-goers to be considerate of the resources of the Emergency Services at this time by avoiding high mountain terrain such as the McGillycuddy Reeks, sticking to lowland paths and walkways while strictly observing social distancing principles and the 5km travel restrictions recently re-imposed by the Government.

"Given the current wintry conditions on the hills in Kerry, and recent observations by team members of extremely ill-equipped parties, we would also like to remind people who are considering venturing into the hills at this time to ensure they are properly equipped (including ice axe and crampons), have sufficient winter mountaineering experience and are complying with Government guidance on travel restrictions."