Evening top 5: People warned to stay indoors; widespread transport disruption; and 'Irish-American Heritage Month'

The top stories this Wednesday night

People "should not venture out" during expected blizzard-like conditions tomorrow

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has called on the public to stay safe and to heed warnings from Met Éireann and State agencies.

Officials have warned that people in Leinster and Munster should not venture outside during expected 'blizzard-like conditions' tomorrow.

Schools will close across the two provinces for the rest of the week, while major transport disruption is expected - with no Dublin Bus or Bus Éireann services operating tomorrow in affected areas.

Widespread transport disruption tomorrow as country prepares for blizzard-like conditions

Public transport across Ireland is set to be heavily disrupted on Thursday, as the country prepares for expected 'blizzard-like conditions'.

A status red weather warning has been issued for Leinster and Munster, which is set to come into effect tomorrow at 4.00pm.

Officials are urging people in the affected areas to stay indoors when the warning is in effect, while lower-level warnings are also in place across the country.

ISPCC Childline to close Wednesday night due to poor weather conditions

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) has announced its listening service for children is to close overnight on Wednesday.

ISPCC says Childline will close from 10.00pm on Wednesday night until 8.00am on Thursday morning.

It says the decision was taken "with regret" as a result of the poor weather conditions being experienced across the country.

Government confirms double fuel allowance payment for this week

The Government has confirmed it will double the fuel allowance for this week.

Around 330,000 people will benefit from the extra €22.50 this week to heat their homes, according to Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty.

Speaking this morning, Minister Doherty said: "We're going to pay a double week which will be €45.

US President Donald Trump declares March 'Irish-American Heritage Month'

The US President Donald Trump has praised Irish-Americans for "helping usher in a new era of American prosperity".

Mr Trump was speaking as he proclaimed March 'Irish-American Heritage Month'.

He said during the month, the US celebrates "the tremendous role" Irish immigrants and their descendants have played in the development of the United States.