After years of criticism for excluding the Six Counties, the Irish weather forecasting service is to include all of Ireland on its weather warning maps.
Head of forecasting with Met Éireann, Evelyn Cusack, said that since taking over the role two years ago she had been aiming to include the north.
Traditionally, Met Éireann issues colour coded warnings for severe weather in the 26 Counties, but leaves the North shaded in an ambiguous grey.
Ms Cusack said that information appearing on Met Éireann maps will soon be carried from its British counterpart, with an appropriate colour applied. “Orange” weather warnings will be referred to as “amber” in the North, in line with the language normally used there.
In her proposal to London’s Met Office, Ms Cusack said: “It would be very unusual if not unique for one National Meteorological Service (NMS) to display the warnings issued by another NMS but Met Éireann is proposing this for citizen safety and societal well-being.”
The development was welcomed by Sinn Féin Seanadóir Niall Ó Donnghaile, who has campaigned for years on the issue.
He said: “Weather knows no borders and it is crucial that we ensure the greatest amount of information is made available to people during incidents of adverse or dangerous weather.
“Going forward, it will be of crucial importance that media and other news outlets adhere to the new information being put out by Met Éireann and accurately reflect the warning-statuses for the entirety of Ireland via their own platforms.”
Ms Cusack said that she aims to have weather warnings for the North on Met Éireann maps by the summer.