A local company has said it took over 200 tonnes of salt to ensure that our local places and spaces were safe for use across the cold snap last week.

Everyone in Fermanagh felt the chill as temperatures plummeted last week to -7°C and often staying below freezing point throughout the day and night.

Greentown Environmental, the principal contractor for Fermanagh and Omagh District Council for winter gritting and snow clearance had staff working hard to keep areas across Fermanagh and Omagh safe as the district felt the chill last week.

Big freeze

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter, Caolan McBrien, Florencecourt Divisional Manager for Greentown spoke to this newspaper about the vast amount of work carried out by staff during the freeze.

He said: “Greentown gritted vast areas over the period of frost including public car parks, leisure centres, community centres, recycling centres and school sites.

“The work was completed for a range of clients including schools and public bodies alongside utility providers and commercial entities. The work involves de-icing areas such as pathways, access roads, parking facilities and communal areas.

“Many sites required multiple grits on certain days, morning and night, as the freezing conditions continued for 24-hour periods.”

The Department for Infrastructure grits our main roads.

The company founded by John-Ross Armstrong has depots in Florencecourt, Lisburn, Dundalk and Dublin and employs almost 150 people including 30 staff who complete gritting contracts alongside a contingency emergency response team, says Caolan.

He added: “We also have several staff assigned to important roles within the overall winter maintenance operation including delivery of salt to yards, meteorological analysis, and planning.”

The company’s operations for cold snap were large, Caolan said: “Greentown completed gritting right across the Fermanagh and Omagh area from Belleek to Rosslea and from Kesh to Carrickmore.

“In addition, Greentown completed substantial gritting in Leitrim, Sligo, Donegal, Belfast and Dublin.”

Breaking down some of the figures behind winter maintenance for the company, there are “approximately 50 vehicles including gritters, snow ploughs, tractors, combi-tractors, quads and mowers with ploughs dedicated to servicing our winter maintenance contracts.

“Approximately 200 tonnes of salt was used during the period of frost last week,” Caolan said.

Greentown has also noted a demand for their winter maintenance service noted Caolan, he said: “During the last week, our office team noted a marked increase in requests for our gritting services from new clients.

“Greentown’s winter maintenance division has expanded substantially in recent years. Unpredictable cold periods and frosts can arrive almost immediately after a mild spell of weather and in this context.”

Looking to the future and the rest of winter, Caolan said: “The key priority for Greentown is safety of our staff, clients, and the public. We understand the vital service that we provide to our clients during the winter months, and we give our utmost to ensure safety and high-quality standards.”