Storm Ophelia has forced former US president Bill Clinton to postpone a planned intervention in Northern Ireland’s political stalemate.
Mr Clinton had been due in the Province yesterday to meet the warring political parties as they continue to struggle to reach a deal to restore the collapsed Executive.
But the visit was called off at late notice.
The Press Association reported that the reason for the cancellation was due to the severe weather warnings and that the visit may still take place today.
According to Stormont sources, Mr Clinton planned to take the meetings ahead of an official event in Dublin today, when he will receive an honorary doctorate from Dublin City University.
The face-to-face talks were aimed at encouraging former government partners Sinn Fein and the DUP to work through their differences and restart power-sharing.
With no end in sight to the political stalemate the Province could be moving back to direct rule.
Since his first visit to Northern Ireland in 1995, Mr Clinton has been a high-profile international champion of the peace process.
He undertook three visits to Northern Ireland while he was US president and several since he left office.
He has also taken on the role of exerting pressure on both sides when political progress seemed to have stalled.
During his most recent visit earlier this year for the funeral of Martin McGuinness, he urged party leaders to complete the work of the former IRA commander turned politician, and to restore power-sharing.
The Stormont government collapsed in January after the resignation of Mr McGuinness as deputy first minister, in a row over the DUP’s handling of a botched renewable heat energy scheme.
Months of talks aimed at restoring power-sharing have so far failed, with Sinn Fein and the DUP unable to reach agreement on a number of key areas, including an Irish language act and legacy issues.
On Saturday the DUP ruled out any immediate return of the Executive at Stormont and Sinn Fein echoed that negative prognosis.
In a blow to the UK and Irish governments’ hopes that a deal to bring back Stormont is close, the DUP said “significant areas of difference” remained with Sinn Fein.
In a statement, the party said: “Any notion that an agreement is imminent and that the Assembly will meet next week has no basis in fact given the present state of the talks.”
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said he agreed with the DUP that there were unresolved issues.
Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney recently said the talks were at a “sensitive” point and added that he was hopeful of a successful outcome soon.
At the weekend the leader of Fianna Fail, Micheal Martin called on the DUP and Sinn Fein to establish an Executive that will deal with Brexit.
It followed comments from the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, who said EU leaders need to know soon who they can talk to in Northern Ireland about Brexit.