Bluebells ring in the sun as the heat is on
Wall-to-wall sunshine across the country had the mercury nudging just slightly below 18C at Ireland's hotspot on Valentia Island in Co Kerry - just two degrees below Valencia, Spain.
Sunshine is forecast for the rest of the week to Sunday with temperatures expected to hit a balmy 20C, according to Met Éireann forecaster Joanna Donnelly.
Although clouds will start to build today with the possibility of a bit of drizzle on Saturday, today and tomorrow will remain dry with daytime highs hovering between 14-17C. An easterly wind will keep conditions cool and breezy along the east coast.