Dip-dip hooray: Summer returns, but enjoy it while it lasts
'FATHER Ted' star Frank Kelly was among the sun-worshippers who flocked to beaches and parks around the country to soak up the sun before it disappears again for the weekend.
The 74-year-old actor, who played drink-sodden Fr Jack Hackett in the cult comedy series, is a regular swimmer at the popular Forty Foot in Sandycove, south Dublin
"I've been coming here for over 40 years," he said yesterday as he dried off after a dip in Dublin Bay as temperatures hovered around the 20C mark.
"I grab the chance of a swim whenever I can."
Austrian tourist Hannah Gossmann (16) said she and her schoolmates who are visiting Dublin and Galway brought along their swimsuits on the off-chance that they would get to wear them.
"I was really surprised about the weather," said Hannah.
"I thought it would be raining all the time, so we were really surprised and happy."
The only complaint that fellow bather Dean Carey had was that the tide was out, preventing him from taking a flying leap into the sea from the diving platform.
But the 23-year-old from Rathfarmham said he was delighted to have the day off to enjoy the good weather.
Even having to go to the office did not stop Michael McGarry (33), from Lucan, enjoying a day at the beach with his wife Shirley (33) and their daughters Rachel (3) and seven-month-old Lauren.
Michael works for a pharmaceutical company just minutes from the beach and took an early lunch so he could enjoy the sunshine with his family.
The ridge of high pressure that has been responsible for the warm and mostly dry weather over the past few days is expected to slip away by this morning and be replaced by a system from the Atlantic that will bring clouds and patchy rain and drizzle.
"It looks like the glorious sunshine is coming to an end," said Met Eireann forecaster Eoin Sherlock. However, the east of the country is expected to remain dry with some hazy sunshine until later in the afternoon when light rain will arrive.
Temperatures are also expected to stay on the warm side today, with highs of between 17 and 20C.
However, they will gradually drop to between 14C and 18C on Friday when late afternoon rain is expected to hit Leinster and Munster before spreading nationwide along with patches of mist and fog in coastal areas.
Further rain is expected on Friday night along with strong southerly winds.
While some areas may get sunny spells, there will be occasional showers with some heavy and possibly thundery showers in the west and north.
A low pressure system coming in from the Atlantic on Saturday will bring rain and windy conditions across much of the country for the remainder of the weekend.