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Ice-cream, fans, burgers and barbecue sales soar as heatwave is set to peak today

Beach resorts at 100pc capacity as sunseekers flock to the coast


Elena Schaffer and son Finn enjoy the sunshine on the beach at Garretstown, Co Cork, yesterday. Photo: Denis Boyle

Elena Schaffer and son Finn enjoy the sunshine on the beach at Garretstown, Co Cork, yesterday. Photo: Denis Boyle

Elena Schaffer and son Finn enjoy the sunshine on the beach at Garretstown, Co Cork, yesterday. Photo: Denis Boyle

Sales of fans, coolers, barbecues, cider and ice-cream soared as Ireland revels in a heatwave that put parts of France and Italy in the shade.

Ireland is forecast be almost 6C hotter than Biarritz, France, and Venice, Italy, today as the week-long heatwave peaks with predicted temperatures set to reach a sweltering 32C.

The hot weather represents a dream come true for families on staycation – with thousands of couples and families expected to take last-minute breaks to make the most of the record sunshine.

Many beach resorts are now totally booked out for the next week with some caravan and mobile home parks having waiting lists for entry.

In Ardmore, Co Waterford, the manager of the Round Tower Hotel, Aidan Quirke, said they were operating at 100pc capacity last weekend as holidaymakers revelled in the sunshine at the resort.

Similar booking levels have been reported in beach resorts in counties Wexford, Meath, Cork, Kerry, Galway and Mayo as the pandemic-hit hospitality sector enjoys a significant boost for the first time in 17 months.

The searing heat and humid nights may be proving uncomfortable but they have sparked a boom for electrical retailers thanks to fans and cooler box sales.

Harvey Norman, DID Electrical and Currys/PC World reported a surge in sales of desktop fans and coolers since last Friday – many to people who are working from home and need a more comfortable environment..

There has also been a surge in sales of solar panels designed for caravans and mobile homes to provide a source of electrical power.

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Irish Water said demand for drinking water is up 25pc in just over a week and it has urged people to conserve supplies as water source levels nationwide are dropping at an alarming rate.

A hose-pipe ban or water conservation order has so far not been proposed by the authorities.

The end of the heatwave is forecast on Friday and with the arrival of Atlantic showers next week this is likely to ease pressure on water resources nationwide.

However, Irish Water has issued water conservation appeals in Cork, Wexford, Kerry and Donegal, given the remarkable surge in domestic usage.

Restrictions on night-time water usage have also been implemented in parts of Laois and Longford.

The heatwave has also triggered a rise sales of barbecues and picnic sets – with some retailers even running short of charcoal as sales soar.

Makers of drinks such as cider have also benefited from an upsurge in sales while ice-cream sales have more than doubled in some areas.

Other retailers have reported brisk sales in burgers, hotdogs and burger buns – with some retailers running low on supplies.

Sales of burgers, fresh chicken and sausages in parts of Wexford, Waterford and Kerry are up by more than half as people make the most of their barbecues during the warmer conditions.

Sales of ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise are also reported to be up by approximately 10pc.

Retailers noted a surge in sales of beach gear ranging from towels and swimming apparel through to foldable chairs and inflatable pools for those who want to cool off in their back gardens.

Takeaways in some beach resorts said business had increased by more than double.

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