More wet weather on way to dampen spirits further . . .
AS if we needed another excuse to don the wellies, early indications are pointing towards another cloudy and possibly wet week according to Met Eireann forecaster Sandra Spillane.
"The week ahead looks to be cloudy at the moment, but warm in places," said Ms Spillane. "The main aspect of Sunday's weather looks to be high winds due to a high pressure front pushing in from the east, which will also give the day a mild and humid feel."
Having endured one of the wettest Junes on record, the nation's population won't be overly enamoured with the predictions for the coming week, as yet another front of wet weather edges north-east towards Ireland over the next few days.
"As for the rest of the week, we're anticipating more wet weather as another rain front approaches north-east from the Continent. That will arrive on late Sunday/Monday morning, and will more than likely persist for most of next week," added the forecaster.
The farming community in particular has been left to rue the unseasonably dismal weather, with flooded fields making ripe crops inaccessible to farming equipment during what should be a busy harvesting period.
Much of the south-west has suffered from widespread and occasionally severe flooding over the last few rainy months, prompting the Government to issue a €10m flood assistance fund to affected areas.
Meanwhile, writes Barry Duggan, swimmers and surfers returned to the waters at three of the country's most popular beaches yesterday after fears over bacteria levels eased.
Clare County Council lifted restrictions for bathing at Lahinch, Kilkee and Spanish Point beaches yesterday after advising people to remain out of the water on Friday when elevated levels of e-coli were detected in the three beaches.
The local authority last night confirmed that preliminary results of water samples taken from the three bathing areas showed a dramatic reduction of levels of bacteria.
The council and HSE said an improvement in weather conditions in recent days has been the main contributory factor to the positive results.
Anne Haugh, from Clare County Council, said lifeguards at the three beaches have been instructed to remove all red flags indicating that bathing was prohibited. "The blue flag at Lahinch and Kilkee beaches has been restored, having been temporarily withdrawn on Friday," Ms Haugh added.