High summer temperatures to continue this week - and we can expect some sunny spells too
Hot weather heralds €300m spending boost
High summer temperatures will continue this week but without the blistering sun that blazed the country at the end of last week, according to Met Eireann.
The forecast comes as a leading skin expert warned against the effect of harmful radiation caused by exposure to the sun and people's over-reliance on sun cream to protect them.
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Dr Patrick Ormond, a consultant dermatologist at St James's Hospital, said people use sun cream as a "guilt-free" way to over-indulge in the sun, thus putting their skin at risk.
He added that even in cloudy periods during the summer skin is at risk to solar radiation.
"The radiation concentration in Ireland during the summer is much the same as in Spain, it's just the temperature is higher in Spain," he said.
"It is pretty much around for most of the summer so even if you are out on a cloudy day you need to be careful in the middle of the summer.
"Enjoy the sun but do so sensibly and safely. It is very important that we do get some sunshine.
"The light is good for us, a little bit of radiation is good for us but like everything in life, moderation is very important."
Dr Ormond added it was important to avoid unnecessary sun exposure, especially between 11am and 3pm. Appropriate clothing also helps, he said, adding that sun cream should only be used to complement these steps - not instead of them.
"The problem is most people think they can sunbathe wearing sun cream, or wear very little and get away with it because they have cream on.
"As a society we use it as a guilt-free way of being exposed to the sun. If you are doing that, you are using it incorrectly and will not get the benefit from it."
Met Eireann meteorologist Liz Gavin said temperatures will stay high this week, but without the same intense heat experienced last Thursday and Friday.
"There is going to be more in the way of cloud over the coming days but temperatures are still going to be in the high teens or low 20s on most days," she said.
"We are going to see sunny spells this week, and there will be a few showers around.
"Generally for the week ahead there is a good deal of dry weather with temperatures in the region of 17 to 22 degrees."
The continued good weather has been welcomed by businesses, with economist Jim Power saying it will bring a €300m boost for the economy.
Retail Ireland said it expects sales to increase by an average of "five to 10pc" as people look to spend more time outside.
"I would estimate if you got a week of this sort of weather, it would generate extra spending of at least €300m that otherwise probably would not have occurred," he said. "That spending will come on a variety of things - stuff like ice cream, soft drinks, alcohol and food for barbecues.
"Consumer behaviour changes dramatically during good weather, and then the sales of garden furniture, barbecues and such items will surge back.
"The psychological impact of weather like we have seen in the past week is extraordinary. It really starts to kick in over the weekend."
Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke said good weather has a positive impact on most businesses.
"It depends on the category but if you look on average, it was an uplift of 5-10pc during the fine weather last year," he said.
"That is significant in retails where the margins are tight. It would be the hope that we would perform as well this weekend if not better."