Friday 23 August 2019

Jigs and reels for goddess Danú are ignored with a rainy summer solstice

Tom Donoghue, of Sea Road, Galway, taking part in the Irish Cancer Society’s first ‘Colour Dash’ in Galway yesterday
Tom Donoghue, of Sea Road, Galway, taking part in the Irish Cancer Society’s first ‘Colour Dash’ in Galway yesterday
Orla Quinn (5) with the Mad Hatter, at the Dublin Garden Festival, in Christ Church Cathedral, on its final day yesterday

Sam Griffin

On the longest day of the year, the gods were not in the mood to oblige the prayers of sun-worshippers with a combination of cloud, rain, moderate temperatures and only patchy sunshine countrywide.

Pilgrims took to the ancient peaks of the Co Kerry mountains yesterday, as part of the annual tradition of celebrating the summer solstice, during which set dances and ritualistic re-enactments were offered up in honour of the goddess Danú. But those efforts, part of the Killarney Walking Festival which took hikers some 2,300 feet up the Paps of Danú mountain, were met with only cool temperatures and overcast skies.

Other parts of the country faired better but, all-in-all, it was "a pretty average" day, according to Met Éireann, with more of the same expected in the coming days. "Most places got some sunshine but it was coming and going all day. There were quite a lot of showers across Ulster and the northern half of the country, with those showers heavy in some places," explained forecaster David Rogers.

And the summer sun was in short supply along the west and north-west yesterday, with the mercury struggling to rise beyond 11C or 12C in these areas.

Temperatures were closer to 16C further to the south and east - but nothing to get sun-seekers too excited.

And the variable and ultimately "unexceptional" conditions look set to stay for the coming week.

"It's pretty average, really. There aren't going to be any extremes of anything. It will be mixed with some fine days earlier this week, but rainy and showery too," said Mr Rogers.

That rain, expected today, will be worst in the south and gradually move northwards, but Mr Rogers said it should have all died out by this evening, allowing for a fine end to the day.

"Tuesday will be mild for this time of the year, with just average temperatures of mid to high teens. In one or two spots we could have 20C," he added.

"After that there will be some rain and drizzle getting into western parts. It won't be anything too heavy but the usual murky conditions we expect at this time of year. Temperatures will stay around normal further east." A weather front coming in from the Atlantic will bring "below normal temperatures" and mixed mild and humid conditions for the weekend.

Irish Independent

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