Showers to spoil the weekend sunshine
JUST when we were beginning to think there would be a summer . . .
Brilliantly sunny weather across the country yesterday will be followed by showers and periods of heavy persistent rain over the weekend, according to the weather forecasters.
And that will spoil much of the bank holiday break for huge crowds of tourists and holidaymakers who have been descending on coastal resorts for a host of festivals and getaway breaks.
The West will have a showery start today, while elsewhere it will initially be dry.
But heavier rain will develop and spread eastwards throughout the day. It will be heavy and persistent by this evening, with only the West getting a clear night to make up for the dismal start to the day.
Showery weather will greet the early-risers tomorrow morning with some areas also experiencing sunny spells. Overall, tomorrow will be cooler than recent days and rain will start to move in from the Atlantic.
That rain will spread nationwide on Monday, dampening everyone's hopes of a sunny end to the bank holiday. Tuesday will be much the same with rain and the odd spot of thunder, interspersed with sunny spells.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen yesterday led a chorus of appeals to motorists to slow down and exercise caution on the country's roads.
"I would ask everyone to be very careful, given the volumes of traffic we have on our roads over the coming days," Mr Cowen said.
The AA's spokeswoman, Nicola Hudson, said: "People attending events or parties are encouraged to use public transport where possible or designate a driver in advance."
The national forestry agency, Coillte also issued a warning following a fourth serious fire at a plantation in north Mayo, close to the Corrib Gas refinery in Bellanaboy.
The latest outbreak was extinguished yesterday by a helicopter which dumped thousands of gallons of water on the smouldering trees and peatland.
Mayo firefighters fought the blaze late on Thursday night and yesterday before bringing it under control.
Coillte's district manager, Tony Clarke, said the agency was concerned at the number of fires in the 200-hectare Bellanaboy plantation.
"There have been four fires so far this year. All the fires have started at night. The gardai have been notified", Mr Clarke said.
None of the fires have so far threatened the €180m refinery at Bellanaboy.