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Dry and sunny start to the year

Parts of Ireland saw their driest and sunniest January for more than a decade last month.

Forecasters said there was about 40pc less rain around the country generally than is normal for the time of year.

A weather station at Valentia recorded its driest January since 2000, while it was the driest at Dublin Airport since 2006.

Met Eireann said it was the driest start to the year for up to 14 years in parts of the west and south-west.

While there were cold snaps at the beginning and the end of the month, no weather station recorded temperatures as cold as last January.

It was also sunnier than usual, particularly in the west and south.

Belmullet had its sunniest January since 1985, while Knock Airport weather station recorded its highest level of sunshine since records began there in 1996.

PA Media