Quick, the sun's shining! In Ireland this year a day of sunshine has been such a rare occurrence that yesterday's brief spell of sunny weather (with temperatures reaching 75 degrees) quickly became an informal national holiday.

In fact yesterday was the warmest day so far this year and the pleasant weather is expected to last for the rest of the week according to Irish forecasters.

'Temperatures will probably be even higher in the next couple of days. We will see seventy five degrees widely during tomorrow and also on Thursday,' Vincent O’Shea of the Met Eireann weather service told national broadcaster RTE.

The Irish could use a little sunlight, it’s been a perishingly cold year to date. In fact new figures reportedly show that parts of Ireland have just endured the coldest spring in 62 years. To match the gloom of the economic downturn it was also one of the dullest and windiest springs in recent years.

'Winds were higher than normal for spring, with above average wind speeds recorded in most parts during March and April, and in parts of the south during May,' the national weather service’s spring summary said.

'Wind speeds were the highest in five to 27 years across the country, with the season’s highest gust at Mace Head on April 15th.'

The weather station at Dublin Airport reported its coldest spring since 1951, while Casement Aerodrome also in County Dublin endured the coldest spring since the station opened 47 years ago.

The majority of remaining weather stations reportedly recorded their coldest spring in 15 to 34 years. And almost all of them across the country recorded the coldest May in 17 years.

Sunshine totals were below average almost everywhere, with some stations reporting it as their dullest spring in 14 years. Western parts of the country recorded the most sun throughout spring, with Shannon Airport totting up nearly 470 hours of sunshine.

Cork, in the south west, had the sunniest day with nearly 15 hours of sunshine on May 23.

One bright point was that although it was colder, duller and windier than usual across the country, national rainfall levels were below average particularly in parts of the midlands, the west and south east.


Beach at Portstewart, County Antrim - the Irish flock to the beaches to soak the summer sun after freezing spring.Presseye