Temperatures will hit record levels for 2012 all across Ireland on Friday as the sun shines. Forecasters say parts of Ireland will be warmer than continental hotspots Barcelona, Bordeaux and Istanbul

Dublin will be even hotter than Malta and Rome as the heatwave takes a grip on the country.

Weather experts expect a minimum of 72 degrees Fahrenheit with the mercury likely to tip 77 degrees in parts of Ireland.

Ireland’s official weather service Met Eireann says that Thursday will be a dry day in all areas with spells of sunshine.

Light southeast to east breezes will develop during the day and it will become rather warm in most places. Highest afternoon temperatures will range from 65 to 77 degrees generally

The forecast agency says Friday will be glorious, particularly in the west, with sunny spells all day.

The heatwave is expected to last until next week with bars and restaurants doing a boom trade in outdoor dining.