Northern and Western parts of Ireland experienced the coldest April in 24 years, new figures show, as the country’s cold snap continues.
Mullingar in Co Westmeath and Sherkin Island in Co Cork recorded their coldest April since 1989. Temperatures at stations in the north and west were over 1.5 degrees below average over the same period.
Knock Shrine in Co. Mayo had its coldest April in over ten years, with an average April temperature of just 6.2 degrees.
According to Ireland’s weather service, Met Eireann, rainfall for the month was above average in parts of the South, West and Midlands.
On April 6th, the temperature dropped to minus 5.6 degrees in Dublin, the coldest temperature ever recorded in the Capital in April.
April was also an exceptionally windy month. Wind speeds at Dublin airport reached 12.9 knots, the highest recorded since 1985.
Irish Farming Association (IFA) president John Bryan said farmers were now grappling with the
“longest winter on record” following from a “terribly wet summer” last year.
“There is huge pressure as the cold weather and the low temperatures have lasted into May,” Mr Bryan said on RTE’s Morning Ireland. “The temperatures have not risen and the crisis continues.
There’s another two to three weeks of this crisis.”
An estimated 44,000 farm animals died this year in the North as a result of massive snow drifts in counties Down and Antrim during March.
Stormont Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill said around 40,000 fallen animals had been collected.
"I have obtained Executive agreement to hardship funding measures to assist farmersworst affected by livestock losses arising from the recent snow storm," she said.
"The first element of this is that my Department will pay for the costs of collection and disposal of fallen stock from the farmers most severely affected. This relieves those farmers of a potential cost to their business and protects both the environment and animal health by encouraging the proper disposal of fallen stock."