Ireland is in for another six weeks of non-stop rain – thanks to an ancient myth and a downpour on Sunday morning across the country.

As the farming community comes to terms with the wettest summer in years, the outlook took another turn for the worst.

Legend has it that if St Swithin’s Day – Sunday July 15th – sees rain then the country will be hit with constant rain for 40 days.

Forecasters have attempted to pour their own brand of cold water on the myth but many were despondent when it rained in most parts of the country on Sunday morning.

Forecasters with the government’s Met Eireann weather service predicted:
“Many areas should see bright and fresh sunny spells on Sunday although there is a threat of heavy downfalls, especially in the north and west of the country.

“Rain is forecast for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but showers should die out towards Thursday.”

The same meteorologists warned there will be no heatwave in the coming weeks with temperatures to be "below normal."

Farmers are being badly hit by the rain with crops rotting in flooded fields and many animals moved indoors.

Irish Farmers’ Association vice president Eddie Downey has warned the situation will become critical for farmers if the weather does not improve soon.

He said: “If the weather does not pick up we are looking at a bleak harvest. Farmers won’t be able to harvest crops because the ground conditions are so bad.

“If we got a reasonable spell of weather, a lot of work could be done to avert a catastrophe but we are in salvage territory right now.

“Food costs could rise for consumers as a result of all this. In northern England and Europe farmers are flooded and in Poland and America they are burnt out of it.

“There is a serious shortage of grain and meat in the world and the weather problems could have a major effect on food prices.”