Sunny weather returns to Ireland

After one of the sunniest summers on record, Ireland is basking in a late Fall heatwave with temperatures reaching 24C (75F) in parts of the country.

A forecaster with Met Éireann, Ireland's national meteorological service, described the phenomenon as "unusual", with present conditions set to last for the duration of the week.

The autumnal burst is the icing on the cake after one of the sunniest and warmest summers recorded in Ireland with below average rainfall values recorded almost across the country, and up to 20 percent more sunshine than average across the Southern coast, reports Met Eireann.

The spectacular summer happily coincided with The Gathering 2013 with one newspaper dubbing it 'the summer that saved Irish tourism."

Sean Quinn, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, Ireland's national tourist body, said that the lengthy spell of un-interrupted good weather during the peak holiday season in late July and August had meant that many families had chosen 'staycations' over traditional Mediterranean getaways.

Word of the Irish beach bonanza quickly spread, however, with inbound tourism figures from the traditional key geographies of the UK, US, and the European Union, all remaining extremely buoyant as a results of the good conditions, with over one million visitors from the US alone choosing a holiday on the Emerald Isle.

Tourism remains Ireland's most important indigenous industry and accounts for over 4 percent of Domestic GDP.

A spokesperson for Fáilte Ireland said that the tourism boost meant that the "dark days" of the recession lull were in the past, with the planned growth being spearhead by The Gathering project delivering tangible results.

It wasn't good news for all, however.

National carrier Aer Lingus bore the brunt of the staycation craze, revising its end of year profit guidance downwards from €69m to €60m.