According to data from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO), 2015 has been the most successful year ever for Irish tourism, with a 14 percent increase in overseas visitors in the first 11 months.

The data shows just over eight million visitors, with the December numbers still to come.

"Even without the visitor number figures for December these statistics shows that 2015 has already surpassed the previous record for visit numbers in a calendar year (2007)," said Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe.

Here are the numbers for January to November:

Visits from Mainland Europe: +15.9pc
Visits from North America: + 14.1pc
Visits from Great Britain: +12.5pc
Visits from the rest of the world: + 13.3pc

The Irish Independent reports that earlier in the month, Dublin Airport announced that this had been a record year for passenger numbers, with over 23.5 million processed to date.

Minister Donohoe added that the government hopes to attract 10 million annual visitors to Ireland by 2025, with 250,000 people employed in tourism.

Recently, Tourism Ireland launched a marketing campaign based on Skellig Michael's appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

"Ireland now welcomes 10pc of all American visitors to Europe – particularly noteworthy given the intense competition from other destinations," commented Niall Gibbons, CEO of the organization.

It hopes to attract 8.2 million visitors next year, he added.