An article in the Irish Independent, Weather Rains on Tourism Industry states that extreme weather conditions experienced in Ireland recently have had a negative impact on Irish tourism. Added to this were the complications of an already challenging year with economic factors such as the weak US dollar and the credit crunch playing a part.

“Trading conditions this year are very tough, probably the toughest in a number of years. The weather has been the icing on the cake in terms of (people being) less inclined to book breaks, or when they are booking they may be inclined to book overseas breaks,” Failte Ireland‘s Paul Keeley said.

The recent weather in Ireland was so extreme, flash floods were witnessed throughout the country. Rainfall equivalent to one month fell in parts of Dublin in one night leading to devastating scenes. The rainfall measured at Dublin Airport by Met Éireann recorded 76.2mm of rain in 24 hours, the second biggest recorded rainfall on record. The amount of rain even surpassed Hurricane Charlie in 1986 by 2mm.

“That kind of rainfall is rare – but it is not unprecedented. We’ve had a number of occurrences of that level of rainfall, typically once every decade,” Mr O’Brien said.

Tourism Ireland, which markets Ireland overseas, said total visitor numbers were up slightly in May. However, a spokeswoman said: “I’m aware that the industry on the ground say numbers have dropped.”

As a result of the sever weather conditions, many of the main access routes to Dublin Airport were either blocked or severely restricted. Many of the car rental companies experienced major difficulties with returning cars due to floods along the Old Airport Road.

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