Members of the public throughout the country have been reporting sightings of a fireball in the skies this evening.

Tommy Moore from Astronomy Ireland said a space rock collided with the earth's atmosphere at about 6pm, showering debris over many parts of the country.

Mr Moore said: "A major explosion happened in the sky over Ireland. We think it's a fireball, that's a rock from space the earth has slammed into and they burn up as huge shooting stars. This one appears to have lit up the whole country. The phones here in Astronomy Ireland are going crazy."

One man told his local radio station: "I saw the ball of fire just above the trees. I rang the emergency services. I thought it was a helicopter." Another said: "I thought it was a bright gas cylinder. It seemed to get brighter as it was approaching the ground."