Mystery still surrounds the reported sighting of what is thought to have been a meteor in south Fermanagh. One witness described seeing a 'fireball' lighting up the sky near Teemore last Wednesday evening - around the time that a number of similar sightings were reported in neighbouring counties in the northern half of the country.

It is the first time in 40 years that such a sighting has been made in Ireland, with only about half a dozen recorded meteorite falls in the country altogether.

The last one was in 1999, and the last one in the North was in Derry in 1969. One lady from Teemore told the Herald: "It was about 6.15pm on Wednesday evening and it wasn't fully dark. I saw the fireball from a window in the living room. It dropped a few miles from the house I'd say. At first I thought it was a small helicopter but it was more like a rocket or a flame gliding through the sky and then it disappeared into the fields a couple of miles from here in Teemore. There was no smoke or anything so I knew that nothing had crashed. It was just so unusual and it was not a rocket or a firework. It must have been about 12 to 18 inches in size."

According to the Irish Astronomical Association, the fireball was seen in a number of counties including Tyrone, Donegal and Sligo.

"There were two separate events," a spokesman said. "The first, and almost certainly the most important, was at about 5.50pm, and seems to have travelled from Kerry at least as far as Armagh and south Tyrone. That one may have been a 'meteorite dropper', though it's too early to say.

"The second, not as big or bright, but at least as bright as Venus, was at about 7.30 - 7.40pm more than one and a half hours later. It was seen from near Moy, Co Tyrone, and was travelling in a north east direction."

Terry Moseley from the IAA said such an occurrence was extremely rare and said there was a chance that some of the asteroid may have survived and fallen to earth as a meteorite.

"What it probably was is a small asteroid, which is a piece of space rock which has collided with the earth and burned up at a very high atmosphere.

"It seems to have travelled over most of Ireland, roughly from south to north and there is a possibility that a meteorite fell at the end of that, possibly somewhere in Armagh."

He said it was very important for anyone who saw it to report their sighting and suggested contacting either the Armagh Observatory or the IAA.

"We'll collate all the reports, and the more reports we get, the greater the chance of us recovering some of it, if it did fall. It is pretty unusual that you would get one that is so widely seen and is so bright."