© UnknownView of Dublin from the Dublin Mountains, February 7th
Ireland suffered its coldest winter in almost five decades as the country shivered in the big freeze, it was revealed.

Met Eireann said temperatures were around two degrees lower than average during the season, making it the coldest winter recorded since 1963.

Arctic conditions experienced at the end of last year continued through January and February, with widespread spells of frost, sleet and snow.

Temperatures plummeted to below minus 10C in some places, with minus 16.3C recorded at Mount Juliet, Co Kilkenny, on January 7.

There were as many as 30 days with snow in parts of the east and west, mainly in the form of showers, and up to 80 ground frosts recorded during the season.

The weather summary for the winter months revealed that while the cold snap gripped the country, there was less wind and rain.

Wind speeds were below normal and just half the average amount of rain fell, making it the driest winter at Shannon Airport since 1963/4.

Sunshine was above normal everywhere and exceptionally high in the west and south.

Met Eireann said February was the third successive month with temperatures well below normal, making it the coldest recorded in four decades.

But it was also the sunniest February in the south and south west for over 40 years, while the east of the country remained relatively dull.

Source: Press Association