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Enjoy bright weekend but keep away from all of our major beauty spots

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A couple walk at the North Bull beside Dollymount Strand. Photo: Frank McGrath

A couple walk at the North Bull beside Dollymount Strand. Photo: Frank McGrath

A couple walk at the North Bull beside Dollymount Strand. Photo: Frank McGrath

Health chiefs, gardai and councils have warned the public against large crowds flocking to beaches, forests and beauty spots as we enjoy dry, bright but cold spring weather over the weekend.

Housebound families will enjoy perfect weather for outdoor exercise over the next four days, but Met Eireann's forecast prompted officials battling the Covid-19 pandemic to issue a special plea for people to strictly comply with social distancing protocols while congregating in large groups is now banned.

Dublin, Wexford, Waterford and Cork councils warned that gatherings of any kind are being discouraged.

Distancing

Outdoor amenities around Dublin will be carefully monitored to ensure people adhere to Covid-19 protection guidelines.

Officials at Hook Lighthouse in Wexford, a hugely popular visitor spot, have urged people to stay away.

"We love nothing more than welcoming visitors to Hook Lighthouse," a spokesman said.

"However, right now is not the time to visit. We sincerely hope that by being closed we can help to protect those around us and we urge everyone to do the same."

Gardai stressed that if there were reports of large crowds ignoring social distancing recommendations, officers would immediately move to disperse those involved.

"We recognise the importance of people being able to get exercise and enjoy the sunshine, particularly as families, but we are appealing to people to follow the Health Service Executive guidelines so as to protect themselves and everyone else," gardai said.

"If people don't follow social distancing protocols, we will be forced to disperse such groups."

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Clodagh Kelly, from Santry, with brother Sean on Dollymount Strand

Clodagh Kelly, from Santry, with brother Sean on Dollymount Strand

Clodagh Kelly, from Santry, with brother Sean on Dollymount Strand

The warning came as car parks at beauty spots in Wicklow were closed after people ignored guidelines and gardai diverted people away from a popular hill walk in east Cork because of overcrowding.

Gardai will also be monitoring Tramore after reports of a large number of people at the Waterford seaside resort last weekend.

The benefit of the weather, which will turn colder, will be further enhanced by the clocks going forward by one hour tomorrow, maximising daylight hours.

Met Eireann's Liz Walsh said that Ireland will enjoy dry, mostly settled weather over the weekend.

"Saturday will be another dry day for most areas, with sunny spells, but it will cloud over at times," she said.

The south and east will enjoy the best of the weather, with the chance of isolated showers in the north and north-east. Temperatures will reach 12C or 13C.

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Thousands visited Glendalough last weekend despite advice

Thousands visited Glendalough last weekend despite advice

Thousands visited Glendalough last weekend despite advice

"Sunday will be dry countrywide after a chilly start, with frost in the west and north. There will be sunshine away from eastern and southern coastal counties, but it will brighten up at times in these parts too," said Ms Walsh.

However, it will be cold with afternoon highs of only 5C or 6C in Ulster and east Leinster, rising to 8C across other parts.

Both Monday and Tuesday will also prove dry, cloudy days with some bright sunshine.