The Government jet, with the Taoiseach and 11 others on board, was struck by lightning this afternoon.

The Gulf Stream jet, with eight passengers and four crew, left Dublin this afternoon and was on its final approach to Belfast City Airport when it was struck. 

A Government spokesman has confirmed to RTÉ News that the jet landed safely after 'a huge flash'.

No injuries occurred and the jet is now being examined.

Mr Ahern is in Belfast for celebrations to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. 

This is the second time that a Government jet has been hit by lightning as a delegation travelled to Northern Ireland on peace-process related activities. 

The other incident occurred on 21 October 2003 when attempts at Hillsbrough to broker the restoration of power-sharing failed.