The numbers of passengers using Irish airports rose 6.9% last year, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

Almost 26.5 million passengers passed through Irish airports in 2014, but this is still five million passengers lower than the 2007 peak of 31.5 million passengers. 

More than 217,000 flights were handled by Ireland's five main airports during the year.

The CSO said that passenger numbers increased in Dublin, Donegal, Knock, Shannon, and Waterford airports. 

Dublin Airport accounted for 81.9% of all passengers. The airport accounted for almost 80% of all flights while Cork handled 9% of all flights.

Today's figures also reveal that the number of departing passengers marginally exceeded those arriving for the main airports in 2014.

London-Heathrow, London-Gatwick and London-Stansted were the most popular routes for passengers in Dublin airport in 2014. 

The CSO figures also showed that the country's main airports carried a total of 130,000 tonnes of freight last year.