Irish Water has lifted the national hosepipe ban - originally imposed on 9 June - following the recent heavy rain.

The ban had been due to last for another two weeks, until 21 July.

In a statement, Irish Water said that the hosepipe ban was being lifted following recent heavy rainfall and improving river and ground water conditions. 

It said that following a review of the utility's data, as well as information from Met Éireann, the EPA and the OPW, the hosepipe will be lifted from 5pm this evening. 

The managing director of Irish Water said that the affected water sources will continue to be monitored as their recovery is "fragile and subject to change". 

Niall Gleeson said: "We will continue to liaise with Met Éireann, the OPW, the EPA and other key stakeholders to discuss the impact of weather on our sources.

"Should we enter a spell of prolonged warm and dry weather, and if the sources go into drought again, we may need to reconsider and re-impose a Water Conservation Order. 

"Safeguarding the water supply for homes and communities across the country is a critical priority for us.

"It is really important that members of the public develop good household habits at this time and conserve water, regardless of rainfall. Any non-essential use of water should be discouraged, whether we are in a drought or not."

Meanwhile, the director general of the Environmental Protection Agency has said the full implementation of Ireland's Climate Action Plan would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 79 million tonnes - the amount required to meet current targets by 2030.

However, Laura Burke warned this was only a first step and that even further measures would be required to keep the global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees Celsius.