A giant fireball has been spotted streaking across the sky over Ireland and the UK.

The object, apparently a meteor, appeared in the skies at 6.54pm yesterday.

It was seen most clearly over Ireland, but was also visible as far east as South Yorkshire in England.

Motorist Sean Linehan captured the "bright fireball" on a dashcam fitted to his car outside Banteer, Cork, but said the footage "doesn't do it justice".

Speaking to RTÉ News, David Moore of Astronomy Ireland said last night's fireball was "quite spectacular".

He said they had received reports of sightings from Donegal to Cork, and he described it as a huge object.

"A fireball like this is very rare", he said, adding that "anyone who saw it was very lucky".

Mr Moore said he suspects that the fireball ended up in the sea.

More than 40 sightings of last night's fireball were reported to the American Meteor Society

The fireball was completely unexpected, according to the head of Cork Institute of Technology Blackrock Castle Observatory, Niall Smith.

Mr Smith was out walking his dog last night when he witnessed the green fireball, which he said was one of the best meteor like occurrences he had seen.

He told RTÉ's News at One that the pebble-sized object burned into the Earth's atmosphere could have been floating around the solar system for billions of years.

Mr Smith described the fireball as "just a bit of luck, a celestial firework display that has nothing to do with Halloween".

Paddy Maher, from Laois, discovered he had captured the meteor on a security camera outside his house after reading about the sighting on Twitter.

"I checked back on my cam that I bought new only last week," the 35-year-old plasterer told the PA news agency.

"I was delighted that I caught a glimpse of it - I might keep the camera on the sky in future!"

Paul Willows spotted the meteor as a distant light while driving in south Yorkshire and also managed to record the moment on his dashcam.

"It was a decent fireball that was visible for a few seconds beyond what I managed to capture," the 45-year-old from Conisbrough said.

"I've seen plenty of ordinary 'shooting stars' but nothing as impressive or as big as that one.

"I'm a bit of a star gazer and spend a fair amount of time looking upwards but that was a first ... I shouted out quite loudly!"

A meteor is a high-velocity body of matter from space that illuminates the sky due to friction with the atmosphere.