HEALTH: Irish ignoring dangers of sun

Sun-loving Irish people forget or ignore the long-term risks of skin cancer when they get the opportunity to go out and get a tan, a psychologist warned yesterday. Dr Anne-Marie McMahon said: "The trouble with the Irish is that we have sun-loving gregarious personalities, but sensitive Nordic skin. And our climate is so unpredictable we rush out with a sense of joy when we see the sun."

She was speaking after a survey showed that the number of Irish people who do not take any precautions to protect themselves from the risk of skin cancer when they go sunbathing had doubled from 11 per cent last year to 22 per cent this year.

Only 6 per cent of Irish sun-lovers limited the time they spend in the sun - a 16 per cent drop on the number of people who said they took precautions in the same survey last year.