IRELAND'S hottest sunglasses seller has cautioned astronomy enthusiasts against wearing its products while checking out this month's partial solar eclipse.
More than 300 people across the Ireland, Iceland, Scotland and the United States will witness the first eclipse in 99 years on August 21 as the moon passes in front of the sun, throwing darkness across chunks the Earth's surface.
HairyEyes.com safety and compliance chief Frank Cawley urged eclipse fans to buy special solar glasses for enjoying the spectacle.
He explained: "While our entire range of vibrant eyewear has polarised lenses and offer 100% UV protection, they are not suitable for looking directly at the sun.
"Even sporting multiple pairs would not make it safe because when you look directly at the sun you are susceptible to infra-red or UV rays hitting the retinas. There would be a real risk of solar retinopathy or even blindness."
Frank, a co-founder of new Irish retail outfit HairyEyes.com, added: "I would advise people to either buy proper solarglasses from a respected retailer or, failing that, you can create a pinhole camera, whereby a solar image is cast onto paper from a piece of cardboard. Make sure to hold this at arm's length though."
The partial eclipse will be visible in Ireland from about 7.30pm on August 21, reaching maximum visibility at 8pm.
It's the busiest time of the year for purveyors of fine sunglasses, with the GAA season soaring towards climax and Electric Picnic only around the corner.
Frank commented: "Sports fans love our products. I'm a Mayo man myself and I'm trying to persuade the rest of the HairyEyes.com team to introduce a Green And Red model ahead of next month's All-Ireland final. Between the football, the hurling and the festival revellers gearing up for Stradbally, we're absolutely flat out filling orders, but sure it's a great complaint to have for a summer start-up!"