This report examines the claim that Irish mortality in the second quarter (April-June) of 1986 increased due to the cloud of radioactive material released by the damaged reactor in Chernobyl. Over the period 1971-1987, based on date of registration, the death rates in the second quarter showed marked year to year variation often exceeding that expected on the basis of chance alone. In 1986 the percentage of annual deaths occurring between April and June, and the death rate itself, were both significantly higher than in most other years between 1981 and 1987. The 1986 figures were not however, significantly higher than those observed in years prior to 1981. Since the distribution of mortality by cause was not consistent with the hypothesis relating low level radiation to immediate mortality, and since causality cannot be inferred from a temporal association per se, the Chernobyl accident cannot be implicated in the excess mortality observed in the second quarter of 1986.