Festive swimmers galore in Rosslare
On a frost-covered morning, over 1,000 people attended the Christmas day swim in Rosslare Strand, making the event one of the biggest in the country.
'There wasn't a parking space left in the entire village', said Ray Flynn, one of the organisers. 'The car park was full and all the on-street parking was taken up as well'.
'We had well over a thousand people and nearly 300 of them went into the sea. It was a fantastic day', he said.
Four wise men from Bridgetown decided to travel to the event on bicycles and had no need of parking.
The main event was a fundraiser for Tagoat Day Care Centre which provided soup and mulled wine for the festive beach-goers but individual swimmers also raised money for other causes.
'We had 60 litres of festive cheer and 100 litres of soup and it was gone by the time the swimmers got out of the water', said Ray.
'Despite the frost on the ground, it was a fabulous day for the swim. The water was lovely apparently. People went into the sea in all kinds of attire, including fancy dress'.
Visitors came from all over the county for the event. ' I met people who were home from America, the UK and one family from Australia', he said.
'I think the swim has become a social occasion for a lot of people, especially for residents in the village. It's a great way to meet a lot of people in a short space of time and wish them the season's greetings.'
'The Order of Malta arrived early and we were wondering would many people turn up. Then all of a sudden, the beach was thronged. It was like opening the gates at a football match'.