A pleasant surprise for New Year's Day Croagh Patrick hikers

Over 100 hikers from many parts of Ireland took part today in the traditional New Year's Day climb of Croagh Patrick.

It's a popular event as regular climbers of the Reek enjoy starting off a new year on a high note - hail, rain or shine.

Today's weather conditions were very windy.

But a pleasant surprise awaited walkers who persisted.

They found that significant work has been completed on the new €1 million Croagh Patrick pathway, a project designed to improve safety on the mountain as well as to address years of erosion on the old walking route with new natural drainage measures.

Works will resume shortly after the festive holiday to bring the wonderful project to completion - further boosting the Reek's wide popularity as a destination for visitors and pilgrims.

Great credit is due to the dedicated project workers and the local committee behind it, not to mention the government's commitment in allocating substantial funding.