Punters take shelter from the storm in pubs
THE weather outside may have been frightful but inside Tralee's pubs was quite delightful for the punters who packed the town's hostelries to the rafters on St Stephen's night.
Early on Thursday evening, as the stormy weather began to build, many publicans were concerned business would suffer on what is traditionally one of the busiest nights of the year.
However, such fears proved unfounded and revellers came out in droves.
The evening did get off to slow start but by 11pm most pubs in the town centre, especially those in and around The Mall and Castle Street were full almost to capacity with barely any standing room left in several of the busiest bars.
Given the nature of the weather, taxi drivers also enjoyed a bumper night's business.
While it was clear from the number of taxis working the main rank that many drivers had opted to take the night off, those who were on the road were kept extremely busy well into the small hours.
There were some amusing scenes on The Mall as pubs began to close down and the many happy socialites emerged into the violent weather to try and make their way home.
With taxis coming to The Mall rank in dribs and drabs, the arrival of each and every cab was greeted with a mad dash from cover by the many competing groups that were huddled in shop and pub doorways.
Meanwhile, the high winds played merry havoc with pedestrians battling their way along a street which by midnight was akin to a wind tunnel and littered with lost hats, scarves, umbrellas and even shoes.