Reverend Arthur Minion and Fr. Aodhan Marken had the pleasant task of distributing the proceeds of their four-day Christmas fast which raised a massive €54,510 for charity.
It was initially announced that €51,700 had been collected by the clergymen in the annual fast outside St. Iberius Church. But in the days after Christmas, more generous donations were received, adding another €2,810 to the total.
The money was presented to local charities at a short service in St. Iberius Church at which prayers were said for the beneficiaries and their work.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society Society received a cheque for €20,510; Ozanam House Men's Hostel received €6,000; Wexford Women's Refuge €6,000, Wexford Hospice Homecare €7,000, the Hope Cancer Support Centre €5,000, The Collective Sensory Group (Children with Autism) €5,000 and It's Good to Talk €5,000.
'We were astounded by the amount of money raised. It was phenomenal when you consider that it was raised through street donations without any corporate cheques', said Rev Minion.
'The business people of the town are a tremendous support. People in business and staff members are very generous but not in any formal donations.'
Rev Minion said the charities were very appreciative of the financial support. 'It was very humbling to hear them speak like that. It's the people who donated the money who deserve the appreciation, not us. We are just the middlemen'.
'We are very grateful for the ecumenical spirit that exists in the town. It means that we look forward to the fast and to the camaraderie and the rapport with people on the street.'
'Its a great experience for us to be able to interact with people and to share their stories of sad and happy events during the year. It's a very nice thing.'
The Christmas fast has raised an estimated €750,000 since it was started by the late Rev. Norman Ruddock in 1991.
Rev Minion's first fast was eight years ago and he was joined five years ago by Fr. Marken.