Aaaaaaaaah! And that's just the thought if it; leaping into a lake on the morning after the coldest night of the year. The annual New Year's Day charity swim at Galloon, near Newtownbutler, was "a cracker" in more ways that one.

If you want to know how to break the ice at a New Year's Eve party then give John Fitzpatrick a shout. He spent an hour breaking the ice on the lake that afternoon and was back the following morning repeating the exercise after plummeting sub-zero temperatures left an inch of the hard stuff on top of the water.

Now in its 10th year the charity swim has become established as a "firm favourite" with the locals. 22 of them lined up on the jetty to take the plunge.

John, who organises the event with the help of some friends, confirmed that this year was a repeat of last year when the weather was really bad.

Stating what was the painfully obvious to all of us, never mind those in the water he said: "It was really cold, definitely was."

And he was standing, well wrapped up, on the bank! A persistent cold meant he was unable to take part and had to cry off.

"To tell you the truth it broke my heart to see them all going in and me standing on the shore, but sure what do you do," he sighed.

Those who were fit enough, or mad enough to take the waters, ranged in age from nine-year-old Jarlath Jackman to Terry Maguire in his 50s.