#Surfing - Though the recent spate of Atlantic storms have made things difficult for inshore fishermen and devastated coastal areas throughout the country, one contingent that's been welcoming the wind is the world's big wave surfing community.
As The Irish Times reports, 20-metre waves were not uncommon as the Atlantic 'black swell' that swept in with what was dubbed Storm Christine crashed on the shores of Western Europe, and attracted the cream of Ireland's and the world's surfers to the north-west.
Mullaghmore Head, which made the list of Surfer Today's best European big wave surf spots along with Aileens off the Cliffs of Moher, was producing waves on Monday morning described as "too big to tackle" by the Irish Independent.
And first to the Sligo surf was American boarder Kurt Rist, according to Surfer Today, which notes that Belharra in south-west France was another big meeting point for the pros.
The surf at Mullaghmore was even strong enough to snap the board of Irish Surfing Association chair Henry Moore, who got a bloody nose for his troubles yet still sang the praises of the conditions that "put Ireland on the big wave surfing map and that's why so many people have flown in from France, the USA, Germany, Spain and Portugal."
Visitor numbers in Ireland's top west coast surfing haunts were up thanks to the recent Atlantic swell, though at least one local hotelier was caught out as he closed up shop for a fortnight just before the big waves hit - more on that story in the Irish Independent HERE.