Traditional new year celebrations are in full swing and maternity hospitals around the country are dealing with one of the busiest January firsts in years.

The accolade of the first Irish baby of the year went to Madison Doyle who was born at four minutes past midnight in the Rotunda hospital in Dublin. Her proud mother Karen Doyle from Kilbarrack named her new daughter after her favourite character in the American television show 'Ellen'.

Meanwhile David Loughney from Sligo Town caught the first salmon on the opening day of the salmon season. The three pound fish caught on Lough Gill could be sold for several hundred pounds which means David,

Might keep him, might sell him. I’ll find out, If I get a nice offer, I’ll sell him. If I don’t, I’ll keep him.

Since 1983 the New Year's Day sea swim has been a fixture in Bray, County Wicklow. To date this event has raised £54,000 for charitable causes, and the beneficiaries of the 1997 swim will be Cystic Fibrosis and Meals on Wheels.

On a more sobering note, an open air multi-denominational service organised by the Inner City Organisations Network (ICON), the north Dublin inner city anti-drugs group, was held at the junction of Sean McDermott Street and Buckingham Street. The service remembers those who have died from drug abuse in the area.

An RTÉ News report by Anne-Marie Smyth was broadcast on 1 January 1997.