Those who gathered at Newgrange in Meath for the winter solstice were rewarded with a spectacular sunrise.

The precise purpose of Brú na Bóinne is lost in the mists of time, and for the past few days this five thousand year old monument has itself been cloaked in fog, but this morning the crowds still came to salute the solstice.

Invited guests entered the passage tomb while others waited outside in the chilly air. They were rewarded with a spectacular sunrise.

The optimum weather conditions meant that those lucky enough to be in the cairn saw the sun's rays shining through the roof box above the entrance, slowly making its way down the passage and illuminating the chamber.

One man who was present describes the solstice sunrise as,

Gorgeous glowing golden light. You'd imagine that it's artificial.

This morning’s sunrise was still a special experience for those who were on the outside, as one lady tells RTÉ News,

It's a thrill to be here on the solstice…there was something mystical today."

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 21 December 2006. The reporter is Philip Bromwell.