A wide range of community and charitable activities have taken place across the country for Christmas Day.

They included swims in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Carlow and Sligo, and mile-long runs and walks at about 100 locations by the aid organisation, GOAL.

Christmas dinners are also being provided for people who are homeless and those who are less fortunate.

In Dublin, the Peter McVerry Trust will open its doors at 12 different locations in the city.

Up to 200 people took part in the annual charity swim at Rosses Point in Sligo this afternoon.

Stop Suicide and Special Olympics Connacht were the two charities to benefit from this year’s swim.

Swim organiser Pauric Oates said they hope to beat the €13,000 raised by last year’s event. It was the 32nd annual swim at Rosses Point, and it attracted one of the biggest ever number of participants - many of whom were in fancy dress.

Myra Merrick, of Special Olympics Connacht, said they were delighted to be one of this year’s chosen charities.

Over 1,700 adults and children with an intellectual disability benefit from sports training and competition in 13 sports through Special Olympics Connacht.

Stop Suicide was set up in the region in 2004 to support people bereaved through suicide, and to help people who may be in distress or at risk of dying by suicide.

Rugby player Sean O'Brien led the line as over 50 people took part in a charity swin in Carlow in aid of the Children's Hospital in Crumlin.

Elsewhere, the annual Christmas Swim on behalf of the Cope charity in Salthill in Galway set a new world record this morning , for the most people swimming together wearing Santa hats.

The swim set a new record last year of 881 people, but that total was far exceeded this morning when 1,066 people took the plunge.