The annual GOAL mile, which normally takes place on Christmas Day, saw a changed format this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of the usual family orientated events at locations around the country, people were encouraged to run their own mile, in accordance with public health guidelines, between Christmas Eve and St Stephen's Day.

This morning 120 members of the Irish-Polish Battalion completed the event in south Lebanon, where they are deployed with UNIFIL.

Due to the pandemic the troops were not able to return home for Christmas.

Lt Col Fred O'Donovan said: "This is a Christmas Day like no other as Covid-19 impacts all over the globe.

"Members of the 117 Battalion are not home this Christmas with our families as we continue our tour of duty here in south Lebanon. But we were delighted to do our GOAL Mile today, and to support the vulnerable communities GOAL supports in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America."

The GOAL Mile event began in 1982 when the charity's then chairperson Noel Carroll asked local people and their families to run a mile at the Phoenix Park on Christmas morning.

Last year more than 150 Goal Mile events took place across the country.

Twenty members of one Irish family who live in different countries around the world also walked a mile this morning.

The Flanagan's, who are based in Ireland, Thailand, Australia, Germany and the UK, coordinated their mile to begin at 10am Irish time.

Niamh Flanagan, who lives in Ireland, said doing the GOAL Mile was really special.

She said the family connected by Zoom as they did their miles together across their various time zones.

She was joined by her 85-year-old mother Máirín in Dublin, and her aunts. Also taking part were her brother Donal and his family in London; Ronan and his family in Perth; Angela and her family in Cologne and brother-in-law Peter Tarleton and his wife Nok in Chiang Mai, Thailand.