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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 23 January, 2020

Rain clouds dull winter solstice for crowds at Newgrange

There was no light at the end of the tunnel this year…

THERE WASN’T MUCH sun to be seen at Newgrange this morning as crowds gathered for a cloudy winter solstice.

Those who were lucky enough to have won a chance to stand in the chamber as the sun rose were resigned to the fact that they would not be treated to the spectacular sight those before them experienced.

As with other years, hundreds of people gathered outside the 5,000-year-old burial chamber, just to be there for that special moment and to share the celebration of the winter solstice.

RTÉ’s Richard Dowling, who was inside the chamber this morning was not feeling hopeful before the sun came up:

Each year, winners of the winter solstice lottery and their plus ones get the opportunity to stand in the chamber for the winter solstice light show.

Winners today were there from the US, Belgium, England and Ireland. Unfortunately for them, there was no light in the tunnel this time.

Access to the chamber for the other mornings around the solstice is also restricted to lottery winners and yesterday’s group actually got a better deal. With clear skies, the sun entered the passage and moved into the chamber.

Sunrise on the shortest days of the year begins at 8.58am and the light shines into the chamber for 17 minutes.

This year there were over 30,000 applications to witness the solstice light show and the winners for each day were picked by local school children.

Read: Taoiseach says Isis ‘want to blow up Newgrange’>

Read: If you’ve never been inside Newgrange, here’s your chance to take a peek>

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