Sales or no sales, it takes a brave shopper to head into town on St. Stephens Day (Dec 26), but many Irish consumers braved the stormy weather in search of post-Christmas savings.

So determined were some shoppers that they even got up in the middle of the night in order to be among the first people through the doors.

Thousands of people are estimated to have attended the annual St Stephen's Day sales all around the country with most shopping centers opened from 9am on St Stephens day.

Brown Thomas' Managing Director Stephen Sealey said many of the customers are Chinese ex-patriates looking for bargains for the coming Chinese New Year (Jan 31) celebrations.

The Irish Independent interviewed some of the shoppers who headed into Dublin city center despite the forecast for storm-force winds.

Cindy Yu, 30 and originally from China, got up at 3:30am and drove to Dublin from Dundalk, Co Louth in order to get a jump on the sales.

"It's crazy," she said.

Armed with a credit card and budget of several hundred euros, the childminder was among a throng of shoppers snapping up three or four Michael Kors handbags at a time.

"It's good value and I need a handbag anyway," she said.

Around 200 customers lined up outside Arnott's department store on Abbey Street, across town from Brown Thomas, to await the doors opening on its sale, which also kicked off at 9am.

Stores in Cork and Galway also experienced a heavy day of shopping. Pictures from the crazy early morning lines appeared on social media early in the morning.

Penneys in Cork attracted crowds of shoppers with its post-Christmas sales.

In Galway bargain-seeking crowds gathered outside Topshop to wait for the west of Ireland retailer to open.

All this despite a red alert storm warning from Ireland's national weather service, Met Eireann, which included a forecast of wind gusts of up to 100MPH. It goes to show that Irish people are always willing to go that extra mile for a good bargain.