Their joy was unbounded when cygnets emerged from four of the five eggs in the nest, which the anglers had moved to a raised platform of pallets.
The nest, on the banks of the river Laune, at Beaufort, Killarney, has become an attraction and is being visited by local school children, some leaving goodwill messages.
“We’re overjoyed. This event has brought out the child in us all. I feel about 20 feet tall this morning,” declared Tralee man Dave Hegarty, one of those who moved the nest threatened by rising flood waters.
“This is the greatest lift I’ve personally had in a very long time. To think that we helped a poor swam which looked like losing all its eggs. It’s a fantastic feeling for us.”
Mr Hegarty’s granddaughter, six-year-old Sharon Hennessy, has named the mother swan Mary and the cob, which is maintaining a constant vigil over the brood, has been named Joseph.
“The next thing we’re looking forward to is seeing the cygnets take to the water. They should swim straight away,” Mr Hegarty said.
“If the fifth egg is hatched, we will be able to name each swam after each of the five involved in rescuing the nest.”
The others involved were Maurice Hobbert, Tralee; John Mangan, Killorglin; Paddy O’Sullivan, Beaufort, and Willie Leahy, Killarney.