Thousands of swimmers across the country took the plunge this morning and braved icy conditions to swim on Christmas Day.
Santa hats are the only source of warmth, and people flock to Fortyfoot in Sandykoff, Salthill Park and dozens of other locations to complete the annual pilgrimage that is Christmas Swim Day.
Conditions were rough on Dublin’s favorite haunt, Fortyfoot, with strong winds and tidal waves, but that didn’t stop people from enjoying a dip in the ice.
Temperatures were around the seven-degree mark in the sea, but Nicholas Woods, who was swimming in Co Down, said this was moderate compared to other experiences.
“The temperature will drop to at least four degrees in the coming months, last March we got to about three degrees as there was frost on the seaweed and it was properly cold and painful.
«It’s a chance to get a little bit of peace and quiet before the madness of the day, take some time for yourself, come in and enjoy the really wild weather. But it’s still pretty cool at the same time,» said Ms. Woods.
Tea, coffee and wine were served as a ceremonial drink for the corpses that came out of the seas.
People across the country flocked to beaches and lakes across the country and one of those was 80-year-old Paddy Cunagan.
Paddy swims around the coast of Ireland during the month of December to raise money for Donegal’s counseling service which approached €50,000 on Christmas Day
He swam from Donegal to Kerry and held Christmas Day with his supporters and locals in Fenit, Co Kerry.
They don’t come tougher than Paddy, a native of Arranmore Island, who swims his way around Ireland in freezing cold conditions to raise much-needed money for Jima’s legacy of Hope – a local consulting service in Donegal.
A GoFundMe set up for Paddy’s cause has raised over €47,000 for the service and his friend Eileen has described him as «the most determined and fittest man I know».
Paddy began swimming at Affort Beach and traveled down the west coast of Ireland, snorkeling and snorkeling at every port and beach he came to.
Buddy stopped in for Christmas in Kerry and was accompanied by locals and friends to a Christmas Day party and with the sound of bells ringing in the background, brave spirits stormed the Atlantic. He will continue throughout the festive season and has been training since January of this year for this achievement.
Buddy swam every day in 2021 and the challenge began on December 4. The Donegal man is raising awareness and providing money for mental health and all the money he raises will go to Jima’s Legacy of Hope, a local counseling service set up to help children from age 5, young and adults through the life path in Roses, Ko Donegal.
“Buddy has been training all year for this, he’s been swimming every day since January 1 in all kinds of weather and he’s really up for a challenge. He’s bought a pickup and all the gear he needs, so he’s ready to go, and exciting times to come,” the collecting organization said. Donations «Eileen».
“Gemma’s legacy of hope is a wonderful service on our doorstep. Covid has had an impact on all of us, and we won’t see the real impact it has made for a number of years now. More than ever, mental health needs strengthening and this service needs to be critical,” said Eileen. Thank you for helping us to continue the great work.»
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