McGinley drives revellers into the water
Published 02/01/2013 | 05:00
Temperatures in single digits and bracing winds didn't deter swimmers from diving into the chilly waters around the country.
Ryder Cup-winning golfer Paul McGinley cheered on participants at a New Year's Day swim in Co Donegal.
The Dubliner had a refreshing start to the new year with his family, including his brother-in-law Mark McCormick and their children Michael McCormick (3), Niamh McGinley (13), Maia McGinley (10) and Maeve McCormick (4) at Portnablagh beach.
Newlyweds Fiona and Brian Garvin, who were married on New Year's Eve, took also the plunge – twice – at Portnablagh and the nearby blue flag Marble Hill beach. From Rosses Point in Co Sligo to Rathmullan Beach in Co Donegal to Courtmacsherry in west Cork and all points in between, swimmers of all ages, shapes and sizes tore off their housecoats and sweat jackets and made the mad, frigid dash into the icy water for an invigorating start to 2013.
Among them was Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, who took part in the annual swim at the Broad Strand in Courtmacsherry to raise funds for the local RNLI.
He said: "I agreed a few years ago to do the swim and have been enjoying it ever since – despite the cold, it's for a really good cause.
"The Courtmacsherry lifeboat is really important to have in place and I'm delighted we got a really good group for the swim this year. We'll be doing it again next year so anyone who wants to dive in and support the lifeboat – we'll take all the help we can get."
In Bray, Co Wicklow, local Fine Gael TD Simon Harris joined scores taking a splash along the seafront in the 30th annual Lions Club charity swim.