independent

Friday 22 August 2014

Swimmers make a splash for charity

Published 04/02/2014 | 05:32

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SWIMMERS and supporters caused a splash at the ALSSA pool recently, completing an incredible 138.5 kilometres for charity in an Aqua Marathon.

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Friends and family of Joe Barnwell dipped into their pockets and into the water as part of a fundraiser for the Swords man and the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association.

The Barnwell family, who have been living in Castlefarm since 1979, have been making waves with Aer Lingus Swimming Club for many years and Joe's dad Bobby was a founding member.

Master swimmers from the club dived right in to help out, with six of them, coached by Gerry Foley, covering 55 kilometres in a series of 100 metre sprints.

The event at ALSAA took place at the same time as similar fundraising swims organised by family and pals in Barnsley, England, New York's Long Island and Adelaide in Australia – for an overall total of over 211 kilometres.

Football-loving Joe, 39, has battled major health issues since being diagnosed with MND in June last year. But the outgoing Arsenal fan is determined to make the most of things - and is busy making plans to fulfil a life-long dream of visiting Japan in the near future.

Wisteria Garden Boutique in Skerries and The Harvest bar in Balbriggan are still accepting donations for the Aqua Marathon.

Fingal Independent

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