Friday 15 December 2017

New Year's Day begins with a splash for chill seekers

Revellers making a big splash at the New Year's Day swim in North Donegal Photo: North West Newspix
Revellers making a big splash at the New Year's Day swim in North Donegal Photo: North West Newspix

Ryan Nugent and Laura Lynott

New Year's Day began with a splash - as people threw on their swim suits and braved the icy coastal waters.

Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin took part in the annual New Year's Day swim at Broad Strand Beach in Courtmacsherry, Co Cork, in aid of the local lifeboat station.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at Courtmacsherry, Co Cork Photo: Denis Boyle
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at Courtmacsherry, Co Cork Photo: Denis Boyle

In Sandycove in Dublin, a crowd descended on the beach as temperatures dropped to 6C and 27km wind whipped up large waves.

Friends Simon Walkin (39) from Booterstown, and Catherine McLoughlin (39) from Rathfarnham, braved the cold depths, while their other halves, Sinead and Stephen, watched, sipping hot chocolate.

"She thought it was a good idea a couple of weeks ago," Simon said. "I used to do it as a kid and we thought 'sure, why not' but they (partners) had more sense."

Tom (49) and wife Maud Hallinan, wrapped up in their woollies and took their children, Tess (5) and Elodie (3), to see the New Year's Day swimmers - but decided not to join them.

Horses and jockeys in action during the Ballyheigue Races on Ballyheigue beach on the edge of the North Atlantic ocean in Co. Kerry Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Horses and jockeys in action during the Ballyheigue Races on Ballyheigue beach on the edge of the North Atlantic ocean in Co. Kerry Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

"We came down to get out after Christmas and over-indulging and to justify an appetite," said Tom.

Revellers in Donegal made a similar dive, though at the other end of the country things got a bit more creative.

In Kerry, horses and jockeys took to the beach for the annual Ballyheigue races.

In Bray, the annual charity swim was postponed due to stormy conditions.

Irish Independent

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