Thursday 23 November 2017

Nothing bog standard about this record bid

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

WORLD champion Julia Galvin has tried bog snorkelling in all its forms but never before in a pub -- until last night.

And the sportswoman chose the famous John B Keane's bar in Listowel, Co Kerry, to carry out what she hopes will become the latest craze in Irish pubs.

The renowned playwright drew much of his inspiration from the north Kerry bogs but probably never imagined the bog would one day be brought into his own pub.

His granddaughter, Laura, was on hand with a vacuum cleaner last night to clean up the mess.

Table quizzes, darts and even card playing fell out of vogue in the north Kerry town last night, where a world record was set for indoor bog snorkelling.

Julia (41), who holds a world champion title in mountain-bike bog snorkelling and was a runner up in the ladies' world championship for "orthodox" snorkelling, completed a feat last night that has never been attempted before, snorkelling her way up the lengths of two baths.

It was all to raise money for the charity Bothar, a favourite of John B's widow, Mary, and was part of a campaign to encourage people to shop local.

"This has been unseen anywhere in the world before, even by me, but we'll pass the bucket around and, hopefully, knock a few more goats out of it for Bothar," she told the Irish Independent.

And anyone brave enough to take the plunge last night received a bag of turf for their trouble.

Julia, who has been bog snorkelling since she was 28, puts her youthful looks down to the qualities of the bog water, an ancient beauty elixir.

Born within 18 inches of Dirha bog, as her father Frank once told the late Gerry Ryan, Julia has been specialising in mountain-bike bog snorkelling.

Publican Billy Keane says he hopes the idea will catch on and says he's sure other pubs will be eager to break the record set by Julia.

He sent around a text on Wednesday night appealing for anyone with a spare bath to get in touch.

"One woman in Lyeracrompane said she'd love to give me her spare bath but the cows were drinking out of it," said Mr Keane who spent much of yesterday filling baths with peat and bog water.

Irish Independent

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