Friday 23 August 2019

WATCH: Jack B Yeats' famous 1923 painting recreated for launch of 100th Liffey Swim

The Liffey Swim, 1923, Jack B. Yeats (1871–1957). See it in the National Gallery of Ireland, Millennium Wing www.nationalgallery.ie. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland.
The Liffey Swim, 1923, Jack B. Yeats (1871–1957). See it in the National Gallery of Ireland, Millennium Wing www.nationalgallery.ie. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland.

Evie Kearney

Over 700 swimmers are due to honour tradition this August by taking the plunge and competing in the 100th annual Liffey Swim.

The popular event is the oldest continually-run annual swimming race in Europe and considered a major highlight of the open swimming season.

Today, six swimmers set out to recreate the famous 1923 painting by Jack B Yeats that documented the event, which was then in its fourth year.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe said that Dublin city "really wanted to mark" the anniversary of the iconic event with the launch that set out to recapture the painting.

"All of the great traditions of Dublin can be summed up in much of the work of Jack B Yeats," he added.

The six swimmers chosen to recreate the painting, which won a silver medal for art at the 1924 Summer Olympics, are all former winners consisting of three men and three women.

The first Liffey Swim took place in 1920 with just 27 participants and was devised to prove to the public that the water was not polluted. The course has since remained 2,200 metres in length, with the first ladies' race introduced in 1991.

Swimmers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to participate in the 2019 race which will take place on August 3.

READ MORE: How the Liffey swim, our 'national temperament in all its idiosyncrasy', brought Olympic glory

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