Monday 24 September 2018

Watch: Festive swimmers brave Irish Sea for Christmas Day dip

Swimmers Suzanne Murray from Killiney and Sarah Murray from Cabinteely enjoying the Christmas Day Swim at the 40 Foot in Sandycove.
Pic Steve Humphreys
Swimmers Suzanne Murray from Killiney and Sarah Murray from Cabinteely enjoying the Christmas Day Swim at the 40 Foot in Sandycove. Pic Steve Humphreys
People brave the rain to take part in the annual Christmas Day swim in the Forty Foot, Dun Laoghaire: Niall Carson /PA Wire
(Left-right) David and Cynthia Cowan and Jarrett Young from Oregon brave the rain to take part in the annual Christmas Day swim in the Forty Foot, Dun Laoghaire Niall Carson /PA Wire
Swimmers Niamh Lowry from Blanchardstown, Janette Campbell from Abu Dhabi and Niamh Meagher from Castleknock enjoying the Christmas Day Swim at the 40 Foot in Sandycove. Pic Steve Humphreys 25th December 2017
Enjoying the Christmas Day Swim at the 40 Foot in Sandycove was Karl Butler from CityWest Dublin. Pic Steve Humphreys 25th December 2017
People brave the rain to take part in the annual Christmas Day swim in the Forty Foot, Dun Laoghaire: Niall Carson /PA Wire
Swimmers young and old enjoying the Christmas Day Swim at the 40 Foot in Sandycove. Pic Steve Humphreys 25th December 2017
People brave the rain to take part in the annual Christmas Day swim in the Forty Foot, Dun Laoghaire: Niall Carson /PA Wire
People brave the rain to take part in the annual Christmas Day swim in the Forty Foot, Dun Laoghaire: Niall Carson /PA Wire

David Young

Hundreds of festive swimmers braved the Irish Sea for the traditional Christmas Day dip in Dublin.

Heavy rainfall failed to dampen the mood at the popular Forty Foot swimming spot at Sandycove.

Santa hat and Speedo combos were extremely popular among the bathers, as were bikinis decorated with tinsel.

Cynthia Cowan had travelled all the way from Oregon in the United States to experience the ever-popular festive ritual.

Mrs Cowan, 64, took the plunge with her son David and family friend Jarrett Yount.

"My son heard about the Forty Foot and we decided it would be exciting to do it," she said.

"I wasn't going to do it at first but then I decided I needed to do something new, I had never done anything like this."

She said the cold was a bit of a shock.

"It was pins and needles the whole time, but it was great and everybody was so friendly and so nice - it was wonderful," said Mrs Cowan.

"I loved it, it was just so fun."

Patrick Corkery (centre) from Castleknock takes part in the annual Christmas Day swim in the Forty Foot, Dun Laoghaire: Niall Carson /PA Wire
Patrick Corkery (centre) from Castleknock takes part in the annual Christmas Day swim in the Forty Foot, Dun Laoghaire: Niall Carson /PA Wire

The sea temperature was nothing new to Patrick Corkery from Castleknock in north-west Dublin.

The 44-year-old swims every day and three months ago he completed a life-time ambition by swimming the English Channel.

His wife Alice and son Matthew went to the Forty Foot on Christmas Day to cheer him on as he entered the water in red and white shorts and a Santa hat and beard.

"It was wet and raining but it wasn't stopping anybody, they were all getting in anyway," he said.

"It was probably wetter out than it was in.

"I'm doing this nearly 30 years. It gets me out of the kitchen and means I don't have any chores at home."

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