Sunday 26 January 2020

'I don't want to die in pyjamas, I want to die in my togs' - Elderly Irish sea swimmers star in inspiring video

Jason Kennedy

Three elderly Irish people have opened up about why they love swimming in treacherous waters in an inspiring video.

In the video 'The Invincibles', produced by Dulux Ireland, the Cork swimmers explain the rush they get when they step foot in the open water, even though people may question its safety.

"I enjoy being perceived as an eccentric. [The water is] like a friend who can turn on you for no apparent reason," says Tom McCarthy (63) from Carrigaline.

"Your whole body is tingling, like the blood is rushing through your body like champagne. It's effervescent.

"I don't want to die in my pyjamas. I don't want to die in my boots. I want to die in my togs."

Myrtleville Swimmers Tom Bermingham said it's the biggest adrenaline rush he gets. 

'"I enjoy being perceived as an eccentric,' says Tom McCarthy. Photo: Chris Lindhorst

"Common sense will tell you that you shouldn't go in, but you know that by going in, you're going to feel good.

"I say it's the cheapest form of drug that I know of, but I know nothing about drugs."

Fellow Myrtleville Swimmer Mairead Ni Mhaoileoin says it's a great hobby once you show the water the respect it deserves.

"The world can be a very difficult place if you let it be a difficult place," Ms Ni Mhaoileoin says in the video.

"You can lose yourself. You have to realise the ocean is the boss and you give it the respect it's due."

‘The Invincibles’ has been viewed more than 200,000 times over the past 14 days.

Mr McCarthy, a member of the Sandycove Island Swim Team, says he is thrilled with the feedback he has received from the video.

"I’m delighted that the Irish public have been inspired by our story.”

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