Sunday 19 November 2017

Hard souls brave icy water in Ballymoney

THE NEW Year's Day Swim on Ballymoney beach went ahead on a scaled back basis thanks to the stormy conditions experienced overnight and early on New Year's Day.

It was initially thought the swim would have to be called off together, but in the end, around 30 brave individuals stripped to their swim wear and ran in to knee depth, and splashed around in the freezing water.

Their screams of pain were supervised by a line of Courtown RNLI volunteers who stood in the water and prevented them going in too far.

'For safety concerns, we didn't go any further,' said Eamonn O'Connor of the Tara Vale Swimmers who organised the charity splash.

A large crowd of spectators gathered on the beach to watch the fun, and then it was off to the Tara Vale in Kildermot where food and music were enjoyed by a huge crowd well into the evening.

Proprietors Jim and Mary French laid on food; the committee provided sandwiches; and a team of chefs also roasted a pig on a spit, all of which went down very well, and seven musicians and music groups ensured the New Year was well and truly rung in in Ballymoney.

Money is still coming in, but it's hoped they still will have done well for the charities - St. Aidan's Services, Gorey; and The Jack and Jill Foundation; despite the scaled back swim.

A huge thank you was sent to all who got wet on the day; all who sponsored them; the chefs; Jim and Mary French; the musicians; Courtown RNLI; and all who supported the day.

Gorey Guardian

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