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Fan who trained with Dubs takes plunge in charity swim

A SWIMMER who has spent the past year training alongside the Dublin football squad was today set to dive into choppy waters for a 14-hour charity swim.

Artane man Feargal Somerville was due to begin his mammoth swim on All-Ireland final day, but was hampered by bad weather until today.

The 48-year-old had his gruelling challenge planned perfectly so that he would finish up in France just in time to toast the Dubs on the All-Ireland's final whistle.

But due to high winds and stormy seas, he was forced to postpone his swim and has waited patiently until 5am this morning to dive in.

"The pilot of the boat decides whether it is safe or not to head out, the wind has been very strong in the last week so it has delayed everything," he told the Herald.

"It has been a waiting game -- there are so many factors to consider. Solo swimmers can't go out in more than gale-force four winds -- relay teams can manage in poorer conditions but we can't because it's non-stop.

"I'm delighted to get out today," he added.

Somerville has been in training for three years to prepare for his solo challenge and has enjoyed sharing the changing room with the victorious Dublin footballers.

"I train in DCU's pool at 6.30am, five days a week. During the colder months the Dubs players train and workout there.

"We all used the same dressing room every day. I had great craic with them, especially with Eamon Fennell.

"I'd race him in the pool as well -- and always beat him," he laughed.

Somerville is being cheered on by his wife Margaret and pals as he braves the cold seas in an effort to raise much-needed funds for Cystic Fibrosis Research in Beaumont Hospital.