Balmy conditions for the New Year charity dip in Ballybunion

Ciara Collins, Noreen Galvin, Julette O’Sullivan and Treasa Murphy taking a second dip into the sea at Ballybunion at the fifth annual Connie Harnett New Year’s Day Memorial Swim in Ballybunion in aid of local charities. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan
Ciara Collins, Noreen Galvin, Julette O’Sullivan and Treasa Murphy taking a second dip into the sea at Ballybunion at the fifth annual Connie Harnett New Year’s Day Memorial Swim in Ballybunion in aid of local charities. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

Simon Brouder

It's usually a somewhat chillier affair, but the unseasonably mild weather made the annual New Year's Day swim in Ballybunion a considerably more comfortable event this year.

Now in its fifth year, the Connie Harnett Memorial Swim has become a popular New Year's tradition in Ballybunion, with people coming from all over north Kerry and west Limerick to enjoy the fun and games.

The annual event is held in honour of the popular and much-missed late Abbeyfeale cattle dealer Connie Harnett, who passed away in 2014.

The swim is organised by Connie's wife and family, and raises money for various local charities and worthy causes.

Just a few of the past beneficiaries include Darkness Into Light; Listowel Community Hospital; the Hope Foundation; The Sagart Lourdes Fund; Crumlin Children's Hospital and Nano Nagle Listowel among many others.

This year, what looked to be around 200 swimmers took part in the event, with the massed crowd of participants - watched by an even bigger, if considerably less hardy crowd of spectators - making their dash into the water at lunchtime on Tuesday.

Kerryman

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