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Video: Leinster rugby stars brave the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Ireland

Dave Kearney, Kane Douglas, and Collie O’Shea braved the icy waters along with members of the gardai at Clogherhead beach in Co Louth as the countdown to this year's Polar Plunge continues.

The Polar Plunge is one of Special Olympics Ireland's most novel annual events and it is hoped that thousands will be inspired by the exploits of the Leinster trio.

Rugby players Dave Kearney, Australian international Kane Douglas and Collie O’Shea were on-hand to support the launch of this unique event which will see plungers brave the icy waters at Clogherhead beach in Co Louth on Saturday December 6.

It is hoped the event will raise thousands of euros for Special Olympics athletes. Separate plunges are also taking place in locations around the country this December as part of a fundraising drive to support athletes with intellectual disabilities. 

The Clogherhead Polar Plunge is being spearheaded by local garda Patrick Sheridan from Drogheda Garda Station along with colleague Patrick Merrick who is based in Castleblaney, Co Monaghan.

Members of the RNLI, whose life boat station is based at Clogherhead, were also involved in the launch. The event is being run as part of the Gardai’s role with the Law Enforcement Torch Run, an organisation that has been in partnership with Special Olympics for many years.

Gardaí said they are hoping to attract up to 150 plungers on the day with the first plungers due to take their icy leap of faith at 11am.

Leinster player Kearney, who is close to returning to the pitch after an injury lay-off, said signing up to take the plunge is a great way to support some of Ireland’s most inspiring athletes. “Rugby players like myself are well used to taking ice baths but Special Olympics Polar Plunge at Clogherhead beach on Saturday December 6 is a much more fun way to get freezin’ for a really good reason.

"I’d encourage everyone to sign up for the event at specialolympics.ie/polarplunge and help support some of Ireland’s most inspiring athletes,” said Kearney, a native of Dundalk, Co Louth.

Kearney was joined at the launch by Kane Douglas and Collie O’Shea as part of their team’s charity partnership with Special Olympics Leinster.

Garda Patrick Sheridan is also hopeful that the people of Louth, Monaghan and Meath will get behind the event:

“This is a fantastic way to raise much needed funds for Special Olympics athletes. All of the money raised will go towards supporting athletes in this region and ensuring that they continue to get access to sporting opportunities through competitions, leagues and interclub competitions. On top of that it promises to be good fun so sign-up today!”

He was joined at the launch by colleagues, garda Eugene Mulligan from Drogheda Garda Station, Garda Mark Kirwan, Clogherhead Garda Station, and Sergeant Anne Byrne, Clogherhead Garda Station.

Registration costs €15 and plungers are asked to raise a minimum €50 which goes directly to supporting athletes with intellectual disabilities through sport and competition.

Plungers who raise more than €50 will also receive a complimentary ‘Ice Cool’ t-shirt.

To register, click here.

Here is when and where events are taking place across the country:

Friday December 5 - 10am start-time: Belfast International Airport –

Saturday December 6 – 11am start-time: Clogherhead, Co Louth – registration €15 

Saturday December 6 - 11am start time: Forty Foot, Sandycove, Co Dublin – registration €15

Sunday December 7 – 12 noon start-time: UL Activity Centre, Killaloe, Co Clare – registration €15

Saturday December 13 – The Strand, Athlone, Co Westmeath

Online Editors