FOR the 24th year the annual Christmas Day swim will take place on Lough Macnean at Blacklion. The Macnean Icebreakers as they are known will again brave the freezing waters and this year’s nominated charity is StopSuicide.
Last year 50 brave swimmers gathered on the pier on Christmas morning and ran at full speed into the ice cold water, all in aid of local charity Ellie’s Retreat.
One of the organisers Danielle Nolan, whose parents Sean and Patsy helped start the tradition back in 1993 told the Herald:
“It started off with about ten people going in and over the years we’ve supported nearly every charity. In recent years we’ve tried to pick a charity with a local connection and it means we get more support. A lot of the participants are from Cavan, Fermanagh and Leitrim. Unfortunately these areas have suffered as a result of suicide so it’s an issue that is important to many people and has impacted on most communities.”
While for some it’s only a short dip in the water, others take the chance to enjoy a morning paddle.
“There is always a massive crowd down at the lake and it’s a very positive community event with a great buzz. Afterwards we provide the swimmers with hot punch and drinks for the children,” Danielle added.
If you’re interested in doing the Christmas Day swim contact ‘Macnean Icebreakers’ on Facebook.
For those who want to feel the sand between their chilly toes, the annual Christmas Day swim returns to the Main Beach in Bundoran and is always well supported by Fermanagh folk. All participants will gather at the front of the lifeguard station at 12.15 and donations are directed to St Vincent de Paul/Ozanam House.
Finally those looking to start to 2018 with a splash will be heading to the 25th annual Galloon New Year’s Day charity swim to take the plunge at the jetty outside Newtownbutler. Around 50 people are set welcome the New Year by jumping into Lough Erne at 1pm on Monday week, January 1st. The proceeds of the swim this year are going to Alzheimer’s Society.
“Unfortunately this disease is becoming more common and the Alzheimer’s Society helps a lot of families affected by the disease,” an organiser said.
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