Hundreds of plucky swimmers brave chilly Irish Sea for charity

Large crowds gathered at coastal spots across the city to kick off their festive celebrations with a chilly dip

Hundreds of plucky swimmers braved wintry temperatures to take a Christmas Day plunge in the sea in Dublin.

Large crowds gathered at coastal spots across the city to kick off their festive celebrations with a chilly dip.

Hardy swimmers dressed wearing Santa hats and festive outfits took part in the Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club’s annual Christmas swim in aid of the RNLI.

Temperatures in parts of Dublin were a cool 11 degrees, but swimmers were treated to a hot toddy and shortbread to help them warm up afterwards.


Donna Cooney, a Green Party councillor for Clontarf, took part in three charity sea swims on Christmas Day morning.

“It is a beautiful Christmas morning – at 9.30am this morning I went off to Clontarf Baths and that was for Abacas School in Kilbarrack, which is a school for children and young adults with autism,” she said.

“I then hopped off to North Bull Island for a swim there at the bathing shelters and had lovely hot drinks after at Happy Out cafe, and that was all in aid of St Francis Hospice in Raheny, which is a really good cause.

“I then went to the boat slip for the last swim, and this is probably my favourite – I love it. It happens every year and it’s for the Irish lifeboat (RNLI).

“I love the sea and being out in the sea and they keep us safe so it’s a really great cause.

“This is the first time I have done all three swims but it couldn’t be a better morning to do it.

“The kids got me lovely bath bombs so I will go home and have a hot bath and warm drink and maybe a Bailey’s coffee or hot whiskey and get wrapped up, though I’m not feeling too cold.

“I don’t know whether it’s been warmer but I was swimming in colder conditions at the Baths a few weeks ago.

“The sunshine has brought a bit of heat too. The swims have set me up for the day now – I feel great.”

Helen Doogue, a member of the Clontarf RNLI fundraising committee, said the charity swim is now in its 47th year.

“Some 47 years ago, a fundraising committee was formed and the swim took off and it has just escalated and expanded over the years,” she told the PA news agency.

“It is a fabulous occasion – a little hot toddy after to warm you up, a donation to the lifeboat and you are good to go.”

Asked if she also braves the cold water, she said: “Not a hope.

“If was in the Maldives, of course, but not here.”