Here the path met a high wall which we skirted around and continued along the seaward side to a gate and slipway. "My pool is 13ft by 7ft and I am out in it every day and it has kept me sane.". Thanks for the warm welcome ladies and I hope to see you again soon! Words by Maureen McCoy, Photography by Paul McCambridge. Lough Neagh has a unique and diverse habitat with many rare species of plants, bugs, waterfowl, birds and fish. Still chatting happily as we climbed our way out across the mat of seaweed, everyone seeming to revel in the post swim buzz, discussing the merits of various coats, jackets and changing robes. The sun began to peep through the cloud as Leinster’s Mary Bolger-Hinds took the third hour of the swim. The Dunkers have arrived. To find out more or disable the cookies on your browser click here.
Received 74 donations from generous family and friends. Just … and 2015 (as a 4 person relay).
The tenacity and good humour of these ladies lasted the entire day, not once was a cross word said, each was eager to get back in for their next swim and conversation on board was upbeat with jokes and story sharing. Subcutaneous ink-sulation??? Words by Maureen McCoy, Photography by Paul Hinds With limited room, the team came up with the idea of tethering themselves with a rope tied to a tree in their gardens so that they can swim on the spot. A friend and I are looking to do some summer swimming but I can't really think where would be best. But instead of swimming just for the sake of it, the women and seven of their fellow dunkers took on a ‘Loughdown Swim’ as ‘tethered swimmers’ to raise money for food parcels to help people weather the pandemic. “I kept going, at least once a week, right through the winter. SAILING CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Website Design by Boon Agency.
The “Swim Sisters” are members of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association. At the far side we passed under some trees and were brought close to the water’s edge. The lough is owned by the Earl of Shaftesbury. The area carries bird populations of international importance and has one of the largest eel fisheries in western Europe.
Words by Maureen McCoy, Photography by Paul Hinds Four women who regularly swim together and compete in open water swims around the country decided they would like to make their mark on a pioneering swim… to cross an almost diagonal route of Lough Neagh, the largest lake by area in the British Isles. It contains over 800 billion gallons of water, enough to fill 7 million swimming pools. CULTURE The wearing of bright coloured togs is optional but has become the trade mark of one “Paddy Pineapple” – Paddy Montgomery – Lisburn Triathlon Club, Ice Km and keen promoter of “Budgie Smugglers” togs… perhaps it makes one at least think a little warmer when dressed in tropical prints…. ©Paul McCambridge – Portrush – 18th December 2016 Hundreds turned out for Portrush’s annual Santa Splash in aid of the Childrens Heartbeat Trust organised by the Acradia Bathing Club. On 10th September 2016, the “Swim Sisters” (Lynsey Dunne, Mary Bolger-Hinds, Claudine Hughes and Maighread McMahon) will attempt to create history and become the first all-female relay team to swim the length of the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles, Lough Neagh – a distance of approximately 30km. Registration: £10 Suggested Sponsorship: £50, https://cancerfocusni.org/fundraising/events/.
A little further down the laneway one may take the footbridge across the Blackwater and step into County Tyrone.
Together they have swum an impressive 28km in their gardens pools, raising more than £2,000 for Lurgan Area Community Aid. climatize to the chill. And rest assured that your data will not be shared with any other party. “Yes it was nippy, but it was exhilarating and I loved it,” she explained. You can unsubscribe from this service at any time. Through the generosity of the team’s sponsor Hose Doctor.ie, the swim sisters team has managed to raise a considerable amount for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and are very close to their target. Make-A-Wish Ireland has one simple aim – to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, to bring hope, strength and happiness. Make-A-Wish does not receive any government funding, and relies overwhelmingly on the kindness of the Irish public to continue granting wishes. A wish granted is true magic for the child, providing respite from their normal routines of hospitals, doctors and treatment. “It was great. "Eight swimmers of varying experience decided to give it a go. Each swimmer will swim for an hour at a time until the long swim ends at Kinnego Marina, Co Armagh. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Stephanie said she has been with the dunkers since it started and ordinarily they would meet every weekend at the lough. It is the largest lake by area in the British Isles, with a surface area of 151 square miles (392 square kilometres). It might here be remarked that there is something in connection with the waters of Lough Neagh that does not seem explainable, because although Miss Gleitze was swimming very strongly, very little progress was made from 1.00 p.m. until 3.45 p.m. It is the scar left by the Isle of Man.” “The whole team have really enjoyed the camaraderie and seeing this local group helped to continue to deliver food parcels and support to those who need it in our area,” added Lesley.
As the sun came up the team moved out towards the wider expanse of the lough and the first hour of the swim was nearly complete. So Dorothy Johnston, Francie Haughey, Chrissie O’Brien, Stephanie Lyness, Brian Uprichard, Cathy Devlin, Ree McConville, Gwen McCracken and Lesley Glenn got their goggles and togs on for their 3.1km. After Armagh-born Claudine, the second swimmer in was Connaught’s Lynsey Dunne, a seasoned open water swimmer with two English Channel relays behind her, one the first successful Irish two person relay and several marathon distance solos, including Lough Erne 25km this very year. Finally, we were drawn to try out some body surfing in the small rollers breaking in the shallows, with a lot of squealing and trying not to lose our goggles in the foam we managed to return intact. The vast natural importance and rich history of Lough Neagh could fill many pages and I have only provided a very brief summary here. Cathy Devlin, a founding member of the Monster Dunkers, greeted me with a big hug, having now ditched the wetsuit – a change from that long ago night swim at Janet’s Rock. No two swims are ever the same, weather changes, conditions are different, how we feel on that day… these factors and more will make a difference…that’s what makes it so addictive. However, plenty of hardy souls have been enjoying the invigorating sensations of dipping and dunking all through the cold, short days of winter.
“Some of us wouldn’t be strong swimmers but we all did it. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save.
In addition, our swim will be independently observed for ratification purposes. “It definitely was a life saver when you couldn’t get out to the lough or the sea,” she added.
More swimmers gathered, and we introduced ourselves to each other before Jonny lead us along the path that winds across Loughshore Park. Approximately 20 miles west of Belfast, the almost rectangular shape of Lough Neagh dominates mid-Ulster and five of Northern Ireland’s six counties border onto the lough. Comfortable in the chilly water, it begs the question has he found an, as yet unresearched advantage? Thank you, Jonny and JLS for inviting us to join you – great swim and see you again soon! The other two main myths tell of wells overflowing which flood the lands and some tales tell of a drowned city beneath its waters! Catching up with Francie McAlinden (Winner Global Swim Series 2018) who amongst other things is planning a charity swim for his grandson, 14th September – Swim for Oran – raising funds for the Heart Beat Trust RVH, I’m all signed up!
Ipso, An INM Website ! Heaney’s haunting words are not without reason and if you do get into trouble then help is available via Lough Neagh Rescue, an independent lifeboat service and charity who have three lifeboat stations across the Lough at Oxford Island, Antrim and Ardboe on the mid-west shore and can be tasked via HM Coastguard in the normal manner by calling 999. The lough itself used to be much bigger, but damage to surrounding lands from flooding events caused its levels to be lowered 4 times, the first in 1846 and the last in 1959, and the water levels are now managed by large flood gates at Toome on its north shore. The Lough Neagh Cycle Trail connects a number of parks, nature reserves, marinas, and major sites of interest to include the Lough Neagh Discovery Center in the Oxford Island National Nature Reserve, the second most visited tourism attraction in Northern Ireland. “Four of us should have gone to Spain on the bank holiday weekend, so I said ‘why don’t we do a video in our own garden and pretend we are in Spain?’, “We had so much fun doing that and Lesley put it all together in a wee video.”. Oxford Island is located on the South-Eastern shores of Lough Neagh, County Armagh.
Lough Neagh is a large freshwater lake in Northern Ireland. The group, who are all members of the Lough Neagh Monster Dunkers, have bought pop-up pools so that they can continue to swim in their own back gardens. Today evidence of its history can still be seen in the form of ancient sites and ruins such as the Ardboe Cross, which is over 1000 years old. “The lough will claim a victim every year.
“The GAA and Lurgan Rugby Club and a lot of the clubs have amalgamated to do this during this crisis.”.
Dare to Dip for Cancer Focus, Crawfordsburn Beach Bangor, Co Down. Stephanie Lyness said she bought a pool to get her 'cold water fix' at home, Never miss a thing from Belfast and beyond - sign up for FREE updates direct to your email inbox. You can help the tethered swimmers boost their fundraising efforts here. When I joined them they were on lap 6. KIDLINGTON Arcadia Bathing Club Santa Splash – Portrush, Co Antrim, Sunday 16th December 1.30pm East Strand Portrush, ©Paul McCambridge/MAC Visual Media 1st January 2018 Donaghadee Chunky Dunkers New Years Swim, Donaghadee Chunky Dunkers 12 Swims of Christmas, Co Down. The Silent Witness star's Northern Ireland roots were explored on BBC1 genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are?
After many months of hard training, our first swimmer will enter Lough Neagh at Toome, Co.Derry on Saturday 10th September at 6am. Lough Neagh Monster Dunkers On the shores of Lough Neagh, behind the Discovery Centre a short slipway offers entry to a sheltered section of the lough and it’s here at the weekends that Lough Neagh Monster Dunkers meet. Since 1992, Make-A-Wish has granted wishes for more than 2,300 brave children across Ireland, including 221 wishes granted in 2017 alone. With one swimmer from each province in Ireland; Ulster, Munster Leinster and Connaught, the Swim Sisters team wanted to raise awareness and money for the Make a Wish Foundation (Ireland & Northern Ireland). Looking to find out where you can meet up with other open water swimmers or post you open water swimming events with in or around northern Ireland. Although the lough has a vast shoreline, much of it is privately owned with little access, thus windsurfing mostly takes place at the well developed sites of Oxford Island on the south shore, Antrim on the northeast shore and Ballyronan on the northwest shore. Missing their “cold water fix”, some Lough Neagh Monster Dunkers have mastered a way of swimming tethered to garden pools. SIZE Nobel winning poet Seamus Heaney grew up close to the shores of Lough Neagh and much of his work captures the rural life surrounding the lough and in 1969 he produced a collection of poems, “A Lough Neagh Sequence”, dedicated to the Lough Neagh eel fishermen and their catch.
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