Belfast Telegraph

Teenager takes on Lough Foyle challenge to honour tragic Lisa Orsi

By Donna Deeney

A teenager has beaten treacherous tidal currents to swim across Lough Foyle - from Northern Ireland to the Republic.

The stretch of water from Magilligan in Co Londonderry to Greencastle in Co Donegal is usually crossed by ferry, but Una Casey from Londonderry made the journey under her own steam.

The 19-year-old is one of the youngest people to make the treacherous crossing.

She took on the challenge to raise funds for the Lisa Orsi Foundation, set up in memory of a 22-year-old Derry woman who fell victim to severe altitude sickness in Singapore last year.

The group is taking a group of inspirational young people, including Una, to the Asian World GAA Games in China.

Una completed the two-mile swim in just 37 minutes after entering the chilly water at Magilligan Point. Back on dry land, she admitted the swim was much more exhausting than she had anticipated.

"I am a member of the City of Derry Swimming Club, so I am a competent swimmer, but the currents in the Foyle were stronger than I had anticipated," Una said.

"There wasn't much time to prepare for the swim, because the Greencastle Regatta was last Sunday, which was a good opportunity to raise funds, so I just went for it.

"We contacted the organisers of the regatta and asked if we could do the swim as part of their event and they were fully behind us, which was great. It was a lot tougher in the water than I had expected because the currents are really strong and I had to swim against them.

"The ferry that runs between Magilligan and Greencastle can go directly across, which is a mile-and-a-half, but I needed to take a longer way because of the currents, so my swim was around two miles."

Una managed to raise a total of £900 for the Lisa Orsi Foundation.

"There are seven members of the Brian Og's Club, including me, going to China for the Asian World GAA Games in November through the Lisa Orsi Foundation, and we have a fund-raising target to reach, so I am delighted that my swim help me reach that," she said.

The foundation also hopes to raise awareness of organ donation after Lisa's were donated, and the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, which helps the families of people from Ireland who die while abroad.

Belfast Telegraph


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