Belfast Telegraph

Festive swimmers brave Irish Sea for Christmas Day dip

Hundreds of festive swimmers braved the Irish Sea for the traditional Christmas Day dip in Dublin.

Heavy rainfall failed to dampen the mood at the popular Forty Foot swimming spot at Sandycove.

Santa hat and Speedo combos were extremely popular among the bathers, as were bikinis decorated with tinsel.

Cynthia Cowan had travelled all the way from Oregon in the United States to experience the ever-popular festive ritual.

Mrs Cowan, 64, took the plunge with her son David and family friend Jarrett Yount.

"My son heard about the Forty Foot and we decided it would be exciting to do it," she said.

"I wasn't going to do it at first but then I decided I needed to do something new, I had never done anything like this."

She said the cold was a bit of a shock.

"It was pins and needles the whole time, but it was great and everybody was so friendly and so nice - it was wonderful," said Mrs Cowan.

"I loved it, it was just so fun."

The sea temperature was nothing new to Patrick Corkery from Castleknock in north-west Dublin.

The 44-year-old swims every day and three months ago he completed a life-time ambition by swimming the English Channel.

His wife Alice and son Matthew went to the Forty Foot on Christmas Day to cheer him on as he entered the water in red and white shorts and a Santa hat and beard.

"It was wet and raining but it wasn't stopping anybody, they were all getting in anyway," he said.

"It was probably wetter out than it was in.

"I'm doing this nearly 30 years. It gets me out of the kitchen and means I don't have any chores at home."

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