HAVING been a weekly attendee at swimming lessons at the Grove Leisure Centre in Bandon for 25 years, its recent closure means that Mary O'Mahony and her group of swimmers will now have to find somewhere else to swim.
âWe're all going to miss it terribly and we'll miss owners Phil and Charley Ryan as well as Lucy Desmond, our swimming instructor, who was brilliant with us down through the years,' Mary O'Mahony told The Southern Star.
âI was the longest member of this group who went there and people came and went down through the years. When I started lessons back then, I couldn't put my head in the water but I've come a long way with Lucy since. And even my grown up children all learned to swim there too.'
But it's the friendships and the social aspect that Mary and her group will miss the most as it became a regular date in their diaries.
âI always kept Thursday night 8pm for myself and it was a great social event meeting the other eight or nine women. We would have nights out too after the swimming lessons and Lucy would come too. And, if any of us missed the night, we were able to come another night.'
The group had their last swimming class on Thursday, June 29th, and following goodbyes and some tears, they went to Padraigin's Pizza to mark the sad but special occasion.
âIt was upsetting alright and just so sad to see that the pool has closed. I don't know where everyone is going to go now to swim. People are suggesting different swimming pools in West Cork. It definitely won't be the same without our gang having great conversations and fun,' added Mary.