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Iconic Galley Head swim’s wave of support for deserving causes

November 26th, 2022 7:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

Clonakilty ladies Clare O’Leary, Celine Griffin, Oonagh Brady and Ann Phair who took part in the swim last July with Geoff Wycherley, committee member.

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THE Galley Head swim this year raised €83,068 which has been shared between Marymount Hospice, the Irish Community Air Ambulance and West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue.

The fourth Galley Head swim was completed by 120 swimmers and 52 support boats in near perfect conditions in July. 

The event attracted solo swimmers and relay teams from all areas of Ireland, as well as the UK, France and South Africa. The epic 10km open water swim started at the Red Strand, went around the Galley Head, along the Long Strand and finished at the Warren Beach in Rosscarbery on Saturday, July 9th. The first swimmers back at the Warren finished the swim in a time of two hours, 40 minutes with the final swimmers arriving after four hours in the water.

 Tony Rafferty, one of the organising committee, who has swam the 10km in the past said: ‘It is a very big achievement for most of the swimmers to go around the iconic Galley Head Lighthouse with all the challenges attached to such a swim.’

Organising committee water officers, Paul Melody and Pat Mulcahy were delighted with how the day went: ‘We had nine safety boats on the water for the event, including the Garda Water Unit, West Cork Underwater and Rescue member boats and UCC safety boat. There were lifeguards, assistance boarders in the water and support crews. It takes a lot to manage safety for the event, from swimmer and boat crew briefings, to the water safety on the day of the swim.’

This year there was an added fun evening for all the swimmers, crews and organisers held in the Celtic Ross Hotel. On the night, renowned open water swimmer Steve Redmond spoke about the joys and personal challenges of swimming. 

A speaker from each of the three beneficiaries of the event, Marymount Hospice, Irish Community Air Ambulance and the West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue also addressed the event. 

Committee member Geoff Wycherley explained how 100% of the money raised or donated is given directly to the three beneficiaries: ‘It was a privilege for our group to hand over the three cheques last week. 

‘The total raised at the 2022 Galley Head Swim was a huge €83,068. 

‘In the four years of the event a total of €270,000 has been raised and put to very good use by the selected beneficiaries.’

Next year’s event will be held on Saturday July 22nd and online registration will open shortly. 

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