A CONVERSATION between friends on holiday in Austria three years ago has resulted in €113,220 for Marymount Hospice and West Cork Underwater Search & Rescue.
The third Galley Head Swim on July 17th in Rosscarberry was a huge success, with participant numbers growing from 26 swimmers and 15 boats in 2019 to 164 swimmers and 63 boats in 2021.
The race started at Red Strand in Ardfield, rounded the iconic Galley Head, before heading across the Long Strand, passing in front of Owenahincha, and finishing at the Warren beach.
‘What started as an event for the local community using the spectacular natural resources of the West Cork coastline has now drawn swimmers from all over Ireland and the UK,’ said Geoff Wycherley, one of the committee members.
The Galley Head Swim Committee comprising Steve Clery, Justin Crowley, Margaret Deegan, Paul Melody, Pat Mulcahy, Tony Rafferty and Geoff Wycherley say they are extremely fortunate to have great volunteers who give their time and effort to make sure this event is a success every year. This means that every penny raised by the swimmers is split between the two charities.
The idea for the swim came about when a couple of friends from Clonakiliy and Rosscarbery were having a few pints together on holidays in Austria. ‘We were talking about how the West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue volunteers had to buy their own equipment and felt something needed to be done about it,’ said Geoff.
‘The conversation moved on to the bereavements suffered within the group – one had lost his wife to cancer in 2018 and the another’s sister was in Marymount Hospice at the time (she sadly passed away in 2019) but the one thing that came across was that both received wonderful care in the hands of Marymount’s professional team,’ he said. The conversation ended in a goal to raise funds for both organisations, by doing something a lot of the group liked – swimming.
The first event in 2019 raised €17,400, in 2020 they managed to raise €55,742 and in July the figure was a massive €113,220. The committee look forward to welcoming everyone to Rosscarbery on July 9th July for the 4th swim.