AS with the rest of the country, Christmas Day in Banagher dawned with snow, ice and temperatures of minus 12 degrees. However despite the bitter cold, the preparations for the 10th Anniversary Christmas day swim with Banagher Sub Aqua Club got underway.
The club members had an emergency meeting at 9am that morning to assess the situation and the options available to them.
Due to safety issues and to the safety boats not being able to be launched into the river due to a frozen over slipway, it was decided to cancel the 'across river' swim but to enter in the Shannon via the swimming pool and to swim in the confines of the pool surroundings.
A number of members agreed to not swim that day in order to oversee the safety of the swimmers and they volunteered to partake in their swim on New Years Day in lieu of missing the Christmas Day swim.
The Christmas Day swim in the Shannon went ahead although in a smaller scale than other years but there still was a great crowd of supporters and the atmosphere was one of Christmas joy and spirit.
Sean and Aileen Corrigan were on hand with warm punch and the Corner Boys belted out a few carols to entertain the gathered spectators while a group of 12 swimmers took to the icy minus 2 degrees water while club members Micheal Connelly, Fergal Clarke and Kieran Flannery oversaw the safety from the banks of the pool.
As you can see from the photos, some of the braver swimmers choose to swim in their swimming togs without the added bonus of the warmer option of a wetsuit.
Well done to all the swimmers especially the two young ladies that braved the water, Louise Flannery and Soracha Moran.
Many thanks to all that came out on the day to cheer on and support the swimmers and club and thanks to all that sponsored the swimmers or donated money to the club event.
Thanks as always to Sean and Aileen Corrigan and family for their invaluable support. Thanks to Catherine Moran and Mary Leybourne and their team of bucket collectors on the day.
On New Years Day the following club members swam across the river Shannon Micheal Connelly, Tomias Raegan (club's first Polish member), Edward Langtry and Kevin Leybourne. They were overseen in safety boats by Barry Woods, Antoinette Kelly and Thomas Mannion. Again many thanks to all.
To this end the club would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone that continues to support Banagher Sub Aqua club and wish you all a very happy and safe New Year.