From The West of Ireland
    Go to Castlebar | Photo Gallery | Castlebar Directory | Nostalgia Board
Photography : Frank Cawley Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

Castlebar Christmas Day Swim Lough Lannagh 2006
By Frank Cawley
3, Jan 2007 - 19:36

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

It's as traditional as the cover on the pool table in Prendergast’s tavern on Christmas Eve, and it's as logical as brushing your teeth with a toilet brush.  The victims themselves are as brave as all the rest of the lodgers in the grey hotel.  It has to be the annual 12 mid-Christmas Day Lough Lannagh charity swim. 

At 12 midday every Christmas for as long as I can remember, retired members of the Castlebar Swimming Club take on the frosty waters of Castlebar's urban delta, aka Lough Lannagh. The first two men to brave the diving board steps were Rathbawn Drive natives Paul Ainsworth and Barry Gallery. I notice that their children looked on in disbelief as they saw their fathers behave as if the government had introduced a 10 drink minimum before leaving your house. 'You can take the savage out of Rathbawn but you can't take Rathbawn out of the savage'. I overheard a Snugboro native say, which has to be the winner of Ireland's 2006 Award for Irony.

The first thing that struck me when Paul Ainsworth dived head first into the lake was: 'There's a man who knows how deep this lake is'

My grandfather used to say 'If Flutie Joe jumped into the lake, would you jump into the lake?' He would not have been impressed. Like a herd of lemmings they lambasted themselves in the ice cold water. The swans are used to being fed by friendly passers by, but they must have sussed that something was wrong when their friends, turned up Christmas Day, half stripped to the pelt, and insistent that they join them for a swim.

No one stayed in too long. Half the swimmers are already fully dressed and it's only 1 minute past 12.

Costa del Lannagh!

The waters were flat calm.

Congrats to everyone who took part. I recognized a few of the Tooheys and McCafferys but didn't know everyone there. The only pity is there didn't seem to be anyone collecting for charity, and not a lot of people knew about it. I'm guessing the local Padres were afraid of any competition for midday massgoers? Maybe next year there will be a bigger crowd to support these warriors and a small fund-raiser for people who are not so fortunate at Christmas.

© Copyright 2007 by © Contributor(s) and Castlebar Web Pages 1997 - 2018

.. Top of Page

Frank Cawley
Latest Headlines
Christmas Day 2017
Shane Lost We Need a LYFT
Something Very Unusual Happened in Castlebar in August 2017
Castlebar at Night
Merry New Year From the Top of Castlebar
Fly By for Mayo Team
Christmas Day Swim 2015
Christmas Day Cathair na Mart
GlasBhealach Mór an Iarthair
Castlebar Christmas Day 2014
Grey Green Way
Annual Christmas Wash 2013
Winter Woodland Walk, Raheens
I'll take you down to China Town
Harry Clarke Sequel - Newport Judgement Day
Wearin of the Green
Are you right there Michael? Western Rail Corridor
Sunday Morning Footpath
Arrah Here Clare
Will you meet me on Clare Island?
Bridge on the River Moy
Rise Up Willie Joe
The Windy Gap
A Festive Snap
An Deatach Mór
You can take the man out of Belmullet
An Oilean Briste "a Broken Island"
How to Make a Sandwich with your Feet
Spirit of Place. Carrowteige 54° North 9° West.
Get on your Bike!
The Christmas Day Swim: Lough Lannagh
An Puc ar Buile!
Paddy Curran RIP
Southern Exposure
Mulranney New years Eve 2007
Some Festive Pictures
Long legged Italy
New England Fall 2007
Blessed be the Holy
Things to do in Ballinrobe when it's raining
March Marine Madness
Castlebar Christmas Day Swim Lough Lannagh 2006
Drombeg Stone Circle.
One Lucky Salmon
The Galway Races
Castlecarra Lough Carra April 2006
The Boston St Patrick's Day Parade
Some Small Black & White
Vast improvements in Charlestown
New England Fall aka Autumn
Annagh Bay
Have you ever been to Inishbofin Island?
Burrishule Abbey Turlough Round Tower
Eighteen Turns at Fota House
I V League
Some pictures from South West Mayo
St Patricks Festival in the City of Culture
This is Castlebar in 2005
New Year Fireworks
East and West
Autumn in Mulranney
Kylemore Abbey
Tory Island
These boys are heading off soon.....
From Mayo to Kerry - Newport to Sneem
Identify this Flower
Some images from Garnish Island Bantry Bay
Bring on the Clowns
Clare Island Easter 2004
The Rock of Cashel
Winter Sunrise
Jeanie Johnston in Cork
Winter In the West
The Kings Head
Photo Exhibition in Westport this weekend
Is this a moth or a butterfly
Lost in Kilkenny
Wheres your head at ??
From Nephin to Kerry
Mid Winter Sunshine
The Calm after a Storm
Swan Lake
Foxford Fair
Saleen Lake and other Mayo Scenes
Some Mayo Scenes