Christmas Day Charity Swim makes a return to Youghal
After a break of two years, the annual Christmas Day Charity Swim returns to Youghal Quay this festive season.
The swim, now in its 31st year, had to be held on a virtual basis for the past two years during the worst of the pandemic, but the highly popular event is now about to make a comeback as the big festive gathering it has always traditionally been.
The swim attracts hundreds of swimmers to dive, jump and anonisingly tiptoe into Lough Derg's icy mid-winter waters, proving to be a huge attraction for hardy bathers over the past three decades, and raising hundreds of thousands of euro for local charities and other worthy causes in our community.
This year funds raised will go to three entities: the North Tipperary Hospice, the Ray of Sunshine Foundation and Choose Respect, Nenagh.
Sponsorship cards are now available for people planning the dip, and anyone looking for them can collect from Frank Maloney at the Dapp Inn pub in Sarsfield Street or Christy Manning in Nenagh. They can also be obtained from Finnerty's Pharmacy, Reidy's Pub in Newtown, or Tony O' Flaherty who can be contacted on 087-2998634.
Almost every local family is aware through personal experience of the great work of the hospice movement. People in North Tipperary are affected by cancer or a life ending illness everyday directly or indirectly through a love one and the North Tipperary Hospice Movement strives to help.
The movement ensures that no one should have to go through this experience alone and it provide in-home care support and individualised care giving with respect, compassion, and support to all who make contact. The North Tipperary Hospice Movement provides practical and emotional support and all it services are free of charge.
RAY OF SUNHINE
Meanwhile, funds donated to the Ray of Sunshine Foundation will be presented to local brother and sister Lisa and Robbie Ryan who are travelling to Mombasa, Kenya next month with the foundation as part of its volunteering programme.
The purpose of the trip is to build an outreach home for girls affected by sex trafficking and other forms of exploitation. The home will provide a more permanent place for girls coming out of the rescue home which the foundation built a few years ago.
Some of the girls are older now and learning skills (sewing, hairdressing etc) in the local polytechnic. They will stay here rather than rented accommodation until they are old enough and can stand on their own two feet.
The home will also provide respite for the kids from the school for the visually impaired in Mombasa.
The Ray of Sunshine is a charity based in Clarecastle, County Clare and made up of volunteers from all over Ireland. The amazing Olive Halpin, and all the Ray of Sunshine associates, run the charity completely on a voluntary basis, relying on the generosity of the Irish people to carry out their projects.
All monies raised by Robbie and Lisa will go directly to the build, and to getting volunteers on the ground.
The Choose Respect campaign has been well established in Nenagh over the past four to five weeks.
It has the support of Nenagh's three secondary schools, six sports clubs and over 100 businesses.
In shop windows, in-store and in pubs for example, you are likely to have seen posters, flyers, bookmarks and beer mats, highlighting the campaign.
In summary, it is a unique community project to create awareness of the concerns facing women on a daily basis, primarily caused by men.
Examples of concerns include comments on appearance, sexist banter and jokes, unwanted physical contact, cat-calling, sending unsolicited explicit images on your phone.
The funding allocated from the Youghal Quay Christmas Day swim collection will allow the Choose Respect organising committee to fund additional projects on awareness within the schools; develop a professional social media presence on various channels; and create a distinct Bystander Intervention Symbol, that will encourage all of us to become active bystanders when the occasion arises.
Presentation of the proceeds of the swim will take place in Reidy's Pub in Newtown on Saturday night January 14.