Donegal swimmers at Creevy are a hardy bunch!

"It's freezing - but it's grand really!"

Michael Daly


Michael Daly


Only in Ballyshannon - or in this case at Creevy Pier near Ballyshannon -  would the words "it's freezing but it's grand really" make sense, and that was the way it was at 12 noon on Sunday when an uninviting sea and a very sharp wind turned swimmers pink as they braved the elements to take part in their annual swim for charity.

Estimates vary as people came and went, but at least 50 people got wet and as far as the Democrat could see, all or most of them, went swimming without the comfort of wet suits.

"Ah that's the way it is, today's a day for a quick dip in and out," joked one swimmer who complained that the hardest part was wading into the water at lowish tide as the rocks underneath were less than welcoming.

With monies going to North West Hospice and the local Kilbarron Restoration project, onlookers were generous and the bucket collectors didn't have to ask twice.

With a 12 noon start, most of the swimmers were done and dusted by 12.15 but a few late arrivals boosted numbers and all of them agreed, with typical Donegal stoicism "ah it was grand", their limbs turning blue suggesting "grand" was a bit of a stretch.

But, no matter, the tradition goes on, this swim normally takes place on Christmas Day but was cancelled for safety reasons - but this time went ahead on New Year's Day.

Well done to all who took part, grand indeed...

See Thursday's Donegal Democrat for more photos...