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5th Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim to take place on Saturday, 24th July


The Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim in aid of Cancer Care West, now coming into its fifth year, will take place on Saturday, 24th July. The swim from Auginish in Co. Clare to Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill is a distance of roughly 13 kilometres has seen over 50 swimmers make successful crossings while in the process raising over €160,000 for Cancer Care West. In that period the charity has launched several new services to the people of Galway and the rest of Connacht. Expressing his appreciation to all the swimmers David O’Donnell of Cancer Care West said, “We are hugely grateful for the support and interest shown by all the swimmers in the work we do here at Cancer Care West.”

 This year, like other years, the majority of the swimmers will be stepping in to Galway Bay at Auginish in Co. Clare in just their swimming togs, with a few in wet suits, hoping to land at the iconic Blackrock Diving Tower a few hours later.  Training for this event has involved many hours swimming up and down in the swimming pool and also along the Salthill promenade in varying conditions, while trial swims have included swimming from Blackrock to Mutton Island and back, a distance of just over 5 kilometres – a little under half that of the Bay itself.


Getting physically and mentally prepared for this type of swim is a huge challenge. The water temperature is approximately 15 degrees Celsius at this time of year and the mental strength needed to overcome this is paramount. The weather conditions are unpredictable and totally out of the swimmers hands. They will simply do their best to not disturb passing seals while trying to avoid the jellyfish and passing vessels!

Speaking about the event, organiser Kevin Thornton said: "Interest has exploded this year with swimmers applying from all over the country and one or two from the UK!"

The swimmers safety will be managed by Barry Heskin who will co-ordinate up to two dozen safety boats. All going well the swimmers should arrive at Blackrock in Salthill between 3 and 4pm on Saturday, 24th July so if you are in the area please come down and give your support to the swimmers and to the charity.

Those wishing to support the swim may contact Ronan on (087) 9919107, Kevin on (086) 3571714 or visithttps://www.mycharity.ie/event/galwaybayswim2010. There will also be a fundraising day on Saturday, 10th July around Galway city.