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Ballyconneely Charity Swim officially launched.
On Tuesday afternoon last, the 2018 Ballyconneely Charity Swim was officially launched in Blackrock, Salthill. The swim, scheduled to take place on Monday, August 6th off Bunowen Pier, Ballyconneely is now in its third year and continues to grow in popularity and reputation. Last year over 160 open water swimmers took part in the event, and it is envisaged that this number will increase this year. Swimmers have a choice of two distances, a 3km swim or a 1km swim. In addition there is a 250m swim for novice participants.
Speaking at the launch, event organiser, Pat Conneely outlined how all proceeds from the swim go directly back into local charities and organisations within the Ballyconneely community .Last year the beneficiaries were Aillebrack National School, Ballyconneely Preschool and Clifden Lifeboat. This year three local charities will again be nominated and the proceeds will be shared amongst them. He stressed that while the actual swim itself is a free event, participants are invited to make a contribution towards the occasion, should they so wish. Fellow organiser, James O Malley wished to thank the main sponsors, including Mr JD Buckley of Sky Ireland, Mr Peter Meagher, Beacon Hospital, Dublin and both Mr Simon Cantwell and the Shaw family, regular holiday makers to Ballyconneely. He also thanked the family of Mrs Margaret McDowell who donated a beautiful cup in memory of their mother, a beautiful lady who spent decades visiting Aillebrack, admiring its unique beauty and sharing many happy times with both family and friends. The winner of the 1km swim will receive the Margaret McDowell Memorial Cup while the winner of the 3km swim will receive the Kennelly Family Cup, presented by the family of Michael Kennelly who grew up in Ballyconneely and whose family have a long and proud association with the area. James also wished to reiterate how grateful the organising committee are to members of the local community who have showed tremendous support for this event. He thanked Graham and John Roberts, Mr Tom Mullin, Mr John Teegan, Ms Christine Mullin and all those who help and assist in any way.
Registration will take place from 1.30pm on Bunowen Pier while the actual swimming kicks off at 3pm. According to Joe Kennelly, prizes will be presented to two categories in all events. Joe stated that the first swimmer home will receive the cup, but that presentations will be made to the winner and runners up in both wet suit and non-wetsuit, (skin) categories. He also stated that it is hoped there will be a carnival atmosphere on the pier with music being played and food being served. He thanked committee PRO, Sarah O Malley who has designed and created a very informative Facebook page, Ballycoonneely Charity Swim. Full details can be found here or by calling Joe on 0879651498.