A presentation was recently made to A Lust for Life the and Irish Cancer Society in the Landmark Hotel arising out of monies raised by the Fló Beo Shannon Swim 2019.
In August 2019 Fló Beo made history when they became the first women to swim 245km the length of the River Shannon and raise €21,118 . Mother and daughter, Eileen and Heather Maxwell, and friend Toni McGlynn started in Dowra, Co Cavan and swam 245km to Limerick City.
Due to the unique and challenging nature of the swim the ladies gained a lot of public interest and wanted to use this opportunity to raise funds for two charities close to their hearts – The Irish Cancer Society and A Lust for Life.
Everyone has experienced, either personally or through a loved one, the effects of mental illness and cancer. A Lust for Life and the Irish Cancer Society work to support people going through illness, and also to promote awareness of how to keep well.
Fló Beo is delighted to have raised €21,118 for these amazing charities. The money is being used by the Irish Cancer Society towards the Night Nurse Service in peoples homes. A Lust for Life is using the money on Future Flix, a new Mental Health support programme. A Lust for Life would love to reach every single student in Ireland. Schools all over the country are crying out for help and support.
They are desperate for talks, resources, workshops: something to help the teachers deal with the challenges they are confronted by on a daily basis.
The help and support of many people and organisations made this amazing journey possible. Permission was granted by Waterways Ireland to facilitate the swimmers and safety crew navigating the river and lakes.
Jane Brady, from Brady Insurance played a blinder to get insurance cover for all the team for this unique event. We wish to thank our main sponsors REA Brady, Carrick-on-Shannon, and Irish Contract Seating, Dromod.
Also Willie Donnellan and the Leitrim Observer, Mary Claire Grealy from Shannonside Radio and Breffni Earley on the great coverage provided.
Safety on the water was paramount during the swim and a strong support crew was with us on the journey. A special mention to the following: Dave Price from The Shannon Queen who is launching unique guided tours on the Shannon. Longford Sub Aqua who provided safety RIB for the whole of the swim. Kieran Walsh, his daughter Debbie Murphy, and grand-daughter Rebecca Murphy for providing boat cover, and excellent knowledge of the river.
While the ladies thought they were prepared following a year of training and preparation there were, of course, a few bumps along the way. Starting on the first day when the ladies had to hike over 3 km from Dowra before they got water deep enough to swim! Even a blessing by Fr Tom in Dowra wasn’t enough to give the swimmers depth.
Joe Cleir from Leitrim Village guided the team down into Lough Allen as far as Drumshanbo. Many days the wind prevented the swimmers getting into the water and this proved to be a big mental challenge. The entire event took 32 days; with 23 days of swimming.
Curraghgour Boat Club in Limerick provided a welcoming party on the last day of our swim. They provided refreshments for supporters who travelled to Limerick City to see the ladies finish the swim. Pat Lysaght from Limerick escorted the swimmers from his house on this final day and provided invaluable information regarding the best time to swim with the tidal influences. Limerick Masters, a local group of skin swimmers, swam this final leg with the ladies.
We wish to thank each and every person from far and wide who donated money for our chosen charities. This includes Tesco, Carrick-on -Shannon who donated through the Tesco Community Fund.
We wish to give a special mention to Annaduff GAA Club who supported us throughout. They made a very generous donation from the Annual Family Fun Day and organised an emotional homecoming event with the local community.
We would never have been able to do this big event if it was not for the love, encouragement and support of our husbands Frank Maxwell & Kevin Mc Glynn. Our children who trained with us and kayaked with us during training and at the event, a special mention to Cora Maxwell who was on the Shannon ever day with us.
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Last but not least, we would like to thank Sincerely Jo O’Brien (Vittos Restaurant) and Siobhan Doran our committee, they were with us start to finish. There support, orgainisation and advice was one of the reasons we got throught this event.
We the swimmers are super proud of our achievements, we are grateful and thankful for all the support we received, we know who you all are, even if we didn’t get to mention you all today.
So what’s next for us swimmers, I guess you will have to watch this space.
Eileen Maxwell, Toni Mc Glynn and Heather Maxwell