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23 May 2022

Dublin adventurer to swim the Shannon River to raise funds for mental health charity

Dublin adventurer to  swim the Shannon River to raise funds for mental health charity

Dermot Higgins who will undertake a swim from Dowra to Limerick in July. Dermot is pictured with John Beirne, Manager Emerald Star Line, Carrick-on-Shannon

In early July this year, 60-year-old retired primary school teacher turned adventurer, Dermot Higgins will attempt to swim the entire length of the river Shannon, from source to sea in only 10 days.

In his own words, Dermot hopes to become the oldest, fastest (and the fattest!) person, to complete this challenge.
His marathon swim will start in Dowra, Co Cavan on July 1 and Dermot plans to finish in Limerick just 10 days later on July 11.

Dermot acknowledges: “I’m really excited by the challenge of swimming the Shannon this summer. It’s going to be tough, I’ve swam long distances in the past but 25 km every day for 10 days! At my pace that’s about 10 hours of swimming every day.”

He is no stranger to adventure and endurance exploits, having previously paddled the Shannon in three days. He also become the oldest person to cycle around the world and most recently become the first Irish person to swim for 24 hours non-stop.

“Over the past few years I’ve raised hundreds of thousands of euros for various charities. This time I hope to raise €100,000 for the mental health charity, A Lust For Life,” he said, adding that it was his own personal experience with mental health struggles which has driven him to try and raise funds for charity.

As well as raising awareness of the importance of looking after your mental health, this time Dermot also wants to help to raise €100,000 for the mental health charity A Lust For Life which was founded by singer Bressie.

“As a suicide survivor myself, I know all too well the importance of resilience training for young adults which this amazing charity, promotes,” he explains.

“I’m thrilled to have had so much support from friends and family. My amazing partner Anne will be with me every stroke of the way down the Shannon and I’ll also have the support of some of my kayaking friends from Skerries.”

As part of the challenge Dermot has teamed up with Emerald Star-Le Boat who are generously providing a support boat for him during his swim.

“The boat will be vital for navigational assistance, feeding me, motivating me and will also provide a comfortable accommodation base for me and my team,” he said.

“I’ve teamed up with my loyal partner Aura. Aura is very generously providing support via their professional nutritionist and personal trainer guidance and also with a contribution towards the logistics of the challenge,” he added.

“I’ve also teamed up with my loyal partner in South East Wetsuits, who are providing me with a custom made wetsuit for the challenge”.

So keep an eye out for Dermot as he makes his way down the Shannon this July and don't forget to show your support by making a donation.

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