HUNDREDS of brave Cork locals took to the sea this weekend, diving into the icy Atlantic for worthwhile causes.
Annual Christmas swim events took place all over the county on Saturday, with swimmers flocking to places like White Bay, Garrylucas Beach, Inchydoney Beach, The Dock Beach, Schull Pier, and more.
However, the event that had one of the best turnouts may have been the Danny Crowley Memorial Swim at Myrtleville Beach.
The swim, which first started nine years ago, raises vital funds every year for the Mercy Hospital Kids and Teens Appeal, whilst also allowing people to remember Daniel Crowley, a much-loved Cork teenager who passed away in 2013.
The event took place in a hybrid format this year, with people doing their own swims in different locations as well as joining Daniel’s friends and family in Myrtleville on Christmas Day.
“It went off brilliantly this year and there is over €16,000 raised so far which is absolutely amazing,” said Daniel’s sister Katie Crowley.
“It was so great to be able to do an element of the swim in person again this year and there was such a sense of community on the beach.
“And it was amazing to have people taking part in Daniel’s memory on Christmas morning.”
Meanwhile, people also came out in Bishopstown, Doneraile, and Ballynoe to take part in this year’s GOAL Mile run for vulnerable communities in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.
Michael Joyce, who has been running one of Cork’s GOAL Mile events with John Walshe since 1986, was thrilled to organise the Munster Technological University event again this year.
“The GOAL Mile is a big Christmas tradition here in Cork and is very close to people’s hearts,” Mr Joyce said.
“By turning up to the MTU track on Christmas Day the community here is showing incredible compassion for the communities in need across the world that GOAL supports. We are so proud to play our small part.”
Other Corkonians took part in the run from further afield.
Idris Rqibi, from Skibbereen, completed his run on Saturday with his Defence Forces colleagues in Camp Shamrock in South Lebanon.
“There’s around 500 of us and we all decided to partake this year, running one mile around the full loop of the camp,” Mr Rqibi said.
“Some did with body armour and weapons, the engineers did it in full bomb suits, the firefighters also did it in their full kit. The camp does it every year and we all donate.”
Other Irish soldiers also took part. including the 64th Infantry Group who are on tour in Syria.
GOAL Global shared a video of the runners on their Twitter page, where organisers wrote: “Thanks so much to the troops of the 64th Infantry Group, true GOAL Mile heroes.”