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'Pretend push' sees Minister Jim Daly tumble into pool while opening new facility in West Cork

Minister for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly took an unexpected tumble into a swimming pool last week while opening a new leisure facility in West Cork.

He spoke of the shock and lasting panic that he feels following having fallen into the pool in Baltimore last Friday evening.

"I was crouching down to just feel the water and somebody in the group with me just did a pretend push, [saying] 'watch yourself, watch yourself Minister' and unfortunately I was just starting to get up at that very moment, to rise from my crouch, and in I went to the water. Before I knew where I was submerged in the pool in my suit," he told The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1.

He said it was a surreal moment that ended up with him swallowing a lot of chlorinated water.

"It was a very surreal moment. I suppose there's a serious side to all of this as well, that's water safety and I did go down and I got an awful fright.

I was inhaling, gulping litres of chlorinated water and I couldn't get back up.

The Minister told Ryan Tubridy that he is still shaking at the thoughts of Friday night's events.

"I panicked, I got an awful fright. I'm actually physically shaking just thinking of it again, I'm not exaggerating."

He spoke of how his clothes pulled him down and that he couldn't get back up.

"This was all in a split second but I got a terrible fright. Eventually I got up above the water again and I was just dazed. I didn't know where I was, what it was or what had happened. I froze in time and then I made my way out of the pool eventually."

He said the moment was not captured on camera but he was snapped exiting the pool.

"Nobody actually got the moment when I fell in but there were lots of photographs of me coming out in the soaking suit."

He said his mobile phone was spared, as he has taken to leaving it in his car when attending events.

"I don't take my phone, thankfully. It has gone off on too many occassions at the wrong, inappropriate time somewhere. More often than not I leave my phone in the car when I'm going in and out of events."

Minister Daly says there is a silver lining to his unexpected swim: more attention for Baltimore.

I'm glad for Baltimore pool, I think a few more people might have heard of it as a result and what's another wet suit?