Friday, December 26, 2008

CABHAIR Christmas Swim , 25th December 2008 :

Nollaig Shona from Cabhair!

The 32nd Annual CABHAIR Christmas Swim was held yesterday at the 3rd Lough of the Grand Canal in Inchicore , Dublin , watched by a crowd of about 100 people.
Seven Special Branch men blocked both entries/exits and , between them , managed to deter at least another 100 people from attending , at one point threatening to arrest a 15-year-old boy and demanding that two adults hand-over their cameras until after the event . All three incidents were managed and dealth with by the CABHAIR representatives present. Apart from the State harassment , the day was a resounding success!
Six swimmers took to the waters of the freezing-cold Grand Canal between the hours of 10am and 1.30pm , with each of those brave souls diving-in at least twice , if not three times , each . As usual , CABHAIR had organised a mini-bonfire , food , drink , music and a raffle for the swimmers : both prizes in that raffle were won by two of the six lads , with one winner donating his prize , a wood-burn POW-made plaque , back to CABHAIR , asking that it be auctioned to the highest bidder and the money put in the kitty! So , between the swimming , the food and drink , the music and the craic , the crowd also had an auction to entertain them - and €35 was instantly added to the CABHAIR coffers !
The weather was kinder to us than we had expected - it was dry , a bit chilly
(even for those of us that kept our clothes on!) and overcast - cloudy , no sunshine , but no rain , frost or ice! So , no complaints there....
All-in-all , apart from the Special Branch harassment , it was a fantastic few hours spent , in a good Cause , on the banks of the Grand Canal on a Christmas Day: approximately 100 friends , all republican-minded ,sharing stories , exchanging presents , making arrangements around the fire , drink and mince-pie in hand , singing along with the Irish ballads ! CABHAIR are to be highly recommended for all their work in , once again, putting this event together , and the crowd recommended for ignoring and braving the pure thuggery of the State for again attempting to close this fund-raiser down . As one of those who helped the organisers said at the swim site in his speech -
" As long as the British military and political presence remains on this isle , there will be those who oppose it . And as long as there are those that oppose that presence there will , unfortunately , be POW's . But as long as there are POW's so , too, will there be Irish Republican organisations like Cabhair to assist those prisoners and their families..."

We publish some photographs of the 32nd CABHAIR Swim with this post , and more pics can be seen here and on these two 'Indymedia' threads. Go raibh maith agat agus slán go fóill anois!

'Support the prisoners' and 'Boycott Shell' posters.

Mini-Santa with some CABHAIR goodies!

Feeding the Canal Crew and Guests!

One of Santa's Reindeer !

"OH GOD ! What was I thinking...?"

"Hope this thing has a deep end..."

"Bring that wall over here , lads..."

(More pics on the above-mentioned links.)
Thanks, Sharon.