Wednesday, December 28, 2016



The weather at the swim site in Inchicore, Dublin, on Christmas Day last was dry and mild, but a bit stormy : and the weather at that outdoor event is all important, as it effects everything, from the number of on-lookers that might turn up to how well the crew can display the donated 'goodies' and, just as important, the overall atmosphere at the site. We were lucky this year, as the rain only started to fall at about 2pm, as the final check of the cleaned area was just finishing.

The crew arrived 'on site' at about 9.30am and, as always, 'walked' the swim site and surrounding area, checking for broken glass and other obstacles etc and then unloaded the gear - the display tables, the 'goodies', the music system, the flag and banners and the bags of turf and other materials for the fire, and began setting everything in place (they had regular 'tea breaks' which they think we don't know about, but sure that's allowed!) and, at about 11am, they took a(nother) well deserved 'break' as they double-checked everything. There was a less-than-usual physical State presence (the 'traffic cameras' were extremely active during the few hours on site!) and this no doubt contributed to the numbers of on-lookers and well-wishers who joined us for the full event or stood with us for a half-hour chat and a glass of 'lemonade' (!) and a bite to eat. Altogether, from start to finish, Cabhair catered for about fifty people, each of whom was made welcome and joined in the craic!

Anyway - here's a few pics from the day itself, finishing with a certain pic which the organisers would rather we not show (no peeping, now, work your way down to it...) and we hope they give a flavour of this event and, more so, perhaps encourage you to join in with us next year :

10am - setting out their stall.

10.45am - having a chat and the craic before the 'main event'!

"WHA'??! They expect us to actually GET IN the water...??"

"RIGHT! That's me done. Up against a bleedin' brick wall here...!"

Three in, three to go -

- "Thought the other three said they had warmed it up for us...?"

Alan does his infamous 'war dance' before he takes on the chilly water...

...and then wonders if he should just sit that one out...!

- "This is how I done the backstroke in there..."

Six brave lads, wondering if they had done enough to win a medal...

...and all delighted to discover that they had!

And that's almost it - we had a ball, raised a decent few quid for the Cabhair prisoners, maintained contact with old friends, made a few new ones and, hopefully, raised the on-going issue of the continuing (and unwanted) British political and military presence in Ireland with at least some of the passengers in the dozens of cars etc that slowed down to have a look at the wonderland that that part of the Grand Canal had been temporarily transformed into! And now for that forbidden (!) pic...

So that's how they've done it for the last forty years - BY CHEATING! - practically turning the 3rd lock into a sauna. For shame...!

And that's it for now and, indeed, for 2016. We'd like to think that we'll be back here next Wednesday, 4th January 2017, but we have the Dáithí Ó Conaill Commemoration in Glasnevin on Sunday 1st and then it's straight into preparations for a 650-ticket fund-raising raffle for the Dublin Executive of Sinn Féin Poblachtach, which will be held on the following Sunday (8th), so we'll play it by ear for the 4th. But go raibh maith agaibh a chairde for your support and your company during 2016 ; we wouldn't be here without ya! Slán go fóill anois...

Thanks for visiting - see ye all in the New Year! Sharon.