Dublin’s Lord Mayor to start dublin’s 91st Liffey Swim tomorrow

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Dublin’s Lord Mayor to start Dublin’s 91st Liffey Swim tomorrow

This Saturday,  September 3rd, the Dublin City Council sponsored Liffey Swim celebrates its 91st anniversary as 221men and 101 women take the plunge, having completed 4 qualifying races on the 2011 Leinster Open Sea Swim Calendar. Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Andrew Montague will start the men’s race at 14.45hrs and the women’s race at 15.30hrs. The 2.4 kilometre swim begins at Rory O’More Bridge, Watling Street and finishes at the Jeanie Johnston Mooring opposite Jury’s Hotel in Dublin Docklands. The Swim is being supported by Dublin Port.

The Swim is open to competitors of all ages, abilities and nationalities, with teenagers pitting their strengths against 70 year olds and club swimmers from all over the country competing against each other.

There is something for people of all ages to enjoy at the event, with entertainment at the finish line being provided by the Coastguard performing a simulated air-sea rescue, while Dublin Port tug boats, Shackleton and Beaufort, will fire water cannon into the air, accompanied by a colourful Dragon Boat display.

The Lord Mayor says, “the Liffey Swim is unique to Dublin.  No European cities run an open swim right through their city centre.  I look forward to starting the race and would like to thank Swim Ireland, Leinster Region Open Sea Committee, who do such a great job year after year.  Most of all, I would like to thank the swimmers who have trained so hard for this race.”

“I encourage everyone in Dublin on Saturday afternoon to follow the gruelling race along the quays and cheer on the swimmers, from the many great vantage points along the Liffey walls, bridges and boardwalks”, the Lord Mayor continued.”

David Farrell, Leinster Open Sea Committee commented, “We’re delighted to be extending this year’s race to a 2.4km event, so that it will now be finishing in the Dublin Docklands. We’d also like to gratefully acknowledge the support of Dublin City Council and Dublin Port. This year’s race includes a number of Irish swimmers who have completed the gruelling English Channel swim: Julie-Ann Galloway, Lisa Howley, Ann McAdam and Eoin Gaffney.”

“With it all to do are the “scratch” swimmers, Colleen Mallon and Julie-Ann Galloway in the women’s race, and Shane Drumm, Daire O’Driscoll and Seamus Stacey in the men’s race. They are seeded fastest and will have to pass all the swimmers who start before them if they are to win the race. They will wear a unique red hat so they can be spotted as they progress through the field”, says Farrell.


For more information

For further information:              

Please contact Dublin City Council Press Office at Tel: 01 - 2222170


Notes to the editor

The Liffey Swim is the final race in the busy calendar of open sea swims that take place each summer at a variety of outdoor swimming locations along the east coast, including some of Dublin’s best known bathing spots like the Bull Wall, Seapoint, Killiney Beach and Portmarnock. This year over 25 races have been run, normally two each weekend. The Liffey Swim and Dun Laoghaire Harbour Race are the two majors and most highly-prized events in this calendar.

History of the Liffey Swim

J.J Kennedy won the first Liffey Swim race on the 22nd July 1920 in which 27 male contestants took part. The idea to organise the race was the brainchild of Bernard Fagan, Dublin Corporation's Water Analyst, and Dublin Corporation/City Council has supported it ever since, sponsoring it for the past number of years. In 1991 the first ladies race took place. One of the earliest Liffey Swims was immortalised in the Jack B. Yeats 1923 painting ‘The Liffey Swim’, which was to win him a silver medal at the 1924 Paris Olympics competition for artistic endeavour. 

 This Year’s Race

  • The list of competitors is put together according with their level of competency. As Swim is a handicapped race, favourites are notoriously hard to predict and this very much depends on conditions on the day, such as weather and the flow of the river;
  • The Honorary Handicapper, Martin Monks is handicapping his second Liffey Swim this year so a lot of pressure will be on him to ensure there is an exciting finish;
    The race is a family orientated event, very often with 3 generations of the same family swimming;
  • There have also several examples of 3 family members competing and we expect that to continue this year;
  • Competitors range in age from 12 to 70;
  • The race winners will each receive a much coveted print of the famous Jack B Yeats painting of the race.
  • There are also a number of previous winners competing.