On what was , compared to last year’s event , a Summer’s day , the CABHAIR organisation ‘fed and watered’ approximately 100 people over the three-hour period that the Swim event lasted for – the CABHAIR Crew arrived on site at , as usual , 10am and packed-up ‘shop’ at about 1pm , in between which five sponsored swimmers ‘earned their keep’ (Lee , David , Dougie , Paddy and Tony) : the sixth swimmer , Declan , from near-by Driminagh , was asked repeatedly not to swim , as he had a small , fresh cut on his leg and , for safety reasons , the Organisers insisted he not enter the water which – eventually – he agreed was for the best. Those that sponsored Declan – he had two full sponsorship cards and one card half-full – will be offered their money back over the next few days.

Anyway ; the ‘Declan Dilemma’ (!) was one of three ‘upsets’ at the event – the nuisance caused by the eight ‘Special Branch’ men who , as usual, tried to turn people away from attending the Swim and the fact that three of their number had ‘detained’ Santa and two of his ‘helpers’ in a near-by street for twenty-five minutes (and actually repeatedly stood on his feet to stop him from moving away from them) were the only ‘mishaps’ in an otherwise flawless enterprise , and all of them outside of CABHAIR control.

The National Flag flew high and proud from the Naas Road-entrance point , surrounded by three CABHAIR banners , at one ‘end’ of the Swim Site Irish Rebel music blasted-out from twin speakers whilst at the other ‘end’ , a man with a guitar entertained a section of the crowd with a sing-song , an almost endless supply of ‘soup’ (including two bottles of a stronger brew!), lemonade , mince pies , crisps etc , and Christmas crackers , were consumed by the crowds , the weather held-up nicely for all concerned , the neighbours came out in force to cheer-on the five lads and the local swan family were easily distracted by some well-placed tit-bits ! All foodstuffs , including the ‘Swan Bait’ (!) were donated by local shops and pubs etc , and were gratefully received by the organisers and the crowd.

As always , the CABHAIR people are to be congratulated for this much-needed event and , as mentioned by one of the organisers , all monies raised go directly to the families of the Republican POW’s in Maghaberry and Portlaoise Prisons : we publish with this report a few pics from the day in question and, down the bottom of this post , we publish a link to three videos and over 80 pics from the event – so put the kettle on now and be prepared to say goodbye to the next hour or so !

‘Swim Stall’ 2011 ;” The Right of the People of Ireland…”

All ‘Gold’ winners , not Silver….

One makes a break for it…

….two find the exit…..

…whilst these three are caught in the act !

This wannabe escapee was roasted on the fire….

…and his comrade was caught by a cameraman-cum-guard !

Two swimmers , linked by the Green !

Santa ‘hip-hops’ his way to the Swim Site!

Sing-Song at the 2011 CABHAIR Swim!

Finally – Congrats as well to the 3 swimmers who also braved the (fine summer’s day!) elements for CABHAIR in Craigavon Lake and the 5 swimmers in Wexford who took the plunge : well done , Men – fair play to ye all !
The three videos and over 80 Swim pics I mentioned earlier can be located here – but you might need a ‘Facebook’ account to view them. Once again ,
CABHAIR have more than held their own , and our Irish Republican Prisoners , and their families have , once again , being reminded that they are not forgotten by their comrades , colleagues and supporters on the ‘outside’ – and they never will be !
Thanks for reading,

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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