Tommy Tops One Thousand Euro in aid of Kilmore Quay RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

11-year-old Tommy Kehoe was one of approximately sixty swimmers who completed the fundraising challenge, 20 Dips in December, on the Little Beach in Kilmore Quay on New Years Eve (31 December) in aid of Kilmore Quay RNLI.

The attached photo shows Kilmore Quay RNLI crew onboard the RNLB Killarney in Kilmore Quay marina, with Grainne O'Brien (20 Dips in December Organizer), John Grace (Lifeboat Operations Manager), Johnny Moore (Chair of the Kilmore Quay RNLI Fundraising Committee, Melinda Kehoe (20 Dips in December Organizer), and Tommy Kehoe standing on the marina alongside.

RNLI/Elaine Walsh

20 Dips in December Completed in aid of Kilmore Quay RNLI

Organized by three local ladies, Melinda Kehoe, Grainne O'Brien and Simmi Duffin, 20 Dips in December, saw local swimmers take part in, not one, but twenty sponsored swims in the sea during the month of December. The weather and sea conditions throughout the month were a key consideration for the swimmers. Even though there were some days where conditions did not allow for a dip, there were enough favorable days to allow for the challenge to be completed safely by the hardy swimmers. Not least of all by Melinda's son Tommy who even fitted in a dip in the morning before school.

Tommy alone has so far raised €1,140. A brilliant achievement for this young man. Overall, it is estimated that almost €5000 has been raised by participants. Donations can still be made on the Just Giving page at:https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rnli-kilmore-quay-decemberdips

The organisers commented after the final swim: 'This has been my favourite ever challenge and I'm so pleased we managed to raise money for such a great fund.'

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, fundraising in aid of Kilmore Quay lifeboat has taken place throughout the year as COVID guidelines allowed. Dedicated supporters of the RNLI in the area have organised walks, swims, cycles, vintage runs, online bingo, and head shaves among other activities, raising vital funds to maintain the charity's lifesaving services.

Speaking following the final swim on Friday, Kilmore Quay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John Grace, said: ‘There is a fantastic community spirit here today. Tommy has raised an incredible sum of money for the RNLI, as have all the participants. We cannot thank everyone who took part and all who support Kilmore Quay RNLI throughout the year enough for all their efforts and generosity.'

Those taking part in the 20 Dips in December challenge swim regularly in the sea throughout the year. If you are considering doing so, please check out the safety tips on Swim Ireland's website regarding winter swimming in Ireland. https://www.swimireland.ie/news/winter-dipping-safety-in-ireland or contact a local open water swimming group.

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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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