Over 250 men, women and children took part in the annual Liffey swim through Dublin City Centre this afternoon. The event, which was watched by hundreds of spectators, has been staged in the capital for the last eighty years.
In spite of the health warnings, the danger of infectious diseases and the levels of pollution contained in the river, the Liffey Swim is an event that has continued since 1924. This year over 250 people ploughed relentlessly through the mile and half course of muck, dirt and murky green water. The swimmers are handicapped, the fastest go last and hope to catch the slowest before the finish.
This year the swimmers had to negotiate the added obstacles of cranes and pontoons in the river building the new Millennium Bridge. Jack B. Yeats won a silver medal in the 1924 Olympics for painting this scene. Today, the honours in the ladies' swim went to Debbie Doyle of Millennium, and John Ward of Aer Lingus in the men's. It was at least some consolation for the rest of the swimmers that the fire brigade was on hand afterwards to delouse them.