An old Cork tradition is revived when swimmers take part in the first Lee river swim in almost twenty years.
Some 116 swimmers aged from 11 to 65 took part in the first Lee Swim through the centre of Cork City in nearly twenty years.
The Lee Swim is a point to point swimming race, approximately two kilometres in length. Over the course of the river swim, participants pass under eight bridges.
The tradition of a Lee Swim goes back to 1918, but it died out in the late 1980s due to water pollution. The swim was revived for Cork 2005, thanks to the completion of a massive drainage scheme. One swimmer emerging from the Lee declares it was
Lovely, I came out smelling like a rose.
However the majority of participants availed of decontamination showers laid on for their use at the end of the swim.
The first swimmers arrived back in 25 minutes. A local man appreciated seeing the Cork from the vantage point of the Lee.
It was great to see the city from that perspective and if you're from Cork you can count off all the buildings as you go down you know exactly where you are.
A girl from Dublin did not let pollution prevent her from enjoying the swim,
It was quite dirty like and lots of junk kind of on the way that kind of frightened you, but it was alright like, it wasn’t hard the current was with you on the way down, so you flew down, it was fine.
Another man used his participation in the swim as an excuse to visit Cork.
The success of the 2005 Lee Swim means it looks set to be an annual event once more.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 20 August 2005. The reporter is Jennie O’Sullivan.