Ireland (+ N-I )

The joy of Irish sea swims! Here's why we should all be taking the plunge

You won't regret it.

Since our island of Ireland has became our holiday island this summer everyone has been going for a swim. You can't look at the water at the moment without seeing a load of people in front of it!

Rain or shine, swims aren't even dependent on the weather anymore. I'm no expert but I have been swimming a few times over the last few months and I think it might even be warmer in the water when the weather isn't as sunny. Does that make sense?!

Swimmers dubbed ‘the Oa Giants’ become first to swim the Oa Channel from Islay in Scotland to Northern Ireland

The Oa Channel is challenging because of the strong currents as the Atlantic Ocean meets the Irish Sea

A group of swimmers from Northern Ireland have conquered one of the most difficult stretches of water in the British Isles. Keith Garry, Dominic Mudge, Bill Donnelly, Chris Judge, Colin Lindsay and John McElroy, dubbed the Oa Giants, have become the first to swim the Oa Channel, from Islay in Scotland to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, completing it at the weekend.

Croatian swimmer Dina Levacic proud despite falling just short of tough North Channel swim

Croatia’s long-distance swimmer Dina Levacic (24) on Tuesday failed to swim the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland due to extremely difficult conditions, ending her endeavour five kilometres before the finish.
Earlier this year Levacic told a news conference that she would try to conquer the 34-kilometre-long North Channel between north-eastern Northern Ireland and south-western Scotland in the period between 10 and 16 August.

Swimmer battles tides, jellyfish to complete marathon challenge

A west Cork man has overcome cold waters, jellyfish stings and strong currents to become the first person to complete the 40km swim from Baltimore Harbour to the Fastnet Rock lighthouse.

Steve Redmond, 54, said although he was in the water alone for the marathon 15 hour 35 minute swim, his support team on the boat which accompanied him and led by skipper Kieran Collins, "will do anything to make you succeed".

Croatian Swimmer Dina Levacic Readies for New Challenge: Gibraltar Strait and North Channel

Croatian long-distance swimmer Dina Levacic, 24, announced on Wednesday that she intends to swim the 15-kilometer-long Gibraltar Strait between Spain and Morocco and the 34-kilometer-long North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland between August 10 and 21 this year.

"I have prepared well for these swimming marathons, I will do my best to succeed and I have no fear," Levacic said at a press conference in Split, as reported by  

Exploring Ireland's wild swimming spots

Five swimmers with an inflatable tent, an estate car and a plan to try out as many different Irish swims as possible in three nights. Susanne Masters explores the wild swimming spots of Ireland.

Salt water sisters: meet the wild-swimming Irish women who take the plunge 12 months a year

Year-round swimmer Kathy Donaghy meets some of the growing number of women forging their own saltwater communities, taking the plunge through the winter

The water is at its coldest now. It's only 8°C but it feels like it's freezing. At high tide the women gather. Springing from cars, stripping off jackets and scarves, donning colourful hats and goggles. It's time to get in.

You look down and see giant shapes moving in the water beneath you’

A jellyfish sting? Ger Carty compares the painful sensation to a bee sting before correcting himself. “I’d say it’s probably more like a bad nettle sting, that’s how I’d describe it.”

He should know because when he climbed out of the sea at Sangatte, in 2011, hauling himself up onto the unwelcoming, rocky coastline of northern France, almost 19 hours after leaving England, his body was covered in them.

Islands of Ireland: In the swim of things at Sandy Cove Island

A very short drive from Kinsale lies an island that is the international focal point for a tough breed of people.

Sandy Cove Island, or Cnoc an Rois, is a grassy island which hosts a significant population of seagulls which create an enveloping cacophony for anybody who strays too near. It is unpopulated, apart from two herds of wild goats, and as it is possible to wade to it at high tide from the slip opposite at Sandy Cove, it attracts the occasional angler.

Top 5 outdoor swimming spots in Ireland

With summer only a few months away there will be many opportunities to enjoy an aquatic pursuit in one of the many outdoor swimming spots in Ireland.Is there anything better than basking in the sun and taking a leisurely swim to cool down on a hot summer’s day?