Emy Lake Christmas Day swimmers turn out for a walk on a frozen lake!

7 January 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Christmas morning arrived. The temperature was minus ten Degrees Centigrade. The ground was covered in snow with eight inches of ice on Emy Lake (verified by Keith Murphy). Last year we only had to contend with a minus 8 temperature and three inches of ice. Large numbers from all over North Monaghan had travelled on treacherous roads, at great personal risk, to attend the swim. The organising committee had to sort matters out quickly. They did so in style by replacing the Christmas Day Swim with a “Christmas Day Walk on the Lake”.
MC Peadar McMahon got the show on the road, interviewing some people on their experiences with the difficult conditions. Mark McElroy recommended a hot whiskey the night before the swim as his cure. The Chairperson of Monaghan Parents and Friends of People with an Intellectual Disability, Paul McGlade, thanked everyone for attending the event in such terrible conditions. He especially thanked all who togged out or supported the event in so many different ways. This included our MC, Peadar McMahon, who, along with Rory Geary of the Northern Standard, recorded the event on camera. Frank, Gregory and Fabian Murphy for supplying the amplification and recording the event in video, Samantha Leslie and Castle Leslie for supplying the lovely hot soup with more than enough for everyone present, Kieran Boyle who collected and distributed it, Mary Flynn and the various church bulletins for the publicity and everyone else associated with the event. Victor Watterson was ready to supply his boat but a sleigh would be more appropriate on the day. As usual Dan Rogan was busy organising everything and it is due to his efforts that the event has been such a long lived success.
Finally the big moment arrived. Thirty three people braved the conditions and togged out. Many more had arrived to swim but chickened out and kept their clothes on, while a couple of hundred supporters and friends looked on and gave moral support. Out they went on the ice, keeping close to the shore so they would be safe if it gave away. Among the many participants was Mark Leslie who showed such dedication in rushing back from Dublin, having swum earlier in the day in the Forty Foot. Peadar McMahon and Rory Geary took some photos for the newspapers and then it was all ashore for the hot soup to revitalise the cold limbs. Sir Jack Leslie was on hand to supply stronger beverage for those who were really under the weather as he moved through the crowd keeping up their morale with support from his niece Samantha. Unfortunately the late Mossey Devlin’s wife, Mary was unable to be present as she is in America at the moment but she sent her best wishes and the family fully supported the event in getting sponsorship.
All good things come to an end and so the swim, or in this case “the walk on the lake” is over for another year. There would not have been a Christmas Day Swim without the support of all the swimmers and all who were associated with the swim. This is Monaghan Parents and Friends major fund raising event for the year and the money is principally used for the upkeep of our three group Homes, Donagh House, Millbrook and Brookvale. We thank all who took sponsorship cards and could they please be returned to Dan Rogan, Paul McGlade, Caith McKenna, Brian O’Callaghan, Patricia McKenna or any other member of the committee. If you have not been approached for sponsorship the committee would be very grateful to accept any donations. If you feel that you could be of assistance or want to become involved with the work of to Monaghan Parents & Friends of People with an Intellectual Disability please contact any committee member. On a sad note we offer our condolences to our hon. Secretary, Caith McKenna and her family, on the death of her mother Mrs Mary Morris, Castleblayney.

Arch Club
The Arch club is currently taking a well earned rest over the Christmas period. Indeed our members are still recovering from our very successful Christmas Party. Over the past few months we were invited to Carrickroe Community Centre by Errigal Truagh Special Needs Group and to the Sliabh Beagh Hotel by John Moyna which unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the weather conditions. We resume on Thursday the 13th of January at our usual venue and we have many more exciting events arranged for the coming months.

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