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Tag Archives: Irish Water Safety

50 years of swimming lessons at Lough Granery

FOR 50 years, children have been learning to swim and lifesave in Lough Graney, thanks to a community initiative supported by Irish Water Safety Clare. On Saturday, July 29, the thousands of people who learned to swim will be invited back to the shores of Lough Graney to celebrate this milestone. To mark the occasion, the community will run a number of free, water-based activities. On the day, two locals who both participated in the swimming lessons, Ken Collins and John O’Mara, will take to the water to show off their skills, as part of a charity swim, in aid of Raheen Hospice. Each year, the swimming lessons take place over the last two weeks in July and between 50 and 60 children partake each week. People come from all over East Clare and South Galway to join in and learn how to swim. This annual event has been made possible by a team of dedicated local volunteers, including Kathleen …

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Heroes on the west coast

Clare Water Safety in conjunction with Freagh Castle Clean Coast group in West Clare have beaten off competition from all over Ireland to win the Ocean Hero Beach Clean of the Year Award in recognition of their coastal clean-up near Miltown Malbay in earlier this year. Operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce, the Clean Coasts’ Ocean Hero Awards honour the contribution Ireland’s coastal communities towards conserving the country’s spectacular coastline. Prizes were awarded in 6 other categories this year, namely Individual of the Year, Business of the Year, School of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Event of the Year and Think before you Flush Hero of the Year. Claire McGrath of Clare Water Safety said, “Winning this award and undertaking cleanups along the coast highlights the strength of a community working together, with over 70 children and adults participating, including locals, members of Clare Water Safety, the 15th Miltown Scouts, Clare County Council, representatives from An …

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Charles Thomson Award for Council

Clare County Council has beaten off competition from across the island of Ireland to be named winner of the Charles Thomson Award, an annual award scheme which recognises the work of Local Authorities in promoting water safety. Irish Water Safety (IWS) and the Republic of Ireland and Ulster branch of the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) presented the award to Clare County Council at a ceremony in Dublin attended by Councillor Paul Murphy (Leas Cathaoirleach), Pat Dowling (Chief Executive), Anne Haugh (Director of Services) and Clare McGrath (Clare Water Safety Development Officer). The Charles Thomson Award scheme organisers commended Clare County Council for its work in promoting water safety during 2015 including the completion of new lifeguard, training and public facilities at Whitestrand Miltown Malbay, the securing of a record number of International Blue Flags in spite of the damage caused by storms al local beaches during the previous year, the ongoing provision of professional training and upskilling opportunities for …

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Lifeguards rescue 32 people in July

ONE person per day was rescued by a lifeguard in Clare last month, as 32 people were rescued during July. A total of 16 people were rescued from the water, the highest number in July for any county nationwide and Clare’s water safety officer, Claire McGrath, has praised the tremendous work of lifeguards. The figures published by Irish Water Safety also confirmed that a further 16 people were rescued from crafts, while there were 16 children who were reported as being lost for a period of time. Irish Water Safety said more than 1,100 accidents were prevented, as a result of positive actions by lifeguards. Speaking to The Clare Champion, Ms McGrath said it was a testament to the dedicated work of lifeguards in the county that more than 1,100 accidents were prevented and so many people were rescued. “The beaches in Clare are extremely busy and the lifeguards do a tremendous job,” she said. “We have a number of lifeguards …

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Two world records for Norma

THE University of Limerick hosted the National Stillwater Championships last weekend when there was outstanding success for Clare competitors. Norma Cahill was, once again, to the fore, achieving two world masters records in the 100m manikin tow and 100 manikin carry, as well as one European masters record in the 50m manikin carry. In addition, defending champions Clare retained the pool rescue national title. A field of 250 competitors took part over nine hours of swimming pool rescues. Many of the competitors, having worked as lifeguards in pools nationwide, got their chance to pitch their skills against the finest lifesavers in the country. “This annual competition gives the best lifesavers in Ireland an opportunity to compete in conditions that lifeguards can encounter in real-life rescue situations. The sport of lifesaving teaches participants the skills necessary to rescue people from drowning,” said Irish Water Safety chairperson, Breda Collins. The disciplines are varied and challenging, with competitors swimming for immersed ‘casualties’ (manikins) …

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IWS recognises Liam’s dedication

FORMER Clare Civil Defence officer and water safety development officer (WSDO), Liam Griffin, has been named Irish Water Safety’s 60th Life Governor in recognition of his dedication towards the humanitarian goal of saving lives from drowning. Clare County Council’s WSDO from 1996 until his recent retirement, Liam followed in the footsteps of the late Noel Carmody, who died before his time and was regarded by his contemporaries as one of the best WSDO’s ever. Liam maintained and then improved standards in the performance of his duties as WSDO and as a member of Irish Water Safety (IWS). Clare is one of the most challenging counties in which to hold this brief, being surrounded by water on three sides. To the west is the Atlantic Ocean, with the west coast famous for its many swimming and surfing beaches, from Bishop’s Quarter in North Clare, to Fanore, Lahinch, Milltown Malbay, Spanish Point and Kilkee in the south. Inland, Clare is bounded by …

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