Athlone’s Patrick McDonnell sets off on 24 May with the aim of becoming the first Irish man to swim the length of the Shannon.
At 245km in length, the Shannon is the longest river in Ireland and Great Britain. Patrick McDonnell (34) who lives in Cloghan, Co.Offaly is doing so to raise money for four great causes; Irish Cancer Society, Pieta House and two local community initiatives; Cloghan Hall Development Fund and Riverside AFC.
The lifeguard and fitness instructor will have to cover 30km – 40km a day to complete the challenge in his target of 12 days. “It is a huge task alright and I have been training in the water twice a day since January in preparation for it,” he says,“Hopefully the weather conditions will be favourable, but you can’t depend on the Irish weather, so you have to prepare for all eventualities.”
He begins in Dowra Co. Cavan and will continue the whole way to Limerick. He was invited to swim the Shannon last summer with US therapist, Dean Hall but as he was in the midst of planning his wedding, he had to decline. Dean Hall (57), from the United States, made history last July by becoming the first person ever to swim the entire length of the Shannon.
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