Not sure if there’s a thread already but I came across a photo of my daughters when they were 18 and 16 as senior swimmers and coaches to the juniors on the town swim team where we lived in Georgia. They joined the swim team aged 4. They swam on the high school team and played lacrosse and ran x country. Great young wans but it’s the swimming part that got me thinking???
Most of my mates growing up couldn’t swim (born '57) and a goodly portion still can’t.
I consider myself fortunate to have been banished to Longford for summers at an early age to the care of my doting grandmother who spoiled the shite out of the bad seed. In Longford in 1966 Neil Blaney opened ‘The Pool’ and Longford ( the first town in the midland’s to get a cheap, no frills pool (£1600) went swimming mad and I was was washed up in the euphoria. Diving like lunatics into the 6ft. end with Mrs Shields on the whistle like Aldridge when the Dubs were playing.
I rarely swim anymore but I can float for hours with aplomb at the proper temperature.
It’s good to be able to swim. Teach your kids or grandkids to swim. Definitely one of life’s great pleasures. * (This is the end of the proud daddyo public service announcement.)


Agree 100%. It’s a massive part of what kids have grown up with here. That said, alot of them will only swim in high summer. I never completed my learning when I was young due to a bad experience in the water that terrified me off it. Mrs Oh loves it and has always swam in all seasons, though not all weathers. So they look at her funny here going out when it’s not really warm, and not summer. But of course she was used to West Coast Ireland water temperatures!

1 Like

Wetsuits are cheap as chips these days. They can turn a downright unpleasant experience on Portmarnock in March, into a much more enjoyable one. One of the few side benefits of lockdown is the demand for year round sea swimming gear. Our shitty weather doesn’t help matters overall.


My kids are all good swimmers , their school also facilitated lessons with the Dublin corporation leisure centres . They love sea swimming too and when they go visit their grandparents in west Clare they hop in at a natural rock pool at the local beach. Great for jumping in and diving in. A dolphin swims in occasionally which causes great excitement. I don t like the wetsuits personally . Takes away from the experience imo. I just don t get in when it’s Baltic mind you.
Most of my friends can t swim either funnily enough . One of them terrified to try due to being thrown into a river when younger as a joke .

My Dad was the exact same. Crossing the River Tolka via stepping stones, near what is now Tolka Park. His older brothers mates thought it would be great craic to push him off them. I think of it & him every single time I drive down Botanic Avenue.

To be fair to him, we lived in the ALSAA pool as kids, so he didn’t let his own phobia hold us back.

I learned to swim in school, sort of. Enough to save myself, like. Me and Mrs. Timo spent nearly 10 years on and off ferrying our three down to the local pool for lessons. Of all the lads’ sporting endeavours this was their (and our!) least favourite. Felt like more of a chore. Payback was in later years on holidays when we were all able to throw each other in the deep end knowing we’d all come back up. Now that they’re going on holidays with mots and mates, there is a definite comfort in knowing that they’ll be fine in the pool or the sea.


First thing I did when the kids were born, Swimming lessons, never had the opportunity when I was younger to learn properly. All three are great swimmers, and get out whenever they can.

1 Like

Smell of chlorine put me off when I was young. Still retch to this day when I smell it

Kids were both able to swim and hold onto the edge of the pool by themselves before they could walk (water babies classes were great)…also got the Nirvana album cover photo of both of them


[quote=“GuyIncognito, post:8, topic:7552, full:true”]
Smell of chlorine put me off when I was young. Still retch to this day when I smell it

There used to be a great smell in the dressing room when you’d light up a fag after a belt of swimming.

Don’t blame you. It’s the dressing rooms that get to me…smell of feet, wet togs & towels, chlorine & 36 different types of deodorant all mixing in a small humid room with fcuk all ventilation. :face_vomiting:

1 Like

Aye. We had a pool in Vincent’s so all learned to swim at school. Anyone who was in the swimming club had bleached hair from being in the pool too much - can’t have been good for them. I could swim but wasn’t exactly Mark Spitz but in the gala one year I ended up in the same relay team as a guy who found fame in two ways later in life - one as an Olympic swimmer so we came 2nd and got a medal despite me handing over to him nearly a length down. His more important claim to fame is that he is Fento’s uncle. Fento a fine swimmer himself as was his late mam.

1 Like

Indoor pools are a lot better now, than they were in the days of our yoot. A saline sterilizer has replaced chlorine in many of them. It’s a lot less smelly & much easier on the skin/hair.

Vincent’s pool was a great addition even if we had to lie and tell them we were from Glasnevin. No pool in Ballymun. Apart from a great football gene pool.

1 Like

Here when I used to teach English in language schools a frequent question in the books was Can you swim? The students found it strange as they took for granted almost everyone can. I suppose the weather is a major factor, most kids here go to a pool or the sea everyday during the summer.
Shite swimmer myself.
Don’t know if it is true, but often heard that more swimmers drown than non swimmers due to taking risks.

So so true!

Ex-paramedic Mrs Oh says it is so, not at all surprising as non-swimmers mostly stay away from any sort of water risk*

*Tips over in front of oncoming train as backs up in fear from water