Dip in the Nip Makes a Big Splash at Pilmore Beach

By Claire O'Donoghue

Dip in the Nip Cork (photo courtesy of Deirdre McCaffrey).

On Sunday, 2 September in the early hours of the morning, the volunteer participants of Dip in The Nip Cork, held in memory of Terry Sheridan, gathered together. All details were kept under wraps (and dressing gowns) until the last minute. Emails were sent the evening before telling all those who registered where and when to meet – the Quality Hotel, Redbarn Youghal at 6.45am. There, participants could complete registration and if they wished, get messages or flowers painted on them by body paint artists. A bus then transferred them to the secret destination, Pilmore Beach, a distance of just 5 minutes from the hotel.


Some tented pitches were set up on site where, after the swim, people were treated to tea, coffee and breakfast rolls to warm them up. A short pre-swim Zumba session with instructor Paula Telford kicked things off to get the blood flowing on the overcast morning. Small trees were placed in the sand and labels were offered for everyone to write a message to a loved one and hang it up. At 8.15pm, the women on the right hand side of the beach and the men on the far left, stood nervously beside friends as a countdown from 10 had hearts pumping. A huge cheer went up from all participants as dressing gowns, towels and inhibitions were cast off and everyone charged into the sea.


Speaking to organiser John Collins he said, “The Tara Sheridan Dip in the Nip would not be possible without the support team that answer the call every single year without complaint. Without these people it would be an impossible task. To all of you from the bottom of my heart, Thank You!”

The Beach Support Team – Keith, Denis, Ethan, Sean, Orlaith, Julie, Ella and AJ

The Registration Team – Helena, Ann and Fiona.

Watkins Catering and their suppliers provided amazing breakfast rolls, along with some early morning humour.

Thos. Hayes of Hayes Caravans who provided toilet facilities.

Paula Telford for the Zumba Warmup routine.

Alan O Donovan – Paramedic Support.

Butlers Buses for providing transport.

The Quality Hotel for providing set up facilities.

KWP for Tara Sheridan Dip in the Nip bumper stickers

All proceeds from Dip in the Nip Cork will be donated to Marymount Hospice and Cork Dragons.

I took part in this event with a friend of mine. As we tip-toed across the cold sand and stones to the starting line we could not believe what we signed ourselves up for – already saying “never again”. At the moment of that cheer and dash for the waves we both knew we’d be there again next year. It really was an amazingly emotional experience to see cancer survivors and their friends celebrating life and having a laugh - no one could ever regret being a part of it. Heartfelt congratulations to all.