Tommy (11) swims for Kilmore Quay RNLI

By Dan Walsh

Eleven-year-old Tommy Kehoe was one of approximately sixty swimmers who completed the fundraising challenge, 20 Dips in December, on the Little Beach in Kilmore Quay on New Year’s Eve in aid of Kilmore Quay RNLI.

Tommy alone has so far raised €1,140. A brilliant achievement for this young man. It is estimated that almost €5000 has been raised by participants. Donations can still be made on the Just Giving page at:

The event was organised by three local ladies, Melinda Kehoe, Grainne O’Brien and Simmi Duffin, 20 Dips in December, saw local swimmers take part in, not one, but twenty sponsored swims in the sea during the month of December. The weather and sea conditions throughout the month were a key consideration for the swimmers.

Young fundraiser TOMMY KEHOE is saluted by the crew and friends of Kilmore Quay RNLI after the 20 Dips challenge. (Pic; RNLi/Elaine Walsh)

Even though there were some days where conditions did not allow for a dip, there were enough favourable days to allow for the challenge to be completed safely by the hardy swimmers. Not least of all by Melinda’s son Tommy who even fitted in a dip in the morning before school!

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, fundraising in aid of Kilmore Quay lifeboat has taken place throughout the year as COVID guidelines allowed. Dedicated supporters of the RNLI in the area have organised walks, swims, cycles, vintage runs, online bingo, and head shaves among other activities, raising vital funds to maintain the charity’s lifesaving services.
Speaking following the final swim on Friday, Kilmore Quay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John Grace, said: “There is a fantastic community spirit here today. Tommy has raised an incredible sum of money for the RNLI, as have all the participants. We cannot thank everyone who took part and all who support Kilmore Quay RNLI throughout the year enough for all their efforts and generosity.”

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