Players get freezin’ for a reason

18 November 2014

Players get freezin’ for a reason
Connacht Rugby players Dave McSharry, Andrew Browne and Willie Faloon joined forces with an Garda Síochána to call on people to get freezin’ for a reason this December by signing up for Special Olympic’s Ireland Polar Plunge.

The Connacht rugby players were on-hand to support the launch of this unique event which will see plungers jump into the icy waters of the Shannon at The Strand, Athlone on Saturday December 13th.

It is hoped the event will raise thousands of euros for Special Olympics athletes. Separate plunges are also taking place in locations around the country in December as part of a fundraising drive to support athletes with intellectual disabilities.

The Athlone Polar Plunge is being spearheaded by local garda Brian Keane and colleagues Sergeant Andrew Haran, Garda John Teehan and Garda Aishling Brady. Members of the Garda Water Unit, whose unit is based in the midlands town, were also involved in the launch. The event is being run as part of the Gardai’s role with the Law Enforcement Torch Run, an organisation that has been in partnership with Special Olympics for many years. Gardaí said they are hoping to attract in excess of 150 plungers on the day with the first plungers due to take their icy leap of faith at 11am.

Connacht Rugby player Dave McSharry who took park in the launch of the Special Olympics Polar Plunge. Rugby players are well used to taking ice baths but Special Olympics Polar Plunge at The Strand in Athlone on December 13th is a much more fun way to get freezin’ for a really good reason. I’d encourage everyone to sign up for the event at and help support some of Ireland’s most inspiring athletes.” McSharry was joined at the launch by Willie Faloon and Andrew Browne as part of their rugby team’s charity partnership with the charity.

Garda Brian Keane is also hopeful that the people of Athlone will get behind the event: “This is a fantastic way to raise much needed funds for Special Olympics athletes. All of the money raised will go towards supporting athletes ensuring that they continue to get access to sporting opportunities through competitions, leagues and interclub competitions. On top of that it promises to be good fun so sign-up today!”

Those interested in signing up for the Polar Plunge can do so at Registration costs €15 and plungers are asked to raise a minimum €50 which goes directly to supporting athletes with intellectual disabilities through sport and competition. Plungers who raise more than €50 will also receive a complimentary ‘Ice Cool’ t-shirt.

Polar Plunges are happening at the following locations: Would be plungers are encouraged to register early online at to secure their place!


Friday 5th December -10am start-time: Belfast International Airport –

Saturday 6th December – 11am start-time: Clogherhead, Co Louth – registration €15

Saturday 6th December - 11am start time: Forty Foot, Sandycove, Co Dublin – registration €15

Sunday 7th December – 12 noon start-time: UL Activity Centre, Killaloe, Co Clare – registration €15

Saturday 13th December – 11am – The Strand, Athlone, Co Westmeath

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