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Fundraising Swim for the Aran Islands RNLI
Snámh an tSunda – Gregory’s Sound Swim; Inis Meáin to Inis Mór

For 175 years the Aran Islands Lifeboat Station has covered the rugged and wild coastline of Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr. While the islands provide some form of shelter for Galway Bay on the leeside, they are endlessly embattled against the Atlantic Ocean on the other.

Since its establishment the Aran Islands lifeboat crews have been presented with over 20 awards for gallantry and the station is launched approximately 50 times per year and also when tasked works jointly with other lifeboat stations and the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter.

Ready 24/7/365 when their pager sound and are tasked, the crews respond to the call to save lives be it a vessel in danger out at sea or a medical evacuation from any of the three Aran Islands. The crew's selfless dedication to such a vital island community service is to be much-admired.

Born and raised in a fishing family, Barbara Conneely O’Brien, from Inis Mór grew up with a great love of the sea but learnt early to respect its power. Sadly, as with many coastal communities around the country, she also became acutely aware of the danger it poses from tragedies that have occurred down through the years with many precious lives lost. As a close-knit community, the Aran Islands are very conscious of the many lives saved through the tireless and heroic efforts of the RNLI, from rescues to medivacs.

With this in mind, Barbara has decided to undertake a fundraising swim for the Aran Islands RNLI from Inis Meáin to Inis Mór across Gregory’s Sound in honour of the RNLI’s work and that of her crew, past and present, most of whom are voluntary members. In doing this swim she also especially wishes to honour the memory of those who have died as a result of tragedies at sea.

The swim is planned to take place on the week of August 5th 2023 (day weather dependent). This is Barbara’s first open water swim and is a distance of approximately 2.5km as the crow flies but in reality it will be a longer swim of approximately 3km due to tidal currents between the two islands.

The generous public donations and support the RNLI receives covers crew training and equipment costs with every lifesaving rescue made possible by the selfless dedication and service of the lifeboat crew. Please support this swim challenge. Go Raibh Míle Maith Agaibh.

Donations to can be made through or by scanning the QR code here with a mobile phone.