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Bray People – March 2020

A group from Bray participated in ‘Freezebury’ for Pieta House last month, spending an extra minute in the sea on each day of the month. The initiative was the brainchild of former rugby player Damien Browne, as a way of getting people out of their comfort zones for the month of February.

Damien paid a visit to the group on Bray seafront last Thursday, the 27th day of their challenge.

Participants all over the country committed to getting into an open water source ever day, with some opting for the more extreme version of adding a minute each day. They did one minute on February 1, two minutes on February 2, and so on, until they reached day 29 and 29 minutes last Saturday.

According to participant Paul Neiland, a small Bray group completed the challenge last year. ‘With it being partnered with Pieta House from the start this year it really has grown legs,’ he said, adding that people could also choose to do it for other causes such as Crumlin Hospital and the Alzheimer’s Society.

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The Nationalist – March 2021

PLUMMETING temperatures and icy waters proved no match for a hardy bunch of Carlow lads who bravely took on the bracing ‘Freezbrury Challenge’!Every day for the entire month of February, the group of seven twentysomethings fearlessly took the plunge into the river, staying in one minute on the first day of the month, then adding an extra minute every day to finish the month on Sunday with a truly Baltic 28 minutes in the water.

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Limerick Live – February 2021

EVERYBODY is looking forward to February being over but especially two chilled-out Limerick lads.

Mike Ryan, from Castletroy, and Jack Henchy, Ballyneety, are taking part in Freezbrury. The challenge was created by former professional rugby player turned adventurer, Damien Browne.

Mike explains that from February 1 to February 28 they have to get into the sea every day, adding a minute each day. Therefore, day one equals one minute, day two is two minutes, all the way to day 28, which will be a whopping 28 minutes.

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The Sunday Times – October 9, 2022

It is Wednesday lunchtime when I meet Damian Browne in the Harbour Hotel in Galway, a mere 36 hours after his journey came to an end on the rocks off the coast at Furbo. His tall, 42-year-old frame is slightly stooped, as you’d expect, given what he has put it through. The hands are surprisingly soft but bent into a permanent curl. It will be months before the ache in their shortened tendons and ligaments begins to fade.

By way of small-talk, I remind him of the interview we did almost exactly ten years ago, while he was at Leinster, and how he’d been accompanied by Elmo, a three-year-old golden retriever. Mention of Elmo seems to push him close to the edge.

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PIX 11 News – October 9, 2022

Irish adventurer Damian Browne made history as the first person to row from New York City to Galway, Ireland, receiving a hero’s welcome in the port city on Tuesday, Oct. 4, Irish media reported.

Browne, a former professional rugby player who, according to The Irish Times, cannot swim, left Chelsea Piers in Manhattan on June 14 and finally finished traveling the more than 3,000 miles to Ireland by the early hours of Tuesday.

Browne undertook the voyage as part of a fundraising effort called Project Empower. He previously rowed across the Atlantic in the opposite direction, crossing from San Sebastian in Spain to Antigua in 2018.

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The Washington Post – October 8, 2022

After 112 days of near solitary existence among ferocious waves with only the odd passing whale for company, Irish adventurer Damian Browne this week returned to land, becoming the first person to row unsupported across the Atlantic from New York City to Galway, according to his team.

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Independent.ie – October 7, 2022

An Irishman has become the first person ever to row from New York to Galway after 112 days at sea.

Former professional rugby player Damian Browne came ashore on the rocks at Furbo Beach, just short of The Port Of Galway this morning and recieved a hero’s welcome from friends, family and wellwishers.

Mr Browne started the adventure, titled Project Empower, in Manhattan on Tuesday, June 14 at 3.10am.

Speaking this afternoon on RTÉ’s News At One, Mr Browne said the entire challenge was a “fight” from start to finish and he is glad to have his feet on “solid ground”.

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The New York Times – October 6, 2022

A passenger jet can go from New York to where Damian Browne was headed in six hours and five minutes. It took him 112 days.

Browne rowed his way to Ireland in a 23-foot-long boat that flipped over more than once. (“Like being in a washing machine,” he wrote on Instagram.) A former professional rugby player, Browne was said by Irish media to be the first person to make the 2,686-nautical-mile trip from New York to Galway, Ireland, by himself and under his own power. The average speed was just under one knot, or about 1.4 miles per hour.

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The Economics Time News – October 5, 2022

Former professional Rugby player Damian Browne created a world record on October 4 after rowing for 112 days across the Atlantic Ocean from New York City to Galway, Ireland. He received a heroic welcome on Tuesday.

According to the Irish Times, on June 14, Browne left Chelsea Piers in Manhattan and covered 3,450 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean to reach Ireland. It is reported that Browne cannot swim.

viral video posted on Instagram shows Damian Browne boating in the Galway Bay across rough waters. Browne, 42, rowed and rowed Cushlamachree, his 20-foot craft, for more than 2,500 hours.

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ABC 7 NY – October 5, 2022

A historic journey across the Atlantic is finally complete.

An Irish man finished his rowing expedition from Chelsea Piers in Manhattan all the way to Galway, Ireland Tuesday morning.

It took former pro rugby player Damian Browne 112 days at sea to reach his hometown.

He left from Chelsea Piers on June 14th with a partner.

However, Fergus Farrell had to drop out after the first two weeks due to health concerns, leaving Browne to cross the ocean alone. He had to brave mountainous seas and howling winds, while struggling with equipment failures.

With just one man to stroke the oars, the trip took twice as long — nearly four months at sea.

Browne documented his more than 3,000-mile journey on social media.

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