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.

The incredible mind over matter experience was all in aid of the very worthy cause of Pieta House, with more than €3,000 already raised on the group’s GoFundMe page.

The friends are Paul Harland, Jake Lochab, Lee Walker, Reece Denieffe, James McGrath and brothers Barry and Gavin Power who, donning nothing more than their swimming togs, faced the chilly waters daily.

“Your body does adjust to it … yeah, your body is screaming get out of the water, but your head won’t let you,” smiles Paul Harland. “It was very, very hard some days, especially in the frost and snow,” he adds.

The boys began their challenge in the River Burrin at Bennekerry, but when the local fields flooded they moved to the River Barrow, before finishing the challenge on Sunday in the reservoir in Killeshin.”