Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Donegal Man (83) Dips in Lakes in 32 Counties for Motor Neurone Disease

10th January 2024
Paddy Conaghan completes a swim as part of his 'Ducking and Driving Around the Lakes of Ireland for IMNDA' campaign
Paddy Conaghan completes a swim as part of his 'Ducking and Driving Around the Lakes of Ireland for IMNDA' campaign

An 83-year-old Donegal man has set out to swim or dip in lakes across the 32 counties of Ireland to raise funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA).

Paddy Conaghan estimates it will take six weeks to complete his challenge, entitled “Ducking and Driving Around the Lakes of Ireland for IMNDA”.

It is his third consecutive year to take on the venture in aid of various charities, and he says that this year all funds raised will go towards people living with motor neurone Disease and their families.

Conaghan began the challenge on Sunday just past (January 7t) at Loch Eamhnaigh, Arranmore island, and his second day of lake dipping was in Lough Gill, Co Leitrim on Monday – when he also marked his 83rd birthday.

Swimmer Paddy Conaghan and his supporters Swimmer Paddy Conaghan and his supporters 

He was in Sligo on Tuesday, and plans to visit Achill on Wednesday, January 10th, followed by Mayo on January 11th.

“I am thrilled to once again take on this exciting challenge, swimming across the many lakes dotting the landscape of our 32 counties, all in support of the IMNDA,” Conaghan has said.

“It won’t be easy, it’s bitterly cold, but the generosity and support of donors and well-wishers spurs me on and enables us to make a real difference in the lives of those battling motor neurone disease,”he said.

Supporters and well-wishers are invited to join Conaghan at various lakes across the country to cheer him on as he takes the plunge.

His journey and progress can be followed on his Facebook page where details of his next swims are posted daily.

To contribute to Paddy Conaghan’s fundraising efforts visit here Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button