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At the Halfmoon Swimming Club, Poolbeg, in December 2007

We were walking back from the lighthouse on a windy and cold enough December day when I turned around and spotted this gentleman standing there in his towel after drying himself. I quickly lined up lighthouse and swimmer and took the shot.

The hardy man's name is Mick Byrne and he just came out of the waters of Dublin Bay. Water temperature was a little under 10 degrees Celsius!

He was a pure gentlemen and despite his lack of clothing and an icy wind he turned out to be very chatty.

... and 'No', I did not go for a swim myself. I was wearing a thick wooly jumper and a nice coat and gloves.

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The Half Moon Swimming Club was founded in 1898 at the Great South wall in Dublin. It was known then as "The Poolbeg Bathers Association". In the years that followed, the name was changed to Half Moon Swimming Club to reflect more accurately the fact that members of the club were participating in swimming competitions held at the time.

What is now our clubhouse sits approximately halfway along the great south wall, built originally in an area known as Poolbeg, to create a shipping channel into Dublin Port. It was once a station for an army gun battery whose function was to protect the entrance to the port. The gun turret was mounted in a 'half moon' shape, thus lending to the name of the club.

Consequently, the clubhouse is referred to as 'the wall', 'the Poolbeg', 'the battery', or 'the half moon'.

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Additional Photos by Hauke Steinberg (MadraRua) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 43 W: 2 N: 136] (887)
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