Coastal challenge for Dungiven woman makes final splash at Benone

Grainne McMacken.
Grainne McMacken.

Dungiven swimmer Grainne McMacken was back at work yesterday after travelling around the coastal counties in Ireland and ‘taking a dip’ to raise money for charity.

Overwhelmed by the support from family, friends and strangers along the way, the active dietician said the challenge was an experience she will never forget. She has surpassed her goal of raising

Grainne was joined by her family and dozens of friends and supporters at Benone.

Grainne was joined by her family and dozens of friends and supporters at Benone.

€2,500. Yesterday she had received close to €2,900

Grainne said her ‘Trip to Dip’ for the Hope Foundation gave her the opportunity to challenge herself, both physically and mentally. She said she also realised “how blessed I am in my life”.

“Not only to be physically able to carry out this challenge, to drive to each location, to live in a beautiful country with beautiful beaches and seas, but also to have had the full support of my family and friends and those in my community,” Grainne told the ‘Journal’ yesterday. “This has been a great experience of the goodness and kindness of local people and family and friends in other parts of the world too. People have used this fundraiser for the Hope foundation as a way of showing support for our brothers and sisters in Kolkata, India, so much less well off than us.”

Grainne started the challenge in Cork, then travelled north along the west coast, taking in Kerry, Clare, Galway, and Mayo.

Her final dip was on Sunday at a place special to Grainne and her family; Benone Strand in Magilligan.

“It was brilliant, just fantastic to see so many people there; family and friends,” she said.

Later this year Grainne will be travelling to Kolkata (Calcutta) in India to volunteer for six weeks with HOPE on its Health Programme.

The Hope Foundation is an Irish charity, set up 16 years ago by Cork woman Maureen Forrest to help the vulnerable children from the streets and slums of Kolkata.

Grainne wants to thank everyone - including local company, Connect Mobile Solutions Limited, who supported her efforts - and those she met on her fundraising journey for their support; to everyone who donated money and encouraged her when she needed it most.

“I am delighted to have reached my personal fundraising goal through the generosity and kindness of so many of you,” added Grainne.