This May, Kate Brooks will swim the River Shannon from the North shores of Lough Allen to the twin towns of Killaloe/Ballina, a journey of over 200 kilometres. It’s a long way to Tipperary.

Kate is fundraising for Irish Seed Savers, a charity close to her heart. Kate’s father Ted was a long-term supporter of Irish Seed Savers and was Chairperson of the Board of Directors before his passing at the end of 2021.

Speaking about the swim Kate says;

“The idea came about a couple of years ago when my parents and I were driving through Athlone, and we crossed the River Shannon. I grew up on the banks of the Shannon Estuary, but this was the first time that the true length of the River Shannon dawned on me. I asked my father if he thought anyone had ever swum it, and he said he didn’t know but that if I wanted to, he’d help me out. He was always keen to come and support my swimming endeavours: coming down to the riverbank with a rope to tow me out of the mud on my first estuary swim at the bottom of the garden at home and flying to the UK to walk the banks of the Thames during my first Marathon swim. Sadly, he won’t be around to witness my greatest swimming adventure yet, but he’ll be with me every step of the way.

For me this swim is all about the adventure. I’m so looking forward to a month living aboard my cousin’s barge, swimming a bit, eating a lot, drinking copious mugs of tea, and catching up with family and friends who’ve kindly volunteered their time to support me. I’m excited to experience the course of this beautiful river and the flora and fauna along its shores. The longer the swim takes the better!”

Weather permitting, Kate will commence swimming on May 1st, with a likely finish date between May 22nd and 28th in Ballina, Co. Tipperary. Keep an eye on our social media channels for updates on Kate’s progress.

We are calling on everyone to support Kate in this incredible fundraising event, with all proceeds going to support the vital work of Irish Seed Savers in protecting and conserving Ireland’s food crop heritage. If you wish to donate and find out more, please visit the It’s a Long Way to Tipperary Go Fund Me page.

Best of luck to Kate from all the team at Irish Seed Savers!