Thousands of people take part in a cold swim for Women’s Aid on Nollaig na mBan.

  • 1,900 people took the plunge with events across the country from Dublin to Kerry to Donegal and hundreds of locations in between.
  • The organisation, which supports victims of domestic violence expects to raise over €80,000 from the challenge. 

Saturday, 7th January 2023: Women’s Aid, a leading national frontline domestic violence organisation, organised its first ever Cold Swim fundraiser on Nollaig na mBan (Friday 6th January 2023) which saw over 1,900 people sign up in support.   Events and gatherings took place in multiple locations from North to South, East to West.  All with one motivation in mind – to raise much needed funds for the domestic violence charity.  

Sarah Benson, CEO of Women’s Aid said:

“We are blown away by the thousands of people who have signed up to take the cold plunge in support of Women’s Aid to mark Nollaig na mBan.   Individuals and groups have gone to extraordinary lengths to get involved and get in the sea to help raise funds for our work supporting women subjected to domestic abuse.”

Ms Benson added:

“The harm of domestic violence is very real and wide-ranging.  One in four women in Ireland experiences abuse by a current or former partner.   This is unacceptable and must change.   Every woman has the right to be safe, both in their own homes and in their communities.  This is not often the case.  Every day our support workers on the 24hr National Freephone Helpline and our face to face services hear from women reporting assaults with weapons; constant surveillance and monitoring; relentless put downs and humiliations; the taking and sharing of intimate images online, complete control over all family finances; sexual assault, rape, and being threatened with theirs or their children’s lives.  The impacts on these women were chilling and ranged from exhaustion, isolation, and hopelessness; to being brutalised and wounded, suffering miscarriages, poverty, feeling a loss of identity and suicide ideation, hypervigilance; and homelessness.”

Donna Cooney, organiser of an event at Clontarf baths as part of the Cold Swim for Women campaign said:

“We had at least 130 women swim, dip and dance under a full moon in the beautiful Clontarf outdoor pool, to celebrate Nollaig na mBan and to support Women’s Aid and the important work they do to support victims of domestic abuse.  We had music, lights and synchronised swimming.  It was such a joy! The water was very cold, Baltic, but we’re all used to cold swimming all year round.”

Anyone who wishes to support the brave swimmers taking the plunge this Nollaig na mBan can donate at Cold Swim for Women


For more information contact Christina Sherlock at and on 087 9192457.