The Kilmore Kippers by Jacintha Cloney

I was bricking it! The target was a tall metal structure in the middle of The Little Beach to the left of the busy little fishing harbour.

The cries of encouragement were mixed with those of the circling seagulls, normally more enamoured by the discarded chips of tourists. I was out of my depth and couldn’t have made it but for The Kippers swimming shoulder to shoulder.

I could have been an Olympian crossing the line that day as I touched the cold and slimy base of my target, oblivious to the tangled seaweed below four metres of water.  Gold for Ireland! The cheers of the surrounding Kippers authentically enthusiastic, even though some of them could swim the 5km to the Saltee Islands and back on a good day.

That’s what being part of the Kilmore Kippers is about though; feeling connected and feeling supported; something the pandemic had taken away. 

Eleanor McEvoy wrote a beautiful song called Scarlet Angels, which was a celebration of friendship during her last Women’s Heart Orchestrated tour before lockdown.  A similar song should be written to celebrate the friendships of the Indigo Angels of the South East; The Kilmore Kippers.

Author Jacintha Cloney is a Me and the Water member, who sent us this story to enter our August 2021 members competition. If you would like the chance to have a swim story featured on, please email

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