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Tuesday 28 March 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Mary Byrne via Bog Snorkelling Facebook page Organiser Declan Connolly with Minister Leo Varadkar at the Bog Snorkelling championships
# bog snorkelling
Minister Varadkar travels by bog-snorkel in Monaghan
The Minister officially opened the fourth annual Irish Bog Snorkelling event at the weekend. The event raised almost €4,000 for a local child’s cancer treatment.

MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT, Leo Varadkar, tried his hand at a new mode of travel at the weekend: bog snorkelling.

The Minister was in Castleblayney in Co Monaghan on Saturday at Alice’s Loft and Cottages to officially open the fourth Irish Bog Snorkelling event, which was organised by local man Declan Connolly.

Connolly told that he was delighted that the Minister could make it to Co Monaghan to open the event.

“We couldn’t believe it,” said Connolly, who explained that local Fine Gael TD Seán Conlon was behind getting the Minister to visit.

I didn’t really think there was a chance – next thing I got a confirmation letter. It was unbelievable.
He came down and said a few words and put on a snorkel. He was the first man in. He did it in a very respectable time of 2 minutes 26 seconds.

Minister Varadkar was perhaps a bit clever in jumping in first, as Connolly said that the bog water tends to get very thick and muddy by the end of the day.

There was a “massive crowd” at the event, which attracted 85 competitors. They were willing to put on their wetsuit and snorkel their way along a large bog track.

“It’s a track cut in the bog that fills itself with water,” explained Connolly.

You have to keep the snorkel in your mouth and use flippers – you’re not allowed to swim. The winner is whoever gets the fastest time.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Cian Connolly Trust Fund.  Cian is the four-year-old son of local man Ciaran “Syd” Connolly and has recently started treatment for cancer. Connolly said they hope to have raised €4,000 in total for the family.

Minister Varadkar travels by bog-snorkel in Monaghan
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  • Declan Connolly and Minister Varadkar

  • The bog

  • Minister Varadkar and Declan Connolly

  • Minister Varadkar

  • The crowd

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