Creative Director of Distilled Ideas Aoibheann O’Sullivan was interviewed about her love of swimming for an article featured in the Irish Times today:
The Irish Times – Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Time for thrills and spills
By Arminta Wallace
“SWIM IN THE SEA
Once the preserve of nudie men, it’s now open to all sorts of hardy individuals, including Aoibheann O’Sullivan. Born in Zambia, she grew up in South Africa, so one would imagine swimming in Irish waters might strike terror into her heart. Not so; although she admits to being a fair-weather swimmer. “The first time I go down – in April or May – it takes my breath away,” she says. “I just plunge in and get out. Then, slowly, I add a bit more time until, by August, we go and swim round all the buoys and do a kilometre or two.”
But, she says, there is definitely an all-year vibe at Sandycove. She made a film, Forty Foot , about the people who swim there, which won an award for best short Irish film at the Stranger Than Fiction film festival in 2009. “People come down with flasks of tea and biscuits and things, and they meet at the same time every day.
There’s a cycle of people who go throughout the day – the 11 O’Clock Club, for instance – and they’re amazing. They’re not giving up when they retire. They’ve got a new lease on life and they all actually look really healthy and vibrant. There’s such good craic down there.
“It gives you such a boost of energy. When you come out, you never regret having jumped in. It’s always worth doing – and that’s what draws you back. You always remember how good you felt after the swim, not how scared of the cold you might have been beforehand.”