• A collaboration between Sanctuary Runners and Swim Ireland.
  • Using open-water swimming to bring together all in the community including refugees and other migrants.
  • Six-week sessions in five locations across Ireland this summer.

Sanctuary Swimmers is a joint venture between Swim Ireland and Sanctuary Runners to bring about community cohesion through the experience of open water swimming. Learning how to swim in Ireland coastal waters as a means to bring together all members of the local community – including asylum seekers and refugees currently living in Direct Provision.

Building on from the success of Sanctuary Runners, founded in Cork in 2018 to break down social barriers which exist between migrants and locals across Ireland, the Sanctuary Swimmers initiative will now expand to include five locations in 2024.

Sanctuary Swimmers groups will be set up in Bray (Wicklow), Dunmore East (Waterford), Enniscrone (Sligo) Dollymount Strand (Dublin) and Salthill (Galway).

Groups will consist of around 12-18 people and be made up of locals and people who have moved to the area from many different nationalities alike. Swim Ireland instructors, with a specifically designed six-week programme, will teach the participants how to swim and be at ease in the open water. Also building on the levels completed in previous years.

Supporting the initiative with the provision of wetsuits for people living in Direct Provision are Irish sportswear company PortWest and Local Sports Partnerships in Galway, Wicklow, Waterford, Sligo and Dublin are partnering with Sanctuary Swimmers for each location.

For more information contact Rebecca on rebeccarolston@swimireland.ie


  • Sanctuary Swimmer groups to start in Dunmore East on July 10th and ongoing in Salthill on Tuesdays, more information to book on HERE