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Fló Beo: First Women to Swim The Shannon 

Fló Beo: Three Leitrim win made the decision to become the first women ever to swim the length of the Shannon. They aim to complete the project by the end of the month. Pictured: Toni McGlynn, Heather Maxwell and Eileen Maxwell.

Fló Beo: First Women to Swim The Shannon 


The race against time is on as three Leitrim women aim to swim the length of the River Shannon before the end of the month. They are halfway through the swim, and covered 13.6 km from Clonmacnoise to outside Shannonbridge yesterday. There were crowds ready to greet them, including the first Irish man to swim the Shannon, Paddy O’Donnell


Eileen, Toni and Heather are swimming to raise awareness for A Lust for Life Mental Health Charity and the Irish Cancer Society, and are looking for people to support them any way they can. Fló Beo is their concept name, which means ‘the living flow’ and represents the flow of life in us all and being fulfilled in the present moment as truly a way of living. Being ‘in flow’ helps enrich mental and physical wellbeing.


The women said, “The prospect of swimming the 260km distance is a great challenge for us, one we are totally relishing. We want this 3/4 week Event to go down in History.”

The swim started at the bridge in Dowra in Cavan and will be finishing at Arthurs Quay in Limerick City. They were inspired by their youngest swimmer Heather Maxwell, aged 20, who suggested the Swim over afternoon tea with her mother Eileen, whilst over-looking the Shannon. There have only ever been two other men who swam the Shannon, American man Dean Hall in 2017 and the first Irish man Paddy McDonnell in 2018.

The three women are previous members of the Lough Key Triathlon Club and have a solid open water swimming background. They prepared before they embarked on the swim by training with a world-renowned training partner and Australian company ‘Swim Smooth’. ‘Swim Smooth’ is an innovative coaching system used by hundreds of thousands of swimmers all around the world, with the aim to try and improve swimming drastically across the world.
The Fló Beo project is reaching out to the public to provide funding for this three/four-week project and also to fundraise for A Lust for Life and the Irish Cancer Society, raising vital funds to enable these marvellous organizations to continue their excellent and important work. You can support them by sponsoring us or donate on our Go fund me page.
To follow the women for the rest of their journey, click here.
For more stories about the River Shannon, click here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.