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Limerick Dragons Voyage - a group of breast cancer survivors sailed across the River Shannon last Saturday, April 30 to celebrate Limerick’s 1100th birthday as part of Riverfest. Picture: Ava O Donoghue/ilovelimerick Limerick Dragons Voyage - a group of breast cancer survivors sailed across the River Shannon last Saturday, April 30 to celebrate Limerick’s 1100th birthday as part of Riverfest. Picture: Ava O Donoghue/ilovelimerick

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Limerick Dragons Voyage sees breast cancer survivors sail across the Shannon for Limerick’s 1100th Birthday

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Limerick Dragons Voyage – a group of breast cancer survivors sailed across the River Shannon last Saturday, April 30 to celebrate Limerick’s 1100th birthday as part of Riverfest. Picture: Ava O Donoghue/ilovelimerick.

The boat sailed to Arthurs Quay where spectators on that side of the river could see the boat in all of its glory

By I Love Limerick correspondent Ava O’Donoghue

Limerick Dragons Voyage
The idea for the group came from the fact that the motion of rowing and paddling was helping anyone who had surgery after breast cancer. Picture: Ava O Donoghue/ilovelimerick.

Limerick Dragons Voyage, a group of breast cancer survivors sailed across the River Shannon last Saturday, April 30 to celebrate Limerick’s 1100th birthday as part of Riverfest.

The Limerick Dragons formed in 2016 and have done extensive fundraising to be able to fund their first dragon boat which was purchased in 2017. The boat now stays in the group’s base at Cleeves Carpark awaiting its next voyage.

The idea for the group came from the fact that the motion of rowing and paddling was helping anyone who had surgery after breast cancer.

Since their inauguration, they have become a strong network for cancer survivors but also encourage all adults of all genders over the age of 18 to get involved – particularly men who have been affected by breast cancer and their families.

The group offers a safe place for people to come and exercise and improve their lives after cancer with a group of people who have had similar experiences in their lives so that the survivors know they are not alone.

On the day of the voyage, spirits were high amongst the Limerick Dragons as they held a safety demonstration before they launched the boat on the slipway of O’Callaghan Strand.

The boat was full of 22 paddlers and a drum at the top which could be heard throughout Limerick as well as laughter and singsong.

The boat sailed to Arthurs Quay where spectators on that side of the river could see the boat in all of its glory.

The group then did laps around the river before heading back to its base where they will prepare to paddle a few times a week from March to October.

“We’re a breast cancer survivors’ group so it’s healthy for us, it’s good for us and it’s a bit of fun,” Aileen Murphy from Limerick Dragons said before their voyage. “Hopefully, everyone who’s watching us will enjoy it as well.”

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For more information on the Limerick Dragons, go 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 ilovelimerick.com 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.

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