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One of Galways most iconic swim spots, A.M. members and thousands more swimmers and dippers can be found swimming here at all hours of the day. Blackrock is a Galway swimming institution.
Blackrock Diving Tower is an iconic structure of the Salthill promenade and is a ‘must do’ for most visitors to Galway.
During the Summer months, A.M. swimmers can be found at BR from 6am all the way through to 10 at night…..and sometime a little later. Swimmable at all stages of the tide, it is one of the most consistent swim locations in the county.
During the Winter months, A.M. swimmers have an unoffical swim on Sunday mornings at 10:00, just be warning, you may spend more time drinking coffee afterwards than in the water.
You are spoilt for choice when swimming in Blackrock. During the summer months the Healthy Cities Project puts out swim buoys to mark distance along the prom.
In 2018, an additional 1Km marker was placed at Palmers Rock.
Generally 2km swims are a Palmer return, 3km to the Auqarium and back and 4km to Grattan Rd Beach and back, all following the prom.
The Heskin League which runs Thursday evenings in the summer months, uses these buoys to create a 1.2km swim.
During the winter when the buoys are resting, we use the rocks as natural markers and you will often hear Blackrock swimmer asking how many rocks this morning!
In 1885, a springboard was erected at Col O’Hara’s property much to his displeasure. He did everything he could to make it difficult for swimmers to get to the rock.
Eventually, he had the board removed but the Urban Council stepped in and managed to get a lease on a public right of way to the bathing area. The original springboard was replaced by a more elaborate affair for swimming and diving, which however was quite unsafe.
After a near death of a diver in 1942, the diving boards were replaced by the diving tower that we see today at Blackrock. For a long time, Blackrock was a ‘men only’ bathing place. In the very early seventies, women began to swim at Blackrock, and it has been a ‘mixed bathing’ place since.