Mother embarks on island swim

A YOUNG mother whose six-month-old daughter has a life limiting condition will undertake a charity swim from Owey to Cruit island to raise money for Bumbleance. Fiona Harrington will take on the challenge on November 2 to raise money for the children’s ambulance service having seen first hand the great work they do.

In August Fiona and her partner Dwain Rodgers had their dreams come true when Bumbleance enabled them to take their daughter Willow from Donegal to visit her grandparents in Bere Island in Cork. They were brought by private plane from Carrickfinn, where they live, to Kerry airport and were met by Bumbelance on the runway and taken by ferry to the island.

Bumbleance made our dream come true to have Willow make it to Bere Island and we want to give something back,” Fiona told the Donegal News this week.


My daughter has a life limiting condition. She’s on oxygen all the time and it is really hard to bring her out anywhere.

She was so good on the plane she was looking out the window at the clouds.”

Fiona is originally from Bere Island and moved to Donegal after buying a house with her partner last year. Willow, the couple’s first child, has a genetic condition called Smith-Lemli-Opitz which is a developmental disorder that affects many parts of the body. Fiona said the swim between the two islands will be a big challenge for her as she is not a regular swimmer.

I’ve seen people doing parachute jumps but I wanted to do something really hard. I’m not a fit person and I don’t do a great deal of swimming. It will be a challenge,” she said.

The community has really got behind the family and they have managed to raise over €13,000 in the space of just a few days. Fiona said she is overwhelmed by the reaction and added that it is such a good cause and you can see where the money will go.

When I started this I thought I would raise €1,000, then I thought €2,000. I never expected to get this far. We are overwhelmed with all the donations we have got. The support for this amazing charity speaks for itself. So many sick children will benefit form this money.”

Weather permitting Fiona will take on the challenge on November 2 and anyone who wants to donate to the cause can do so online at


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