Right in the centre of Dublin Bay and accessed through the docks, the Great South Wall reaches out into Dublin Bay. Stroll out and halfway along this lengthy jetty you will find the Half Moon Swimming and Waterpolo Club. The whitewashed building provides shelter for swimmers who enjoy the fabulous views back towards the port dominated by the tall Poolbeg chimneys.
The club, founded in 1898 as Poolbeg Bathers’ Association later changed its name to Half Moon Swimming Club. What is now their clubhouse was once a gun battery, the gun turret mounted in a half-moon shape, giving the bay its name. The white-painted buildings are about halfway along the Bull Wall with a changing area and low benches facing the slipway. This becomes a suntrap where, sheltered from the wind, one can sit and enjoy an after-swim hot cuppa and watch the great ships sailing in and out of the port.
By 1795 the wall was completed, 10 metres thick at the base and 8 metres at the top. At the end of the Great South Wall is Poolbeg Lighthouse, painted red to indicate port side for ships entering Dublin Bay.
In 2008 the Great South Wall was the venue for one of Spencer Tunick’s en masse nude photo shoots, involving more than 2,000 people lined up along the wall.
Best to swim here at mid to high tide. The rocks at the end of the slipway and bottom of the ladder make it unsafe for jumping and diving.
Scenicwalk / good food & pubs / shallow bay / city swimming / iconic views and swim
Excerpt from Wild Swimming in Ireland 2016, ISBN 978-1-84889-280-4