Planning your holiday? Visit our consumer website

15 Mar 2016

Brave ice swimmers and Irish hurlers join Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening in Finland

As the world gears up for St Patrick’s Day, a group of brave ice swimmers and a group of Irish hurlers in Finland have gone green to join in the celebrations.  

The first annual St Patrick’s day ice swimming in Tampere has taken place at the Rauhaniemi public swimming and sauna spot on lake Näsijärvi, near the city of Tampere – with the lake illuminated in green and the ice swimmers all wearing green sauna hats! Every winter, a hole in the thick lake ice is kept open for swimmers, to take a refreshing dip to cool off between rounds in the sauna – and this is the first time that the lake has been lit in green, to celebrate St Patrick and the island of Ireland.

Nearby, a group of Irish hurlers – from Galway and Kilkenny and now living in Tampere – also joined in the Global Greening fun, playing a hurling match on the frozen lake Näsijärvi with a special green sliotar and wearing green hats (Galway won the match!).

This ‘greening’ activity is part of a global initiative by Tourism Ireland which will see the London Eye, the Great Wall of China, Niagara Falls, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Burj al Arab in Dubai and the Colosseum in Rome, as well as a host of other landmarks and sites around the globe, turn a shade of green this week.

Aileen Hickey, Tourism Ireland’s Manager for the Nordic Region, said: “St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us and we’re delighted to be continuing our Global Greening initiative again this year, with some fun new additions – including a group of ice swimmers and hurlers in Finland. Our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people everywhere and to convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as wonderful scenery and heritage.”

The ‘greening’ of Tampere was organised by Oliver Hussey, originally from Co Galway and now living Tampere.

  An ice swimming lake and swimmers at Rauhaniemi, in the Tampere region of Finland, join Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative.

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 220,000 people.
  • In 2015, we welcomed approximately 9.3 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.7 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.ireland.com, 29 market sites available in ten language versions around the world, which attracted about 16.5 million visitors in 2015.