When Ruth Fitzmaurice says in today’s Irish Times that people who regularly swim in The Cove “have a lot of pain in their lives”, most Greystonians will naturally assume that she’s talking about The Happy Pear twins.
Turns out it’s not just the Flynnstones who are jumping into that freezing cold water to sort out some inner turmoil – it’s pretty much all the pimply pilgrims down there.
Poor things. It’s almost enough to make you want to give Mark Lawlor a hug. Almost.
It was back in January, 2016 that Greystones and the rest of the country became aware of the deep impact diving down at The Cove was having on Ruth Fitzmaurice’s life when her essay, I Found My Tribe, appeared in The Irish Times.
With five kids, and a famous filmmaker/novelist husband, Simon, famously confined to a wheelchair with Lou Gehrig’s disease and communicating solely through his eye-gaze computer, Ruth often found she was in “a house full of strangers“. With her husband needing round-the-clock care, the family home pretty much always had a cuckoo in the nest, making it nigh on impossible for Ruth – or anyone else – to find a little space for themselves.
And that’s where The Cove comes in – this “secret society of the hurt“, gathering for that welcome shock to the system as they shut off their brains long enough to dive wide-eyed into that freezing cold water. “Ten seconds later, it’s pure freedom,” is how Ruth describes the pay-off for such wild abandon.
With that January 2016 essay sparking a flurry of book offers, I Found My Tribe will now be hitting bookshops on July 6th. Eagle-eyed Greystonians will have already spotted the book in our local Village Bookshop, where, through either bravery, naivety or a special handshake, I Found My Tribe has hit the shelves two weeks early.
And now there’s a film version heading our way too, Element Pictures (Room, The Lobster, The Guard) currently working with the author on a screenplay. We just hope Daniel and Lassie can both come out of retirement for GG’s cameo.
We caught up with Ruth – and two of her five kids, Sadie and Hunter – this afternoon down at, yep, The Cove, to find out just how therapeutic the water, the writing and the recognition is proving to be…
Find out more about I Found My Tribe here, and follow Ruth on Twitter here.