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The Plurabelle Paddlers is a dragon boat team based in the Grand Canal Dock in Dublin, Ireland. The team members have one thing in common, they have been diagnosed with breast cancer and have set up a dragon boat team to:
– get fit
– enjoy the mutual support of team mates
– raise awareness of breast cancer.
We were all new to the sport and are inspired by the 150 or so breast cancer dragon boat teams worldwide. Why dragon boats? >>

We are the first dragon boat team in Ireland. The team was set up by Fiona Tiernan, in order to keep fit after a recurrence of breast cancer. From a membership of 2 and no boat in 2010, we now have 60+ active members, a wonderful coach Julie Doyle and two dragon boats.

We train on the water twice a week from March to November, and once a week during the rest of the year (view map – you can click on the map to enlarge it) and have members aged from early 30′s to 70+.
The other thing we all have in common is that we were all new to the sport of dragon boat racing.

CLICK on our video to see what it’s about!

News & Events

  • Operation Transformation

    Like thousands and thousands of Irish television viewers we’re glued to this year’s Operation Transformation on RTE One. This year, one of the leaders is Sarah O’Callaghan. Sarah has lymphoedema as a result of breast cancer treatment. Thank you Sarah for placing a spotlight on this condition.

    Plurabelle Paddlers is among the 150+ dragon boat racing teams worldwide for women who have experienced breast cancer, many of whom have Lymphoedema. Read about dragon boat racing for those who have experienced breast cancer on our FAQ page. If you have had a breast cancer diagnosis and fancy giving dragon boat racing a go, visit our Try it Out page.

    Good luck Sarah on Operation Transformation. We’ll be rooting for you & for all of this year’s leaders.

  • HERE BE DRAGONS – Plurabelle memoir is out now!

    ‘HERE BE DRAGONS’ is a memoir of the Plurabelle Paddlers (though don’t worry, we’re not finished paddling and partying just yet!). The book includes lots of photos as well as short articles (written by various club members) on the formation of the club, the introduction of dragon boat racing to Ireland and the various regattas that we have competed in over the years. There are also contributions from foreign clubs and memories from Plurabelles who have paddled with clubs in distant parts of the world.
    As you know, we’re a shy and retiring bunch (ahem!). We don’t like to brag, but some of the early reviews include phrases like ‘the quality of the paper and the clarity of the photos are amazing'; ‘a book to cherish'; ‘smashing photos and well-written’. The book details ‘challenges, determination, fun, laughter and tears, but most of all friendship and comradeship.’
    The book (which costs €10) isn’t on general sale, but if you’d like to get your hands on a copy simply email info@plurabellepaddlers.com and we’ll be in touch.  So, go on, treat yourself (or someone you love) to this beautiful book that tells our incredible story.

  • ‘All in a Row’ – Paddling on the River Liffey

    The weather gods were kind to us on Saturday 9th December for the ‘All in a Row’ charity fundraiser in aid of the RNLI and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery (thankfully there was no snow, but boy, it was FREEZING!). The Plurabelles were on the river Liffey decked out in Santa hats and fairy lights (I guess it’s no wonder that we were a favourite with the snap-happy tourists!)

    Anna Livia is the name given to the personification of the River Liffey (and the name of our boats!). James Joyce named the heroine in Finnegans Wake Anna Livia Plurabelle. You could say that we were at ‘home’ on 9th December, on this wonderful river in our great city. View photos

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In Association with Breast Cancer Ireland and the HSE