An 80-year-old Irish man who hadn't swum in 60 years is attempting to swim at every Irish beach and pier over the Christmas period to raise money for charity. 

Paddy Conaghan, from Arranmore Island off County Donegal, has been driving along Ireland's west coast in an improvised van over the festive period, stopping off for a quick swim at every beach that he comes across. 

The 80-year-old is raising money for Gemma's Legacy of Hope, a local counseling service in the Rosses, County Donegal, that provides help and support to anyone over the age of five. 

He told Sky News that his swimming challenge was the only physical challenge that he could think of to raise money for charity. 

"I can't climb mountains anymore, I can't run anymore, I can't cycle anymore, like I used to do. But I can do a bit of swimming and diving," he told Sky News at a pier in Galway. 

Conaghan described himself as a "novice swimmer" who only began to learn how to swim again during the summer after a 60-year hiatus. 

He started his grueling journey on December 4 in County Donegal and believes that it will take him two months to sample the water at every Irish beach and pier, by which time he will have turned 81. 

Conaghan has been using ice baths to train for the challenge over the last ten months and told Sky News that he decided to undertake the fundraiser in winter to make it more challenging. 

"You're not going to get any money if you're enjoying yourself, are you?" 

He said that the water is "not cold yet" but said that he was expecting it to turn very cold in the coming weeks. 

Conaghan's campaign has already raised more than €48,000 on the crowd-funding platform GoFundMe, smashing his initial target of €1,000. 

He has been driving south along the Irish Atlantic Coast in his remodeled van, sleeping in an improvised bed in the back of the vehicle. 

He said that he usually enjoys steak and eggs for breakfast and two pints of Guinness at night in a local bar before turning in for the night. 

Click here to donate to Conaghan's campaign.