Mairead Fagan...personal challenge.
In the 1979 film 'Escape From Alcatraz', a group of desperate convicts put together a cunning plan to get away from the infamous island prison just off the Californian coast.
Led by Frank Morris, played by Clint Eastwood, they dug their way out, imaginatively transforming odds and ends such as stolen raincoats to make up part of an improvised raft.
The film was based on a true, audacious escape attempt in 1962, and while the fictionalised ending suggested the escapees made it across the treacherous channel that separates Alcatraz from San Francisco, the reality was different. No-one ever escaped from Alcatraz.
At least that's what the prison authorities liked to boast during the 30 years or so when the tiny island in San Francisco Bay housed some of America's most dangerous criminals, such as George 'Machine Gun' Kelly, Alvin 'Creepy Karpis' Karpowicz, Raymond 'Bumpy' Johnston and Al Capone himself.
During the years 1934 to 1963 when Alcatraz was in operation, there were 14 escape attempts involving 36 inmates. There is no evidence that any of them made it to the other side of the bay - and sweet freedom.
Now a museum, the bleak prison building recently provided the backdrop for a bold fundraising effort by Kildalkey woman Mairead Fagan.
She now knows better than most the kind of difficulties Alcatraz escapees faced in their quest for liberty. A few weeks ago, she swam the 1.5 mile channel that separates Alcatraz from the city of San Francisco, becoming one of a very select number of Irish people to do so.
She said it was not just a matter of getting on a plane, showing up in California and embarking on the swim. Apart from the months of preparation, there's also the small matter that anyone looking to cover the distance must first acquire a permit from the local authorities.
They last thing the city fathers want is people just showing up, willy-nilly, and attempting something many others have failed to do - and paid for it with their lives.
"Very few people get to do the swim," she says, adding that a friend in Temple Street with good connections to the relevant San Francisco authorities helped her and her colleagues to acquire the documentation required.
A radiography services manager at the Hermitage Medical Centre, near Lucan, Mairead (41) had thought for some time about getting involved in raising funds for Temple Street Hospital.
She heard about the 'Escape from Alcatraz Challenge'. It sounded intriguing and something she would like to do, a personal challenge to take on - and generate some funds for the hospital in the process.
While not a mother herself, the cause of sick children is very close to her heart and she's determined to do everything she can to generate funds for the hospital.
Along with a small group of colleagues also eager to help the Temple Street cause, she decided to take on the mental and physical challenge involved.
"We had to do a lot of pool training and I actually got a (swimming) instructor myself. You need to be able to swim a mile in 40 minutes for a start," Mairead adds.
A wetsuit was also acquired and this allowed her to do some swimming close to places like Seapoint and Sandycove; although learning to swim quickly and coherently in the sea wasn't the only difficulty she had to overcome.
Last year, she split a disc in her back while swinging a golf club. Surgery was required and a painful process of rehabilitation followed. She picked up swimming to help the process. She could hardly have imagined that, within a year, she would be grappling with the highly dangerous currents of San Francisco Bay.
She recalls how she arrived on the west coast of America on a Friday morning. Less than 48 hours later, she was on a boat on her way out to Alcatraz for the start of the swim.
Everything, she found, was well-organised with Mairead and her friends joining other intrepid swimmers, of all ages and from various parts of the world, determined to make the crossing. Support and medical services were in place.
"The swim was tough, very tough. The current flows at three miles an hour so you have to sight different buildings in San Francisco when you get into the water and try and swim across the current. You can't swim with it or you'll end up 20 miles downstream; you can't swim against it because you wouldn't be strong enough.
"There's also a lot of safety boats around you that steer you in the right direction just in case you do go off-course and you're being carried by the current too much," she said.
"It was very tough going initially; the first 10 minutes were very tough, the second 10 minutes were very treacherous and difficult."
Eventually she made it to the other side, exhausted but fulfilled that she had completed such a harrowing and demanding venture, in the process becoming one of a relatively small group of Irishwomen to do so.
Her swim - along with a golf classic in Trim and a handbags and books sale in her house - generated Ä14,000 for Temple Street Hospital.
Looking back now she describes the Alcatraz swim as "fabulous," one of the best experiences of her life. Already she's planning a similar venture next year.
For Mairead Fagan, watching Clint Eastwood and his friends in 'Escape From Alcatraz' will somehow never be quite the same again.
Anyone interested in taking on the 'Escape from Alcatraz Challenge' or other fundraising exercises for Temple Stree Childrens' Hospital can contact Mairead Fagan (086) 285 1831.