Capturing, Commemorating, Celebrating Irish Marathon Swims

Capturing, Commemorating, Celebrating Irish Marathon Swims

Capturing, Commemorating, Celebrating Irish Marathon Swims

Courtesy of Pádraig Mallon, Newry, Northern Ireland.

Pádraig Mallon of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association and Infinity Channel Swimming and Piloting Services is looking back at history.

He announced, “Open water swimming in all its benefits is growing at a phenomenal rate. The Irish Long Distance Swimming Association, founded in 1966, is undertaking a project to record the history of open water swimmers who have swam a marathon open water swim distance of 10 km or more in either togs or wetsuit, in all waters of the Island of Ireland.

This ILDSA research project has 15 volunteers with all four provinces represented on the committee. We are asking for your help to record your history, your ancestor’s history and all our history to inspire each other and most importantly inspire the next generation of open water swimmers to dream up and achieve wonderful adventures not only on our shores but all over the globe.

In our culture, we have a strong tradition of adventure and exploration. Irish open water swimmers are globally known as some of the toughest and heartiest on earth, albeit that our humbleness has often meant that our successes in the history of swimming have been unrecorded and lost. We all have an inspirational swimmer from our community who has inspired us with their achievements. Let’s find them.

ILDSA are working with SWIM IRELAND, national press, and using all means of media to extend the quest for information to as large an audience as possible. Perhaps a friend of a friend you know or your family member swam from here to there or perhaps you swam yourself.

ILDSA is making public call to you and all swim clubs to delve into their archival material, identify swimmers from their club who have excelled in marathon open water swimming in the past and forward onto us details of their swims, This information will create a historical catalogue and then be available online in a new database on the ILDSA website.

How you can help:

* Write to us ILDSA 101 Camlough Road, Newry. N.Ireland BT35 7EE
* Email us: Email you as much information you have of the swim or swims you have completed to
* By telephone: Email us your telephone number and we will contact you at a convenient time for you to discuss the historical swims and the province representative can take the details.

* Or call the Representatives from your province – phone numbers are below:

Ulster: Pádraig Mallon +447879413131 or David Burke +447523141457 or Jacqueline McClelland +447730308958
Munster: Kevin Williams +353866030204 or Ossi Schmidt +353868151696
Leinster: Kevin Cooper +353862563608 or Ger Devin +353879002455
Connaught: Fergal Madden +353872168110 or Annette Cullen +353876292588, the Research project lead

At this time, we are excluding swims which were ‘mass starts’ or ‘group starts’. One exception is 17 km Lough Erne Swim which is a mass start and is the ‘ILDSA Championships’. ILDSA solely record this swim’s history so we choose to include it. Swims shorter than 10 km may be considered if they are deemed as epic or pioneering swims.

Please speak to your regional representative about each individual achievement. All information will be verified before it is included in the history.

We would appreciate if you could support us in this endeavour to document historic marathon swims in Ireland by forwarding any details that would be of help in putting this all together and passing the request onto a friend who may also have information to help our quest.

We look forward to sharing your history with the whole world of open water swimming so as to inspire the next generation

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Steven Munatones