March 03, 2020

(Photo: by Siobhan Russell)

SANDYCOVE Island Swimmers on Saturday hosted the 12th Irish Long Distance Swimming Association Awards at the Trident Hotel in Kinsale, County Cork.

At a celebration of Irish marathon swimming, awards of recognition were presented to swimmers from every corner of the island of Ireland, the event also including the 2019 Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductions, Guinness World Record presentations, and a gathering of Ireland's 2005 North Channel and English Channel swimmers.

In a new tradition, those channel heroes were welcomed for a 15-year reunion to be presented with commemorative medals, mirroring the 50-year reunion enjoyed by English Channel swimmers in Britain. While there were no successful North Channel crossings that year, there were seven solo English Channel crossings by Irish people, and a total of 31 Irish relay swimmers whose teams completed the 21-mile challenge.

Solo Swimmers: Ned Denison, Lisa Howley, Ronan Joyce, Imelda Lynch, Diarmuid O'Brien, Owen Sisk and Peter Thompson

Relay Swimmers: 

Finn McCool - Maria Blumenthal, Joe Donnelly, Anne Marie Fowler, Tadhg Harrington, Ciaran O'Connor, Kieran Nolan Fionn Uisce - Graham Coleman, Willie Tracey, Jerry Kiersey, Steven Black, Liz Buckley, John Conroy

Grannualie - Deirdre Kearney, Niamh Fitzgibbon, Aoibheann Bartle,y Linda Clarke, Niamh Carr 

Cuchulainn - Lucy Nilsson, Martin Cullen, Aoife NiFhearghail, Imelda Lynch, Cormac Wilcox, Helen Walley

Lir - John Kenny, Pat Moore, Joe McGoldrick, Declan Proctor, John Daly, Dan Smyth

Lido Legends - Jim Boucher, Dana Haugli, Emma France, Christina Victor, Ellery McGowan, Rory Fitzgerald

Entered into the Hall Of Fame were swimmers Conor Gunn, Owen O'Keefe, Colm O'Neill and Fergal Somerville and two contributors - the team behind the Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim and volunteer crew Imelda Lynch. You can find more information about them here.

There was also a special presentation for the five fastest ever English Channel Swimmers - Connor Gunn, Rachael Lee, Tom Healy, Carol Cashell and Owen O'Keefe, with Keith Barry receiving a Guinness World Record award as the fastest male swimmer to ever get across the North Channel.

David Conraide received ILDSA Senior Best Newcomer title, while Chris Judge was given the ILDSA Margaret Smith Award. A full report will be available on the ILDSA website, and the date for the 13th Annual ILDSA Awards has been set at November 7 in Galway.