May 06, 2020

Swim Ireland were very sorry to hear of the passing of champion swimmer Maureen Simpson this past weekend. President of Swim Ireland in 1979, Maureen was firstly a 200m and 400m Freestyle national champion over many years, before going on to play an integral role in the development of our sport in Ireland across many decades, she volunteered in a number of key roles including coaching with Bangor SC, education officer, team manager and official with Team Ireland swimmers in Munich in 1972. Our thoughts are with Maureen’s family and all who knew her as this time.

Due to lock-down, the family will have a small service and will do something to celebrate her life at a later date.

Our thoughts are with the Simpson family at this time.

Obituary

Having learned to swim in Bangor in the 1930’s, Maureen Lloyd went on to win a total of 9 individual Irish titles as well as four national relay titles between 1948 and 1952 for Bangor ASC. This included the 100 freestyle once, the 200m freestyle four times and the 400m freestyle four times. Maureen (now Simpson) was to spend the next thirty plus years working in the coaching, development and administration of swimming. She served on many of the Association’s sub-committees and made a significant contribution to the establishment of educational standards in the teaching and coaching of swimming in Ireland in her role as Education Officer. She helped coach Bangor in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, she was Team Manager with a number of international Irish Teams and a swimming official with the Irish Olympic Team at Munich in 1972.

As a qualified architect, she worked for the Northern Ireland Sports Council advising on new facilities and used her intimate knowledge of competitive swimming coupled with her technical expertise in assisting her husband Hugo in the design of the first indoor swimming pool in Bangor which opened in 1979. 1979 was a key year for Maureen, who having been President of the Ulster Branch in 1969, became the first women President of the IASA. Maureen remained in touch with swimming as President of Bangor ASC and had a dream fulfilled when the new 50m pool opened in Bangor. She died on 3rd May 2020 after suffering for a number of years with dementia, but she still has many fond memories of her swimming days and was able to hear about her beloved Bangor SC celebrating its centenary in 2019.

She was married for over 60 years to her soul mate Hugo who passed away in 2017. She leaves behind two daughters, Shelley and Karen, a son, Conrad (who represented Ireland at two Olympics for sailing), 4 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. She will be sadly missed and was a great inspiration and mentor to many swimmers through the years.