Honour Swimmers

Rachel Doyle

Rachel Doyle

Rachel Doyle has completed the following marathons:

  • Across Lake Geneva 14km in August 2017
  • North Channel (after an unsuccessful attempt in 2015) on July 31, 2016, in 13 hours and 4
  • English Channel on August 7-8th 2012 in 16 hours and 11 minutes
  • Dun Laoghaire to Bray Head return 28 km in August 2014
  • Lough Erne 17 km in 2011 and 10 km in 2010
  • Galway Bay 13 km in July 2013 in 3 hours and 1 minutes
  • Malta to Gozo return 11 km in August 2019
  • Camlough 10 km in 2010 and 2011 plus Lough Dan 10km in 2010.

Rachel also completed an ice mile in Amstel, The Netherlands on January 19, 2018, in 27 minutes
and 21 seconds and competed in the World Ice Championships (1 km) in January 2017 in
Burghausen, Germany. Her time was 19 minutes and 25.43 seconds and took 4th in age group 25-29.


John Earls

John Earls

Marathon swimming is now a reasonable popular (while still niche) sport – with 108 swimmers from
Ireland having soloed the English Channel (as of end 2020). It started slowly and steadily grabbed
the public’s attention through newspaper, radio then television coverage.

John Earls from Limerick took the hand-off from Jack McClelland (an Honor Swimmer in the Ireland
Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame) and generated significant interest, especially in the Republic

John Earls’ career highlights:

  • 1960 trained at Sandycove Island, Kinsale at age 18.
  • 1961 set to travel to Dover to attempt the English Channel but was struck by appendicitis (and never
  • 1963 swam Lower Lough Derg (Mountshannon to Killaloe) 10 miles in 6 hours and 30 minutes.
  • 1964 swam BLDSA Torbay 12.9 km with 5 International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF)
    Honorees – beat 1.
  • 1966 at age 24 swam in the prestigious Windermere International Championship (a MAJOR in the
    marathon world) 16.9 km with 4 IMSHOF Honorees.
  • 1967 Billy Wallace, an Honor Administrator in the Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, confirmed that John Earls was an active ILDSA member and leading organiser in the Republic.
  • 1968 swam Galway Bay from Blackhead to Silver Strand – west of Salthill. He was either the 3rd or 4th swimmer known to have completed the swim and complete ever (reported to be the 1st amateur) in 5 hours and 57 minutes – 1 hours 2 minutes faster than Jack McClelland.
  • 1968 swam the ILDSA race across Dublin Bay from Red Rock Howth to West Pier Dun Laoghaire in 4 hours and 40 minutes.
  • 1969 swam the BLDSA Windermere race 16.9 km with 4 IMSHOF Honorees.
  • 1969 the first to swim the 16 km from Cork to Cobh in 4 hours and 45 minutes.

John then handed over to Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honorees:  Ray Cossum and Ted
Keenan who swam the English Channel in 1970 and 1972, respectively.

Honour Contributor (Crew)

Robert Bohane

Robert Bohane

Robert is an accomplished marathon solo swimmer:

  • English Channel solo 2012 (12 hours 4 mins) following 2 unsuccessful attempts in 2010 and 2012.  His determination and epic battles helped inspire a second “generation” of Cork marathon swimmers and his experience of adversity was of value to future crews.
  • Around Valentia Island (27 km) 2013 – speed record
  • Skellig Michael to Portmagee (19 km) 2007 first time accomplished
  • Blackrock Village to Cobh (13 km) 2007
  • Sandycove to Speckled Door return (10 km) 2010
  • Oysterhaven to Sandycove vis sovereign rocks (10 km) 2020
  • Around the Old Head – Speckled Door to Garrylucas (10.5 km) 2019 (first group to accomplish the swim)
  • 8 laps of Sandycove Island on a Perigean (BIG) Tide – all thru the gap in the rocks at corner 1 (13km) 2019 (first group to accomplish the swim)
  • Garrettstown to Courtmacsherry (10km) 2021 (first group to accomplish the swim)
  • Ice Mile in below 5C (1.6 km) 2013 the first year Cork swimmers accomplished the swim – plus a second in 2015
  • One of 11 swimmers to accomplish 200 laps of Sandycove Island (1.6 km) in a year:  2010, 2012, 2019 and 2021 and one of 3 swimmers to accomplish 100 in a month (118 June 2010) 

Robert Bohane served as crew chief on marathon swims:

  • Around Valentia Island (27 km) 2008 first time accomplished – Ireland Marathon Hall of Fame Honouree Ned Denison  
  • Around Bere Island (24 km) 2013 only time accomplished – Ireland Marathon Hall of Fame Honouree Carol Cashell    
  • English Channel solo 2016 – Bernard Lynch
  • English Channel solo 2017 – Carol Cashell
  • English Channel solo 2019 – Jim Shalloo (first two trips to Dover he did not swim – Robert was on the second > Jim completed on the 3rd trip)

Robert is a valued administrator as well:

The inspiration and lead organiser for: Around Beginish Island (5.5 km) 2009, 2010, 2012, 2018 and 2019 and Portmagee to Knightstown (7.5 km) 2019, 2011 and 2014.  

The inspiration for the Páraic Casey (Cork swimmer who died 1 km from France in 2012) memorial benches in Dover and Sandycove Island. 

The inspiration and organiser for the AED installation at Sandycove which was subsequently used in an incident.

The inspiration and organiser for: Organised the Around the Old Head Speckled Door to Garrylucas (10.5 km) 2019

The inspiration and organiser for: Organised swim from Kilmacsimon down the Bandon River past Kinsale to Sandycove (16 km) 2020

The inspiration and organiser for: Organised swim from Garrettstown to Courtmacsherry (10km) 2021

Robert has accompanied many newcomers young and old to the sport to swim around Sandycove and is one of the main organisers of the dawn swims April to September each year.