23rd May, 2020

Dear friends of open water swimming,

As Open water swimming in all its benefits grows at a phenomenal rate The Irish Long Distance Swimming Association [ILDSA] are undertaking a project to record the history and success of open water swimmers. Those who have swam a marathon open water swim distance of 10k or more in either togs or wetsuit, in all waters of the Island of Ireland. This ILDSA research project has fifteen 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 are making a 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 us as much information you have of the swim or swims you have completed. [email protected]

By Phone: 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.


Call the Representatives from your province; phone numbers are below:

 – Ulster Pádraig Mallon +447879413131
David Burke +447523141457
Jacqueline McClelland +447730308958

 – Munster Kevin Williams +353866030204
Ossi Schmidt +353868151696

 – Leinster Kevin Cooper +353862563608
Ger Devin +353879002455

 – Connaught Fergal Madden +353872168110
Annette Cullen +353876292588 – Research project lead

At this time, we are excluding swims which were ‘mass starts’ or ‘group starts’. One exception here is 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 10K may be considered if they are deemed as epic / 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 on to 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.

Yours in sport,

Pádraig Mallon

ILDSA Chairperson

Stephen Redmond - Baltimore to Fastnet to Schull

Stephen Redmond – Baltimore to Fastnet to Schull 5th September 2012. The total distance swam was 22.1 nm or 40.95km.

ILDSA 101 Camlough Road, Newry BT35 7EE

ILDSA History call Dear Friend of OWS (download PDF)

ILDSA History call Press Release (download PDF)