The Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame was created in 2017. At the time several representatives from Ireland had been inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF):
- Ted Keenan – Honour Swimmer (1984)
- Billy Wallace – Honour Administrator (1999)
- Ned Denison – Honour Administrator (2012)
- Stephen Redmond – Honour Swimmer (2017)
- Irish Long Distance Swimming Association “ILDSA” – Honour Organization (2012)
Ted Keenan had passed away in 2013. The living four inductees agreed an approach, “Grandfathered” themselves into the Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, generated a list of nominees and voted for the Class of 2018 Inductees.
All swimmers and contributors must have lived in Ireland for the years of meritorious involvement in the sport or be Republic of Ireland citizens (regardless of domicile) or be UK Citizens who spent most of their youth in Ireland. All currrent and future Honourees of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame who meet this requirement will automatically be included in the Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.
For swimmers, their record of solo swims of 10k of more in natural open water is considered. The rules and costume regulations in place by the local accreditation bodies must be met. For famous marathon swims this mean togs – however some elite swims (like FINA races) allow/require wetsuits. For new and innovative marathon swims other rules and costume regulations will be noted and allowed on nominations. Relay swims will not be considered.
For contributors this can include administrators, coaches, crew, media, organisations, pilots, sponsors, volunteers, etc. The key consideration is making a real contribution/difference to the sport.
Typically, this will be a single sheet outlining their accomplishments/contributions together with contact details. Individuals can be nominated for several categories. A nomination is not intended to be made public, is not considered as an honour from Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and lobbying for selection will discourage voters.
Please note that there are more than 1,000 marathon swimmers who met the citizenship/resident eligibility criteria (two data points: 150 known marathon swimmers from County Cork alone and 96 English Channel solo swimmers). For contributors, there were also more than 1,000 who filled roles as administrators, coaches, crew, media, organisations, pilots, sponsors, volunteers, etc. While anyone can nominate a swimmer or contributor, please note the numbers above and the emphasis that Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame will honour only only a small number.
All living honorees will be given a vote – which generally will be annually.
All accepted nominations will be placed on the next ballot and remain active for up to five years as long as there is reasonable support by the voters each year. The Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame may opt to add to the nomination where additional marathons or contributions take place.
No discussion or feedback will be provided by any voter on the selection process – so nominators/nominees should not inquire. The future Inductees (or family if they are no long living) will be contacted privately to ensure that they accept the honour and to further fact check and update their biographies/obtain a photo.