Ted Keenan is fondly remembered as one of ‘Ireland’s sporting greats’. Born in Enniskillen, Ted was an accomplished swimmer and was to become renowned for his strength of character and determination to achieve personal goals.

Ted raised money for many charities using his strong sporting talent.

Ted started swimming in earnest in 1967; from then on rigorous daily training became his routine, combined with countless trips to the sea-side resort of Bundoran where he increased his resilience for the long distance swims.

In 1967, Ted swam Lough Erne and completed a challenge swim from Mullaghmore to Bundoran.

On the 13 August 1972, Ted Keenan became the first Irish man to swim the English Channel; a year later he swam the North Channel and in 1975 he swam the Bristol Channel.

He was the first Irish man and the second in the world to achieve this remarkable trio of swims. In addition to this, Ted completed many swimming challenges in his own home county in order to raise money for chosen charities.

In 1984, Ted Keenan’s achievements were formally acknowledged when his name was included in the Fort Lauderdale International Swimming Hall of Fame in Florida (USA). “Ted Keenan” appeared alongside some of the world’s greatest long distance swimmers and Olympians, an achievement which Ted and his family treasured.

The ILDSA are indebted to Ted’s family – Tony, Brian and Chanele – for this treasure trove of stories on one of Ireland’s greatest swimmers.

Family Recollections




Hall Of Fame

Hall of Fame