Games Spotlights – Open Water Swimming

Ten brave athletes took to the water in Seapoint, Dun Laoighaire on Saturday 16th June, day 2 of Ireland Games, to compete in the very first Ireland Games Open Water Swim competition.

Until now, open water swimming has been a non competitive sport in Special Olympics Ireland. The swim on Saturday was the first time it was included in the 13 sports of and Ireland Games and it is qualifier for the World Summer Games 2019 in Abu Dhabi where Open Water Swimming athletes of Team Ireland will take to slightly warmer waters!

All 10 athletes started together to massive cheers from the gathered crowd. Supported in the water by the Civil Defence and volunteer kayakers and paddle boarders they faced in to a 1000m swim. They were supported from shore by the Seapoint Lifeguards of Dun Laoighre Rathdown and volunteer spotters who kept a close eye on them for the duration of the race.

Heading clockwise around a series of 3 buoys the crowd followed their progress through binoculars and cheered them home from the last buoy.

Three members of the 8th Port Scout Group were on hand to help present the medals along with guests Peter Keegan, CEO Bank of America Merryl Lynch, Gina Quinn, President of National College of Ireland and Sybil Mulcahy from TV3.

Just after the Special Olympics Athletes emerged from the water 3407 swimmers from Leinster Open Sea took part in the annual Garda Swim Club Special Olympics Charity Race.

This event takes place each year to raise funds for Special Olympics Eastern Region, and this year €3,000  was raised.  A special thank you to David Campbell, Clodagh Kiernan and Cathal Middleton from the Garda Swim Club who stepped into management roles for both the fundraising swims and the official Ireland Games swim and ensured that all athletes and swimmers had a safe and enjoyable swim.

After a glorious few hours in Seapoint and spectacular swims from all the athletes they headed back to the National Aquatic Centre to regroup with their fellow teammates and take part in the pool relays.


Name Surname Club City Delegation
Christopher Heverin Cluainin Day Centre Ballina Connaught
Keith Butler Viking Swimmers Special Olympics Club Dublin 12 Eastern
Eoin Donohoe Phoenix Flyers SO Club Swords Eastern
Patrick Egan D6 Special Olympics Club Dublin 14 Eastern
Aisling Beacom  Blue Dolphins Special Olympics Club Wicklow Town Eastern
Eoin Tully Viking Swimmers Special Olympics Club Lucan Eastern
Tony Ryan Blue Dolphins Special Olympics Club Wicklow Town Eastern
Nicole Redmond D6 Special Olympics Club Dublin 16 Eastern
Brendan O’Connell Kerry Stars SO Club Tralee Munster
Connor McClorey Newry City SOC Newry Ulster