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Kilrush’s Fionnuala to be inducted into Hall of Fame

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A Kilrush woman is to be inducted into the Irish Long Distance Swimming Hall of Fame.

Fionnuala Walsh will be among four swimmers and six individuals in total honoured in the hall of fame next year. She grew up swimming at Cappa and later became the first Irish female and 89th individual in the world to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming by successfully completing the English Channel 2012, Catalina Channel 2013 and Manhattan Island Swim 2014.

She is the only swimmer to have completed an English Channel crossing in October. In August of 2012, an event unprecedented in English Channel swimming history saw Fionnuala swim the Channel and was roughly 200 metres from the finish at Wissant beach when her swim was aborted on safety grounds. A dense fog had covered the English Channel that night and it was unsafe to proceed, her swim would never be certified or recognised.

Walsh returned on 9th October that year but in a cruel twist of fate mother nature was again unkind. Her determined nature shone through and she completed an official crossing in 15 hours 26 minutes.

In 2015 she set a new Irish record for the Strait of Gibraltar in 3 Hours and 30 minutes. Together with International Marathon Hall of Famers Ned Denison and Liz Fry in 2016 they completed the first ever group marathon, anticlockwise around Anacapa Island, Santa Barbara, California 18km.

Other Marathon swims include: Cork to Cobh 16km 2010, Galway Bay Swim 2011, Swim Round the Pier Brighton 10km 2012 and Lough Erne 25km Ladies Champion 2013.

In 2012 Fionnuala was Irish Long Distance Swimming Association Female swimmer of the year and won the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation JLDSC award for the most successful swim against all odds. She was Swim Ireland Open Water Swimmer of the Year in 2015.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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