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Grainne Gunn

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Grainne Gunn was inducted in the Hall of Fame – Marathon Swimming Ireland as an Honour Swimmer in its Class of 2019

Gráinne Moss (née Gunn) is a 51-year-old Irish open water swimmer and mother of four living in Wellington, New Zealand. She is one of a small number of female chief executives in New Zealand, running Bupa, the country's largest aged-care home provider.​ She is the CEO of Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children in New Zealand where she is overseeing a fundamental overhaul of the New Zealand child protection system.


  • She was inducted as an Honour Swimmer in the Hall of Fame – Marathon Swimming Ireland in its Class of 2019.
  • She swam across the English Channel on 3 August 1987 in 11 hours 52 minutes at the age of 17. She was the first Irish woman to swim the English Channel.
  • She was selected to represent Ireland at the inaugural World Cup Long Distance Swimming Championships in 1986 at the age of 16. This was a pivotal event in the history of marathon swimming as the first 25 km held under the auspices of FINA. Gráinne finished 9th behind leading swimmers including Bridget Young, an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Famer.
  • She was the first swimmer from Ireland to complete a crossing of the 26 km Cook Strait in New Zealand in 12 hours 25 minutes on 6 March 2001 at the age of 31. Observer Philip Rush said that Grainne was the only swimmer to be pulled for less than 10 minutes due to a circling shark - and get back in to complete. This is a rule of the association and Philip said it showed incredible toughness.
  • She won the 17 km Ladies Irish Open Water Swimming Championship seven times (1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2001). She also finished 3rd in the 25th Anniversary swim in 2015.
  • She swam across Galway Bay twice.
  • She completed a 10.5-mile crossing of Windermere in England.
  • She completed a 25 km crossing at the English Open Water Champions Ullswater in 1996.
  • In 2000 she swam seven lakes in New Zealand in 7 days raising awareness and funds for water safety and continues to mentor other marathon swimmers. Swims in two of the lakes were of marathon distance: 11.5 km in Lake Tarawera 11.5 km and 10 km in Lake Rotorua.
  • She completed in New Zealand - Lake Taupo 40.2 km on 1 April 2021.

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