Kieran Fitzgerald is a marathon swimmer from Sligo, Ireland who is considered The Godfather of Irish Channel swimming.
Fitzgerald is an Honour Swimmer in the Hall of Fame – Marathon Swimming Ireland of the inaugural Class of 2018. His Class of 2018 includes Honour Swimmer Chris Bryan, Honour Swimmer Lisa Cummins, Honour Swimmer Jack McClelland, Honour Swimmer Deirdre Ward, Honour Contributor Eilís Burns (Coach), Honour Contributor Martin Cullen (Administrator), Honour Contributor Brian Meharg (Pilot), and Honour Contributor Quinton Nelson (Pilot).
Open Water Swimming Career Highlights
- He was the most accomplished and prolific marathon swimmer from Ireland between 1994 and 2008.
- He was the first Irishman to travel the world to swim and inspired the next generation of marathon swimmers from Ireland to keep exploring.
- He completed an English Channel crossing in 15 hours 23 minutes from England to France in 57.2°F (14°C) water as a 31-year-old on 26 September 1994.
- He completed a 45.8 km (28.5-mile) Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 1998, the first circumnavigation swim completed by an Irish swimmer in 8 hours 26 minutes in 18-19°C water as a 35-year-old on 13 July 1998.
- He completed a 14.4 km crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar in 7 hours 6 minutes from Spain to Morocco in 19°C water as a 34-year-old on 12 August 1997.
- He completed the 19.7 km Rottnest Channel Swim in Western Australia in a tandem swim with Pat Manning and Pat Nash, the first Irishman to do so, in 7 hours 23 minutes 32 seconds in 20°C water as a 39-year-old in February 2002
- He completed 3 over-and-back 18 km (11.2-mile) Lough Gill swims.
- He completed 17 km (10.6-mile) Lough Erne crossings 7 times.
- He completed the 12.8 km (8-mile) Inisbofin swim 2 times.
- He completed the 11.3 km (7-mile) Tory Island swim.
- He completed a 16.9 km (10.5-mile) crossing of Lake Windermere in England.
- He completed a 11.3 km (7-mile) Galway Bay swim.
- He completed 2 times 12.9 km (8-mile) Lough Allen 2 times.
- He completed the 14.5 km (9-mile) swim from Aughris to Rosses Point.
- He trained in the Sligo Park Leisure Centre 15-meter pool during the week and on weekends would travel to the Mount Errigal Hotel 20-meter pool in Letterkenny.
- He contributed over the years as a swim organiser and volunteer.
- He started the Lough Gill Swim with Paul McGarry and currently with a committee of 13 while raising over €185,000 for the North West Hospice.
- He crewed for Anne McAdam, Shay Dillon, Ciaran Cassidy and Feilim O'Maolain for their six-hour qualification swims in Lough Gill before they swam the English Channel.
- He crewed for Anne-Marie Ward on her successful English Channel crossing and North Channel crossing leading up to her selection as the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
- He served as a mentor for Stephen Redmond on his English Channel crossing, his first channel crossing as he ramped up for his Oceans Seven campaign.
- He was one of the organisers of the 2013 Irish Marathon Swim Series together with Pádraig Mallon, Ger Kennedy, and Ger Carty.
- Presenting The Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame On WOWSA Live
- Hall of Fame – Marathon Swimming Ireland Announced
- Irish Long Distance Swimming Association
- It's Marathon Swim In Ireland
- Strandhill: Kieran completes 8.5 miles swim
- Martin Cullen, Father Of Cork Marathon Swimming
- Lisa Cummins, Irish Luminary In The Open Water
- Eilís Burns, Irish Luminary In The Open Water
- Deirdre Ward, Irish Luminary In The Open Water
- Kieran Fitzgerald, Godfather Of Irish Channel Swimming
- World Open Water Swimming Association
- Open Water Swimming
- Marathon Swimming
- Irish Long Distance Swimming Association Official Website
- Daily News of Open Water Swimming
- A Look Back: Facing The Unexpected In Setúbal
- Class of 2019 Hall of Fame – Marathon Swimming Ireland