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Martin Cullen

From Openwaterpedia
Martin Cullen is an inductee in the Ireland Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in its inaugural class of 2018
Martin Cullen, one of the fathers of Cork marathon swimming in Ireland and is an Honour Contributor (Administrator) in the Hall of Fame – Marathon Swimming Ireland of the inaugural Class of 2018.

Martin Cullen (1952 - 2016) was an Irish open water swimmer, official observer, member of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association, prolific marathon swim organiser, crew, reporter and administrator in every Irish Province to Dover.

Event Organiser[edit]

He organized the 5K Challenge Swim, the 1K Fun Swim, the 15K Challenge Swim, the Irish National 10K Championship Swim, the Cleggan-to-Inishbofin Swim, Inishbofin, the Irish 10K and 15K Championship and Irish 5K and the Lough Sheelin Irish National Swim.


Cullen is is an Honour Contributor (Administrator) 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 Kieran Fitzgerald, Honour Swimmer Jack McClelland, Honour Swimmer Deirdre Ward, Honour Contributor Eilís Burns (Coach), Honour Contributor Brian Meharg (Pilot), and Honour Contributor Quinton Nelson (Pilot).


  • He led the acceleration of marathon swimming at the turn of the 20th century in Ireland. From 1990 to 2004, there was an average of one English Channel solo success a year (19 in total). Cullen made major contributions that had long-term impact in Ireland: he organized eight channel relay teams in 2004 and 2005, started the 8-mile (12.8 km) Inishbofin Island Challenge and 19.3 km (12-mile) Killary Harbour race, organised a Channel dinner in Dublin Castle, and led the way in generating media attention. Part of his legacy is the increase of English Channel soloers from Ireland at an average rate of more than seven per year since 2005 (81 in 11 year for a total of 100 to date) .
  • He swam in English Channel relays in 2004 and 2005. One of the highlights of the 2005 relay was swimming with his 13 year old daughter Lucy.
  • He completed a solo swim from Cleggan to Inisbofin Island.
  • He is revered as one of the fathers of Cork marathon swimming.

External links[edit]