Fionnuala Walsh

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Fionnuala Walsh (Co. Clare) is an open water swimmer from Ireland. She is the first Irish female to claim a Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.


English Channel Swims

On 9 August 2012 in an event unprecedented in English Channel swimming history, Walsh swam the English Channel and was roughly 200 metres from the finish at Wissant Beach in France, but her swim was aborted on safety grounds when she was not permitted to walk on to the beach to officially complete the swim. A dense fog had covered the English Channel that night and it was unsafe to proceed toward the shore alone with a dingy to officially complete the swim, under Channel Swimming rules her swim would never be certified or recognized. There were two other swimmers who suffered the same cruel fate that night.

Walsh returned on 9 October 2012 when Mother Nature was again unkind, but she completed an official crossing of the English Channel in 15 hours 26 minutes under the escort of Paul Foreman.


Walsh won the Female Swimmer of the Year award in 2012 by the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association and was awarded the Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club Award for the most successful swim against all odds in 2012.

Foireann Snamh Garibaldi

Walsh was part of the Foireann Snamh Garibaldi team that swam across the English Channel in August 2011. The relay consisted of Sabrina Buselt, Joel Barnett, Catherine Sheridan, Kevin Williams, Fionnuala Walsh and Barbara Held who finished in 13 hours 52 minutes.

Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming

In addition to her English Channel crossing in 2012, Walsh became the first Irish woman to complete a Catalina Channel crossing on 29 September 2013 (CM) in 10 hours 43 minutes and a circumnavigation at the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim on 28 June 2014 and complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming.

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