Event Summary:

  • Name: Martin Duggan Memorial Swim
  • Day & Date: Friday, 6 June 2014
  • Location: River Blackwater, Fermoy
  • Distance: 2 km (1 km upstream & 1 km downstream)
  • Wetsuits: Optional
  • Entry & Cost: See our Entry page…

About the Event:

Photograph – Unknown

The second Blackwater (Fermoy) Swim on a fine summer’s evening in 2000.

The 3.5 km stretch of the River Blackwater that is held back by Fermoy Weir has always been a popular stretch of water for swimmers. Swimming in the river was once the summer recreation of choice in the town of Fermoy, but this has greatly declined and was only continued more recently by locals such as Tom Baker, Leo Bartley and a few others. Over the last 15 years, the sport of open water swimming has grown immensely and, thanks to the efforts of Dave Mulcahy, swimming in the river has seen a rebirth in Fermoy. In the summer of 1999, Dave led a group from Cork Masters SC to Fermoy to join Tom and Leo for the first annual Blackwater Swim…

Photograph – George O'Keefe

Swimmers and spectators ready for the start of the Blackwater Swim in 2007.

All who came enjoyed the swim and numbers attending grew steadily over the following years. Sadly, we have no records of most of these swims until 2007. From then onwards, though, we do have good records of who attended and the swims that they did and these can be found in our Results Archive. You can also find plenty of photographs of past events on our Facebook page, which is always kept well up-to-date.

In 2009, the event changed its name from the “Blackwater Swim” to the “Martin Duggan Memorial Swim” in memory of Martin Duggan, who was only 14 years old when he drowned tragically in the River Blackwater in Fermoy on 12 July 2007. Since then, the aim of the swim has been to encourage people of all ages, but especially young people, to take part in open water swimming and learn to enjoy swimming outdoors in a way that is safe. Another aim of the swim is to show the people of Fermoy that our beautiful River Blackwater is not something to be feared and avoided, but rather something to be respected and enjoyed.

Photograph – FCC

Sylvain Estadieu during the 6 km race in 2009 when the event was renamed the Martin Duggan Memorial Swim. Sylvain swam the English Channel in September 2009. He has since developed a strange obsession with butterfly and is planning an English Channel solo swim on this stroke!

We are an inclusive event and so welcome both wetsuited and non-wetsuited swimmers from all Swim Ireland-affiliated clubs. For 2013, we are very happy to announce that there will be four vouchers (€25 each) for the sports shop, The Edge Sports in Cork, to be won at the Martin Duggan Memorial Swim . These vouchers will be awarded to the fastest swimmers in each of the following four categories:

  • Male (Non-wetsuit)
  • Female (Non-wetsuit)
  • Male (Wetsuit)
  • Female (Wetsuit)

As well as prizes for the fastest swimmers, we have another big prize for the youngest swimmer to finish the swim on the day. That is the Martin Duggan Memorial Shield. The Duggan family kindly donated this prize to the event in 2009.

Photograph – George O'Keefe

The second wave of swimmers starting the Martin Duggan Memorial Swim in 2010.

We are very grateful for the support of Fermoy Rowing Club, who generously allow us to use their facilities, the Blackwater Sub-Aqua Club Search & Recovery Unit, who provide first class safety cover every year, and a host of other volunteers and organisations who make it possible for us to run the event. Any money left over after the  costs of running the event are covered are donated to the Blackwater SAC S&R Unit (link above) who provide a vital service for the area on an entirely voluntary basis.

External Links:

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