Henry O'Donnell boat

Donegal man finswimming around Ireland for charity

A Co Donegal man has taken on the unique challenge to be the first person to finswim around Ireland, and is raising funds to help support those affected by cancer. 

Henry O’Donnell from Carrickfin has led a colourful life: a former member of the Irish Army’s Special Forces and triathlete, he came back from a paralysing neck injury in 1992 to medal for Ireland at the 1998 World Masters Swimming Championships, and has now turned his mind to finswimming.

Henry is aiming to become the first person to circumnavigate the entire Irish coast using this swimming method which requires the use of fins or flippers, a snorkel and a triathlon suit, and is known to be particularly energy-draining.

He set off from his native Carrickfin beach on September 17 and hopes to return to that point within a year. 

Henry is using the swim to promote a number of causes, including contributing to research into antimicrobrial resistance in recreational waters, the Irish language and water safety on behalf of Water Safety Ireland. Henry hopes the challenge will also raise vital funds for services for cancer patients through the Irish Cancer Society.

We wish Henry the very best of luck as he sets out to complete this extraordinary feat!