The Swim has great history in the town and started in Ballina back in the 1950’s and was held for many years. For all those open water enthusiasts, Ballina as a town and the River Moy can proudly boast that the first man to swim the English Channel in 1875 also knew the town well, as he came here on several occasions as captain of a ship taking cargo to local merchants. While preparing for his Channel swim and place in history, Captain Matthew Webb became the first man to swim Killala Bay in 1974, from the Enniscrone (Sligo) side to Kilcummin (Mayo side). He used to train in the River Moy and boasted to fellow drinkers in McDonnells Pub on Bridge Street (now the Bolg Bui) that he would buy them all a drink after successfully accomplishing his Channel challenge. By taking part in the swim you too can become of part of this town’s great history.
The original swim started at the famous salmon weirs and swimmers would dive in there and swim to St. Muredach’s College. The winning cup, known as ‘The Bishop’s Cup’ was presented to the Swimming Club by the late Bishop O’Boyle many years ago. This year’s swim will start at the steps of the cathedral in the middle of Ballina and will finish at the slipway in the Quay encapsulating all of Ballina and the majestic River Moy . We look forward to welcoming you to our lovely town and wish you the best of luck. . With two distances on offer both the 600m and 2.5km and 600m youth distance swim this promises to be a fantastic opportunity to experience a competitive race in the scenic surrounds of the wild Atlantic way in the west of Ireland.