- To harness and develop each member’s swimming ability
- To provide professional coaching of the highest quality
- To nurture competitive performance and skills in an atmosphere of unity and friendship
Cork Masters Swimming Club was formed in 1979 by Susan Maguire, an American living in Ireland at the time, and Martin Hayes to cater for the increasing numbers of people who wanted to use swimming as a method of achieving fitness and good health. Since then the club has extended its activities and has been to the forefront of the development of Masters swimming in Ireland. Masters swimming maxim is participation and fitness and is confined to adults over 18 years of age - well demonstrated by swimmers in Cork Masters ranging from brave beginners to former Olympians. Initially there was a very small membership but over the years this has increased to the stage where there is now a waiting list. We hope to put in chronological order the outstanding events in the history of the club.
1982 The first Munster Masters Swimming Championships held in Churchfield Pool and attracted a large number of swimmers from all over Munster. Competitions were also held at E.S.B. pool in Dublin.
1985 Cork Masters sent a team of 17 to compete in The Inaugural World Masters Games in Toronto, Canada and their Ladies Relay Team set a new World Masters Record in 4 x 100m Freestyle (Deirdre Sheehan, Jane Jolly, Mary Brickley and Eileen Hemple) The same squad also took silver in the Medley Relay. In the Mixed Medley Relay Tom Browne, Donncha O’Dea, Jane Jolly and Deirdre Sheehan also won gold establishing a new European Record . Irish Masters Swimming had at last arrived on the world stage. Tadgh Philpott and Vince Cassidy Ger Dennehy Mary O’Herlihy, Brenda Ryan, Brian Cliffordalso travelled and competed. Martin Hayes travelled as Coach.
This was the start of Cork Masters travelling around the world to compete in International events such as British, Italian , European and Australian Masters Championships.
1986 CMSC travelled to Rome for Italian Championships - and had to move from outdoor pool to indoor due to fallout from Chernobyl nuclear explosion.
1989 Team travelled to Coventry, England for British Masters and won several gold medals. Among the gold medal winners were Deirdre Sheehan, Jane Jolly, and Mary O’Herlihy. Team medal winners included Brenda Ryan, Tom Browne, Nick Emerson.
1990 Jane Jolly travelled to Rio de Janeiro for World Masters Champions and the Club sent a team to Cardiff for Welsh Masters. Gold medals were won at all these events.
1991 Cork Masters hosted the Inaugural Irish Open Masters Swimming attracting swimmers from Ukraine, East Germany, America, Great Britain. While competition was keen, friendships were forged and the comradeship which exists at these meetings was nurtured. The Championships have been held in Cork bi-annually since and in 1997 attracted an entry of 495 swimmers from across the world. Report From Shannon O'Sullivan Los Angeles: " When The Irish Eyes are Swimming, Sure You'll Have a Grand Time in Cork"
1993 A team of 17 travelled to Stuttgart, Germany for the European Championships again with great success - team included Katherine Mahon, Deirdre Sheehan Snr and Deirdre Sheehan Junior, Brenda Ryan, Mary O’Herlihy, Ossie Schmidt ,Jane Jolly.
1994 Team of Deirdre Sheehan, Jane Jolly and Deirdre Sheehan Jnr. Participated in World Masters Games in Brisbane, Australia and won numerous gold medals
1996 9 swimmers travelled to Sheffield for the World Masters Championships and all came home with medals despite the fact that America had an official entry of 319 swimmers, Germany 484, Britain 468, Japan 468
1997 Team participated in European Championships in Prague and individual medals were won by Deirdre Sheehan, Stella Myler and Mary Lee in addition to silver in the ladies relay team of - Jane Jolly, Brenda Ryan, Mary O’Herlihy and Katherine Mahon.
2005 Cork was The European Capital of Culture and Cork Masters once again hostedThe Irish Open Masters Championships as a designated official sporting event. In addition to the international travel Cork Masters competed and thoroughly enjoyed the social aspect of national galas including Tralee and Dublin.
OPEN WATER SWIMMING
In 2005, the European Capital of Culture year, Joe Donnelly a member of Cork Masters revived the famous Lee Swim - which had not been held for a large number of years due to the poor quality of the river water. Cork City Council had cleaned up with the river with a new sewerage treatment plant situated in the lower harbour and consequently it was possible to safely swim in the Lee again. The swim has been held annually since and attracts a very large entry from home and abroad in addition to the spectacle for the citizens of Cork.
Open water swimming has become very popular with many members spending the summer sea swimming. Every year there is an open water swim around Sandycove Island which is hosted by Cork Masters and is usually the final competition of the open water season. Members are now competing in triathlon events and currently four members of Cork Masters have successfully completed individual crossings of the English Channel.
The Mayor of San Francisco honoured the club designating October 2nd as “Cork Masters Swim Day” following the participation of 100 Irish swimmers in the Alcatraz to San Francisco swim in 2006. On 30th November 2009, the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the Club was celebrated with a Gala Dinner Dance in Maryborough Hotel and a film of the history of the club was commissioned and screened on the night. Some of the founding members of the club, Susan Maguire (who travelled from America), Tom Cross and Dave Condon attended. At present the Club has over 100 members who will be competing nationally and internationally over the coming months