A Dublin-based accountant is claiming to be the first man to swim between Ireland and Wales, but 47-year-old Eddie McGettigan's 29-hour ordeal may not be officially recognised because he wore a wetsuit.
Mr McGettigan swam the 40 miles between Tuskar Rock, off the Co Wexford coast, and North Bishop's Rock, off the Welsh coast. Mr McGettigan began his swim last Saturday. Along the route he encountered severe drops in water temperature and shoals of jellyfish, before finishing at about 10 p.m. on Sunday evening. The swim had taken him 29 hours.
Mr McGettigan said he had done the swim to raise money for the Special Olympics and to survive the "hostile conditions" of 12 Celsius (54 F) at the start of his swim.
It is thought, however, that despite the mammoth achievement, Mr McGettigan's feat may not be recognised because the wetsuit is banned by long-distance swimming authorities.
He added that he did not think it possible for anyone to swim between Ireland and Wales without a wetsuit.
Over the past 50 years, six men and one woman, none wearing wetsuits, swam the 20 miles between Co Antrim and Scotland, where the water is colder.
The Channel Swimming Association recognises crossings of the Straits of Dover only when swimmers wear a swim suit, goggles and a cap, and the British Long Distance Swimming Association also prohibits the use of wetsuits.
Given the lower temperatures of the Irish Sea and the longer distance between Ireland and Wales over the distance between Ireland and Scotland the route has not been overburdened with challengers - with or without wetsuits.