Jack McClelland is the first person to successfully swim from Tory Island to the Donegal mainland.
Forty-six year old Belfast swimmer Jack McClelland previously swam the English Channel in 1956. He completed the treacherous nine mile swim from Tory Island to the County Donegal mainland in six and a half hours, becoming the first man to swim across the Sound.
Strong fresh Atlantic water rushing into the Sound twice a day at a top speed of four or five knots makes the crossing between Tory Island and the mainland incredibly challenging for swimmers.
It may not have been the most difficult swim, but it certainly presented the most difficult currents that I’ve ever encountered.
Jack landed at Portferry, four miles from the jetty at Magheroarty, his planned destination point. He was greeted by his wife and presented with a trophy by the sponsors of his swim.
Following a bath and a meal, he spoke about his record breaking swim.
Having completed any swim, it gives you a sense of achievement, but more so because it’s something that I’ve wanted to do since I was a child, and because it's never been done before made it even more attractive.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 14 July 1968. The reporter is Joe Fahy.