A team of six swimmers from Ireland have set an historic record - completing the North Channel swim from Ireland to Scotland, without wet suits, in winter.

The Walrus Swim Team - whose members are Niamh McCarthy, Declan Bradshaw, Vincent Donegan, Ger Kennedy, Colm Morris and Dave Berry - finished the epic challenge in just under 13 hours yesterday evening.

The swim, which normally takes place in the summer months, was completed in hour-long rotations.

It is considered the toughest of the seven ocean sea swims, which include the English Channel between England and France and the Cook Strait between North and South Islands in New Zealand.

The Irish Long Distance Swimming Association had placed strict medical conditions on all swimmers in order to participate in the swim.

Mr Kennedy swam the final leg, with the team arriving in Portpatrick in Scotland just before 8pm.

"It was great, but it was tough. Core body temperatures dropped as low as 28C, but we had our routine and full medical support. That all worked with military precision," Mr Berry said.

"We arrived in pitch darkness, but it was lovely to be welcomed into the harbour and to see our families and friends."

The swim is raising funds for the Gavin Glynn Foundation which supports families fighting childhood cancer.