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Kristian O’Donovan, a local Entrepreneur from Glenbeigh and originally Derrylea, Tralee, Co. Kerry, became only the 51st Irish person to swim the English Channel yesterday with an impressive time of 13 hours, 48 minutes.

Kristian reached the Continental European coast at Cap Gris-Nez last night, shortly after midnight local time, after a gruelling 13 hours and 48 minutes of non-stop swimming.

The co-founder of Tralee based company Flúirse Education Solutions - which own and operate among others, the popular Pitman training centre in Tralee, which specialises in delivering career based training - commenced the momentous challenge shortly after 9am from Dover, Kent, 4 hours before high tide.

Real-time GPS tracking on board Kristian’s pilot boat, Gallivant, allowed family, friends, neighbours and hundreds of people worldwide to track the swim route in detail to mainland France.

Even though the distance between Dover, England to Cap Gris-Nez, France is over 20 miles; given the strong channel currents and powerful spring tides, the swim route follows an S-curve, meaning the overall distance to swim was closer to 30 miles.

Kristian grew up in Tralee, attending Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí. As a teenager he swam competitively with Kingdom swimming club in Tralee. Later, Kristian spent many summers working as a Life Guard in Ballybunion Beach and previously Rossbeigh Beach, where he met his wife Muireann.

Most recently, Kristian volunteered as head coach with Killarney Swimming Club where he coached the Senior Squad of 20 swimmers, 6 of which went on to compete in the Irish Age Group Championships.

Kristian started his training for the Channel Swim in August 2014, motivated by a personal goal and a determination to push himself to a new level and to his physical limit.

Most remarkable, is the fact that Kristian trained alone for the vast majority of his training programme, starting initially with hours of early morning swimming in the pool at Tralee Sports and Leisure Complex, before moving to the open sea in April, swimming in Rossbeigh with the support of his cousin Micheál Griffin and his brother’s in law Tom Moynihan and Padraig Griffin.

Most recently, in final preparation for his swim, Kristian attended a nine day open sea camp at Ned  Denison’s Training Camp in Sandycove, Cork. Here, he was joined by experienced open water and channel swimmers Zara Bullen and his former UL classmate Thomas Goulding, who also completed the Cross Channel swim in 2014. Both joined Kristian yesterday as key members of his support crew.

Kristian’s Pilot boat, Gallivant was captained by James Willi with a support crew on board comprising Kristian’s father-in-law and former Kerry selector Kevin Griffin, cousins Sheila Griffin and Micheál Griffin, and business partner Tomás Finneran.

Mr. Willi commented that only 40% of those that attempt the swim finish successfully, with the majority conceding defeat to the powerful waterway.

Kristian now becomes only the second ever Kerryman to complete the arduous swim across the busiest shipping channel in the world, with his former Ballybunion lifeguard and friend Diarmuid Boyle completing the swim in 2009.

“This is my All-Ireland medal” commented Kristian, minutes after his amazing feat. “My real inspiration is my brother-in-law Cathal, who has Down Syndrome, and had to overcome many obstacles, he’s the bravest swimmer I know”.

Hundreds of messages of best wishes and congratulations came flooding in online to Kristian’s Facebook page, where each step of the swim was documented, while Kristian’s wife Muireann, and children Rían (12), Seodhla (9), Aoibhin (7), Iarla (4) and Senan (2) watched nervously from their family home in Glenbeigh. It was a double celebration for the family, with Kristian’s eldest Rían winning gold in the Community Games Spikeball Final in Athlone the previous day.

When asked about his next challenge, Kristian explained, “It’s back to the office now, there’s plenty of work to catch-up on back at Pitman Training”.

However, it was his son Rían who left us with the best quote of the day, which was texted to the crew to show to his Dad mid-swim:

“Good luck Dad, but I’ll beat your record some day!”



Kristian’s English Channel Swim Route (Monday 17th August 2015)



 Message from Kristian’s eldest Rían to his dad!



Kristian and his support crew shortly before he commenced his swim [From left: Kevin Griffin, Thomas Goulding, Kristian O’Donovan, Zara Bullen, Tomás Finneran, Micheál Griffin, Sheila Griffin]



Pilot Boat "Gallivant" 36ft Dutch Steel motor cruiser. 

She has ADSA / DOT Small commercial craft & workboat registration: Class 2 (60 miles from safe haven)


Hour 7, Kristian swims on as he is passed by a P&O Ferry


Posted by Super User on

We are delighted to announce the launch of our 2015 Online Summer Course Programme for teachers. This year's programme is our most exciting yet!

We have been delivering training to teachers since 2007, when they pioneered the very first programme of Online ICT Training Courses for Teachers in Ireland. Since then, we have gone on to successfully train thousands of teachers across Ireland (and beyond!) in skills such as school blogging and effective use of Interactive Whiteboards in the classroom and more recently school management and leadership.

This year, teachers will experience a unique and even easier (and more fun) way to complete their Summer Course with Fluirse. This means teachers can complete their course with the flexibility and convenience of online learning, but with the added opportunity to meet and share ideas and experiences with other Teachers from across Ireland.

We've also sided with teachers in once again keeping course fees the same as last year. Teachers can now enrol on any Fluirse online teacher summer course for just €69 (subject to available places).

This year's programme incorporates 6 education-specific ICT related Training courses, each designed to give teachers the skills to confidently embrace the use of ICT and online resources in their schools and classrooms:

  • Effective and Engaging Classroom Presentations 
  • Interactive Whiteboards in everyday teaching 
  • Social Media for Education – Application in the Classroom
  • Blogs and Blogging in the classroom
  • Web Design for Schools – Optimizing Teaching and Learning
  • Web Technology and Cloud Computing in Education

Once again, our programme also includes Ireland's only dedicated programme of School Management and Leadership courses, designed specifically for those in a leadership role within a school context, or even for those aspiring to those roles. Teachers and Principals on this programme will be mentored and supported by Dr. Seamus O'Donovan, who will draw on his extensive teaching, mentoring and research experience to help and guide all participants to successful completion, no matter what level or experience.

The 2015 Management Online Programme includes the following courses:

  • Characteristic Management Skills for School Leaders 
  • Essential Leadership Competences for School 
  • Leadership Skills for School Improvement 

For more information and to enrol on any course, contact the Flúirse Summer Course team by calling 076 602 5026 or visit our New Online Summer Course homepage ( ).

Fluirse has a young, exciting and enthusiastic team, each team member is dedicated to making the company brilliant by delivering remarkable service whenever possible, whilst both co-founders have personally invested in the company with no other interests in any other companies, and are 100% focused on continuing to grow and develop the company. Since 2010, we have continued to grow the company, returning to profit in 2011 with increasing profits in 2012 and projecting 2013 to be our most profitable to date!

So why support our growth?

Recently, we were presented with the opportunity to expand the training division of our business outside Kerry and Cork. We already operate 2 of Ireland’s most successful training centres with record numbers of students and the highest training to employment rate in the country. To open a third centre in a large city is a logical and sensible step for the company, allowing for substantial synergies and economies of scales across 3 locations.

How does it work?

The following short clip explains how this crowd funding investment works:


So what next?

If you like what we do and want to support us in growing our organisation and creating more valuable jobs in Ireland, then visit our Linked Finance page where you can invest as little as €50...when combined with others' investment, a small investment can mean a big difference! (..and you'll start earning a welcome 7% annual return on your investment immediately!)