One of Ireland’s sporting greats, Fermanagh swimming talent Ted Keenan, whose achievements are legendary, passed away on Tuesday night, September 24, 2013.

The well-known and highly regarded Enniskillen man, whose peaceful death occurred in the County Care Home, will be laid to rest following his funeral this morning, Thursday, at St. Michael’s Church, Enniskillen.

The 78-year-old, who would have been 79 this Sunday, September 29, remained the only Irish man and only the second man in the world to have conquered all three Channel swims - the English, North and Bristol Channels.

On August 13, 1972, Ted swam the English Channel in 18 hours and 11 minutes and his eldest son was the youngest person ever to accompany a swimmer on the English Channel swim. (At Ted’s insistence he was in the accompanying boat.) This achievement was followed by the North Channel swim on August 11, 1973, completed in 18 hours, 27 minutes. (The North Channel had only been done by two people when Ted swam it).

The Bristol Channel was accomplished on July 17, 1975 in 14 hours and 26 minutes.

To have conquered all three Channels remained a proud development for Ted and his family; his incredible accomplishment was matched by only one other man in the world, Kevin Murphy, an English man.

In 1984, there was major recognition and an occasion of great joy for Ted whose name was included in the Fort Lauderdale International Swimming Hall of Fame in Florida (USA); his name is alongside some of the world’s greatest long distance swimmers and Olympians.

The last of his generation of Keenans to pass away, Ted had been a joiner by trade and he looked after various major contracts in his profession as a site agent. He was a site agent on the old Erne Hospital.

In ensuing years, he was Area Superintendent for Enterprise Ulster. He retired in ground maintenance with the Western Education and Library Board (for Fermanagh and West Tyrone.) Ted’s funeral will be held this morning, Thursday. The removal will be from his late home at Derrin Road, Enniskillen at 10.15am for 11am mass at St. Michael’s Church, Enniskillen. Burial will take place at the Convent Cemetery, Enniskillen, beside his late wife Bridie, who passed away in 1981.

Ted is survived by his son, Brian and wife Marie, Enniskillen; son Tony and wife Yvonne, Enniskillen; and daughter Chanele and husband Scott Fawcus, South Yorkshire. (Chanele was born on March 14, 1973 and took her name after the English Channel swim).

Also surviving Ted are seven grandchildren: Pauric, Eimear, Carla, Dwayne, Jack, Darcey and Erin.

The funeral arrangements are by funeral directors, Enda Love, Enniskillen.