About Us

CLWF’s Mission

Our mission is to improve access to and promote water based sporting activities in and around Camlough Lake and Carlingford Lough for the purposes of fun and competition.

To offer a range of innovative water based activities and events which foster the development of water sports amongst all sections of the community and that encourages people to pursue their sporting goals to whatever level they aspire and are capable of achieveing.

To continually strive to improve upon health and safety of water sports in the area.

CLWF’s Vision


To be recognised locally, regionally, nationally and internationally as an organisation which enables and encourages people of all abilities to achieve their personal goals in water-based sports.

To provide the best enviroment for the continued growth and development of water based sports by forging and maintaining links and partnerships with local, national and international authorities, facility providers and other sporting organisations.

A bit about Camlough


The name Camlough has been anglicized from the original “Chamlai” or “Camlaigh”, meaning crooked mountain, not crooked lake, despite contradictory popular opinion. The confusion arises from the assumed translation of “lough” to the irish “loch” or “locha” and indeed the proximity of a local, picturesque lake. However, the village is geographically situated at the foot of Camlough mountain while being a little too far from Camlough lake for the name to have been derived from this source.

How it all began!!

The Camlough Record Breakers Pull it off writes Tony Bagnall.
On Wednesday September 16th 2009 at 12.45pm under the fierce glare of BBC and UTV cameras Paul McCann rounded the last buoy to add 750meters to the 480 kilometers already in the bank, breaking the Guinness World Record for Long Distance Relay Swimming and set off frenzied celebrations around the lakeside. It was the climax of the seven days of continuous swimming, seven days of meticulous organization and almost a month of painstaking preparations. The original target was 500 liometres but the Camlough Record Breakers exceeded all expectations by totting up the unbelievable total of 684.750 kilometres (426.5miles). The relay took 232 hours 52 minutes and 30 seconds to complete. The incredible venture ended on Saturday, September 19th at 11am with Donna Cooke competing the final leg.
After she finished her last lap, main organisers Aoiffe Lynch and Padraig Mallon joined a group of children from the Newry Swimming Club who had trained in the lake all summer.
The swimmers took most of the glory but their input paled into insignificance compared to the massive efforts of the organisers and indeed most of the people from the Camlough Area. Those enthusiastic spectators thronged the lakeside night and day to cheer on the swimmers, they worked as timekeepers, and they sat by the clam waters of the lake and recorded everything that had happened so the world could be verified by Guinness.

Then there were the boatmen and canoeists, Dessie Murphy, Willie Smith, Raymie Thompson, Gerry McAnuff, Gerry Boyle, Dessie McMahon, Ciaran Burns and Dessie McParland ect..

There were also people who helped prepare food and drink, not to mention a host of businesses especially the firm of O’Hanlon and Farrell who supplied equipment and had men working at the lake for long spells.

Hundreds of people contributed to the record but some went away above the call of duty. Chief organisers Aoiffe Lynch and Padriag Mallon slogged their guts out to mastermind this marvelous achievement.

But there were many, many others, Paul McCann, who swam the glory leg, did most of the behind the scenes manual graft around the lake, toiled for perhaps 16 hours a day as did Milo McCourt. For two weeks before the event Milo was in the lake almost as often as the fish, working on the course and accessing the swimmers. His days began at 6am and continued well into the evening darkness.

Catherine Murphy (alias St Catherine of Camlough) who, as well as handling a lot of the paper work, spoke to him above to ensure fine weather for the event. (MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A WORD WITH HIM ABOVE AGAIN FOR 2011, YOUR MIND WASN’T ON IT FOR 2010).

According to the BBC’s Gordon Adair the longest spell of dry weather this year was 29 hours. Catherine got nine days with out a drop of the wet stuff. Truly amazing. She blotted her plaudits for their unstinting efforts include Patricia McParland, Aaron McCourt, Maria and Hugh Murphy, Mark and Helen McElroy and the Lord of the Lake Marty McComb.

From a swimming prospective the Newry Triathlon Club were always prominent as were the Newry and Mourne Swimming Club and Drogheda Swimming Club. Also Camlough was graced by the legendry Billy Wallace, President of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association. Speaking to the massive crowd at Saturday’s finish to the swim Billy said “The organization of the event was fantastic, indeed nothing short of miraculous. It was truly amazing and all the more incredible as the whole thing was put together in just three weeks.” Each and every swimmer did well with some amazing times clocked up. Top Irish triathlete and Portadown lad Conor Murphy claimed the 3000-metre course record with a blistering 42.26, a minute faster than second placed Sean Mallon. Newry’s only solo English Channel Swimmer Peter Legge started the race and was there to greet record breakers Myles McCourt and Paul McCann. The atmosphere and craic around the lake was absolutely brilliant. It gave the village of Camlough a tremendous boost. The celebrations, centered around Village lasted long into Saturday night and well into Sunday morning. And the Guinness World Record achievement will surely go down in south Armagh forklore.

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