Swim Ireland was founded in 1998 to replace the Irish Amateur Swimming Association (IASA). IASA was dissolved following revelations that a number of its senior members had sexually abused a number of swimmers, who were entitled to no compensation due to the dissolution of IASA. In February 2008 it was announced that following a 10 year legal 13 victims of a former coach received six figure compensation settlements from a Dublin school (who were the only party remaining to provide compensation) where that coach had been employed.
Swim Ireland runs national meets which include:
- Dave McCullagh Memorial (March/April)
- Irish LC Championships (April/May)
- Irish Age Groups Division 2 (June)
- Irish Age Group/Youth Championships (July)
- Irish Open SC Championships (July/August)
- Irish Open Diving Championships (November)
Swim Ireland works with the different regions in organising competitions such as provincial Age Group Championships as well as other graded, distance and inter-club meets. They also work with the Irish Schools Swimming Association who run the Irish Minor and Secondary Schools Championships.
The Age Group InterProvincial takes place every year at the beginning of the summer months for swimmers up to the age of 16 years. This is where teams from the 4 provinces of Ireland (Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connacht) compete against each other.
These competitions take place in either the National Aquatic Centre, Dublin or at University Arena, Limerick. Both pools have the compatibility to be changed into 50m and 25m.
In 2003, Swim Ireland hosted the European Short Course Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin. The event was a resounding success with a world record being broken by the Dutch in the final race, the men's 4x50m Freestyle relay.
Swim Ireland also organise The Liffey Swim which takes place in August to September annually.
Swim Ireland recently introduced a new squad structure. This begins with Club Level, then Regional Level, National Level, Team 2012 and finally the Elite Squad.
Team 2012 contains swimmers who have the most potential of making the 2012 Olympics in London. On selected occasions throughout the swimming season the squad meet together to train in the pool, on land and also attend lectures regarding nutrition etc. Many fellow swimmers and coaches believe that money has been wasted (on trips to South Africa, Argentina etc.) as Swim Ireland is already under-funded.
Swim Ireland sent 4 swimmers to the 2008 Olympic Games with Irish swimming hats which contravened OCI legislation; Swim Ireland were informed many times of the guidelines for which the hats had to follow, but still managed to ignore them. The mishap cost Melanie Nocher dearly as her goggles fell off during her 200m Freestyle heat due to the fact she had to wear a hat she was not used to and because the hat was not of a normal size.
- Who is Swim Ireland? from the Swim Ireland website (www.swimireland.ie); retrieved 2010-07-13.