Mayor honours fundraiser after epic lough swim

Dean Owen completes his record swim in Lough Neagh.
Dean Owen completes his record swim in Lough Neagh.

A man who swam across Lough Neagh despite not being able to use his legs properly has been honoured.

Dean Owen, 44, was presented with a plaque to mark the achievement, which saw the former Army corporal undertake the roughly 20-mile route from the lough’s north-east shore to the south-west in August.

Dean, who suffered a broken back in a motor accident over a decade ago, told the News Letter at the time that because of his injury his legs were no use to him in the water, and he was left relying only on his arms.

It’s understood to be the first time that anyone – able-bodied or otherwise – has successfully swum the route.

The plaque was presented last Friday by Craigavon mayor Mark Baxter.

So far, around £8,500 has been raised by Dean for Caleb Kerr, a four-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer, whose family intend to use it for equipment and physiotherapy.

Caleb’s father, Nigel Kerr, 45 and from Portadown, said of Dean’s feat: “I think it’s hard for people to understand – 14-and-a-half hours in the water! It’s fantastic the mayor has actually recognised the fact someone has done this – especially someone who’s disabled.”

To raise more cash there will be a country music night on October 18 at Dromore Rugby Club. To donate go to