Ballydehob-based Steve, who became the first person to complete the gruelling Oceans 7 challenge earlier this year, now hopes to attract other elite marathon swimmers to the stunning waters off the South-West.
“We have some of the finest open water swimming in the world. We have beautiful water and it’s there to be taken. There is huge untapped potential out there.”
Steve, a 46-year-old father of two, swam into the record books in July when he completed the treacherous Tsugaru Channel in Japan on his fourth attempt. It was the last swim in the epic Oceans 7 challenge — swimming’s equivalent of mountaineering’s Seven Summits, where climbers scale the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. About 350 elite climbers have done it.
Steve, originally from Castledermot in Co Kildare, is the only person to complete the Oceans 7.
His achievement was honoured by Lord Mayor Cllr John Buttimer in City Hall last night.
Steve was accompanied by his wife, Ann, and their children, Saidbh and Stevie.
They were joined by supporters including Noel Brown, Sean Murray, father and son Brian and Dave Williams, Christine Duggan, and Steve Black.
Before the reception, Ste-ve said he would continue to “push the envelope”.
He is waiting for the right weather to take on the 26-mile Fastnet Swim again — this time for charity.
He is also planning to become the first person to swim the entire length of Shannon next year.
And he said with elite marathon water swimmers paying between €1,500 to €2,000 to local skippers overseeing some open water stretches, local communities could reap huge economic benefits.
There is also potential for swim camps, he said.