LOCATED NEAR BLACKROCK TRAIN STATION
James Edward Heron (28 November 1910 – 23 April 1985) was an Irish high diving and springboard diving champion. He won the British Diving Championship in 1932 and represented Ireland at the 1948 Olympic Games.
Heron’s first major successes took place in 1924 when he was thirteen. In July he won the Leinster Championship. A month later he competed in the Tailteann Games, coming third in the Men’s Plain Diving competition. The winner was Olympic champion, Dick Eve. At the same games Heron won the boys’ diving competition. Between then and 1950, he dominated Irish diving, winning thirty-four national titles in both high diving and springboard events.
In 1932 Heron achieved international success by beating Doug Tomalin to win the British Diving Championship at Leeds. In preparation for the 1936 Summer Olympics, Heron spent the first six months of the year in Miami, Florida, where he trained with Pete Desjardins, the 1928 Olympic champion. However, due to a dispute as to which sporting body should represent Irish athletes, Ireland did not participate in the 1936 Olympics. The next games took place in London in 1948 but another dispute over jurisdiction led to Heron and his team mates withdrawing from all swimming and diving events. Heron did, however, compete in the opening heats of the diving competitions before the withdrawal.
Although Heron retired from competitive diving in 1950, he was persuaded to take part in the 1968 Irish three-metre springboard championship held at Blackrock Baths in Dublin. At the age of fifty-seven, he took the title by defeating the reigning champion, George Matulevicze. He continued to take part in diving exhibitions and competitions well into his sixties. At the annual Texaco Sports Star Awards held in January 1977, Heron received the Hall of Fame award from Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave.
In July each year, swimmers compete for the Eddie Heron Cup in a race from Dún Laoghaire to Blackrock. This is organised by Heron’s former club, Sandycove Swimming Club. A plaque in honour of Eddie Heron has been erected near the now-demolished Blackrock Baths where he competed for many years.