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A busy few days of racing in the National Rowing Centre saw 503 crews competing over 55 categories from Friday to Sunday. There were over 130 races held with 52 finals this weekend.

Highlights of the weekend included seeing UCC Rowing Club pick up victories in all six of the Senior Women’s Categories with Margaret Cremen winning the Women’s Single Scull and Lydia Heaphy winning the Lightweight Women’s Single. University College Cork won the final race of the Championships with Jennifer Crowley, Selma Bouanane, Tara Hanlon, Lydia Heaphy, Emily Hegarty, Aoife Casey, Margaret Cremen, Aifric Keogh and Sorcadh Higgins (cox).

University College Dublin won the Senior Men’s Eight Coxed Final with Cameron Murphy, David O’Malley, Thomas Bedford, David Somers, Thomas Earley, Andrew Kelly, David Joyce, Fintan Early and Robin Keane (cox). Daire Lynch of Clonmel won the Men’s Single Scull and Gary O’Donovan of Skibbereen won the Lightweight Men’s Sculls.

Holly Davis (Lee Valley) won the Women's Junior 19 Single Scull, Niamh Coffey (ULRC) won both the Club and Intermediate Single Sculls.

Andrew Sheehan (Lee) won the Men’s Junior 19 Single Sculls, Men’s Intermediate Single Sculls was won by Colum Brennan from Neptune

Irish Rowing Championships 2021 Results

Womens Senior

Womens Senior 8+ UCCRC – Jennifer Crowley, Selma Bouanane, Tara Hanlon, Lydia Heaphy, Emily Hegarty, Aoife Casey, Margaret Cremen, Aifric Keogh and Sorcadh Higgins (cox).

Womens Senior 4- UCCRC – Aoife Casey, Margaret Cremen, Emily Hegarty, Tara Hanlon

Womens Senior 2- UCCRC – Emily Hegarty, Tara Hanlon

Women’s Senior 2X UCCRC – Aoife Casey, Margaret Cremen,

Womens Senior 1X Margaret Cremen – UCCRC

Womens Lightweight 1X Lydia Heaphy – UCCRC

Mens Senior

Mens Senior 8+ UCDBC – Cameron Murphy, David O’Malley, Thomas Bedford, David Somers, Thomas Early, Andrew Kelly, David Joyce, Fintan Early, Robin Keane (cox)

Mens Senior 4- Shandon / UCCRC – Adam Murphy, Jack Dorney, Alex Byrne, Ronan Byrne

Mens Senior 4X UCCRC – Paul O’Donovan, Alex Byrne, Ronan Byrne, Hugh Sutton

Mens Senior 2X UCCRC – Alex Byrne, Hugh Sutton

Mens Senior 2- ULRC – Ryan Spelman, Jon Cuddy

Mens Senior 1X Daire Lynch – Clonmel

Mens Lightweight 1X Gary O’Donovan – Skibbereen

Womens Intermediate

Womens Intermediate 8+ UCDBC – Claire Martin, Ava Evans, Orla Hayes, Ellie Scott, Alison Daly, Louise Watson, Aine McCreesh, Sarah Daly, Hannah Kerrigan (cox)

Womens Intermediate 4+ ULRC – Clara O’Brien, Corina Coughlan, Ava Kelly, Georgia O’Brien, Shauna O’Mahony (cox)

Womens Intermediate 2- ULRC – Clara O’Brien, Corina Coughlan

Womens Intermediate 2X ULRC – Clara O’Brien, Niamh Coffey

Womens Intermediate 1X Niamh Coffey – ULRC

Mens Intermediate

Mens Intermediate 8+ Cork BC – Michael Cronin, Sean Crean, Stephen Murphy, James Young, Barry Connolly, Andy Harrington, Sean O’Sullivan, Barry O’Flynn, Maeve Reardon (cox)

Mens Intermediate 4+ ULRC – Tom McKeon, Michael Fanning, Ryan Spelman, Jon Cuddy, Shauna O’Mahony (cox)

Mens Intermediate 2- ULRC – Ryan Spelman, Jon Cuddy

Mens Intermediate 2X QUBBC – Hugh Moore, Ciaran Purdy

Mens Intermediate 1X Colum Brennan,– Neptune

Womens Club

Womens Club 8+ UCDBC – Claire Martin, Ava Evans, Orla Hayes, Ellie Scott, Alison Daly, Aine Brady, Lauren Heyes, Sinead Egan, Hannah Kerrigan (cox)

Womens Club 4+ ULRC –Niamh Coffey, Corina Coughlan, Georgia O’Brien, Shauna O’Mahony (cox)

Womens Club 1X Niamh Coffey – ULRC

Mens Club

Mens Club 8+ DUBC – Christopher Dehaene, David McSharry, Liam Junkermam, Alfie Hayes, Thomas Stevens, Tiarnan McKnight, Ronan Brennan, Tadhg McKnight, Rowan Hamilton (cox)

Mens Club 4+ ULRC – Luke Sutton, Finn O’Sullivan, Colm Horan, Rory O’Neil, Shauna O’Mahony (cox)

Mens Club 1X Thomas Stevens – DUBC

Womens Junior 19

Womens Junior 19 4X Skibbereen RC – Alyssa Mannix, Kelly Oforji, Lauren Steele-McCarthy, Moya Knowles

Womens Junior 19 2X Fermoy RC – Aine O’Mahony, Ellie Alison Bergin

Womens Junior 19 1X Ellie Alison Bergin – Fermoy

Mens Junior 19

Mens Junior 19 8+ Shannon RC – Tom Collins, Gary O’Donoghue, Joe Tanner, Alec Ahern, Fergal Mehigan, Cillian O’Brien, Niall Murphy, Conal Balfe, Tom Moran (cox)

Mens Junior 19 4+ Skibbereen RC – Christopher O’Donovan, Daire Kavanagh, Oisin Boyle, Fionn O’Reilly, Louise Murran (cox)

Mens Junior 19 2- Skibbereen RC – Oisin Boyle, Fionn O’Reilly

Mens Junior 19 2X Skibbereen RC – Daire Kavanagh, Fionn O’Reilly

Mens Junior 19 1X Andrew Sheehan – Lee

Womens Junior

Womens Junior 8+ Enniskillen RBC – Martha McBrien, Katie Donnelly, Zoe Elliott, Chloe Thompson, Jenny Little, Laura Turner, Nikki Kernaghan, Grace Ralph (cox)

Womens Junior 4- Galway RC – Crea Elwood, Evelina Zakarauskaite, Saphira Praxmarer, Hannah Durkan

Womens Junior 4X Bann RC – Ellie Kate Hutchinson, Flynn Greene, Abby Murdoch, Kirsten Tea

Womens Junior 2X Belfast BC – Patti Mullen, Gisele Coulter

Womens Junior 2- Galway RC – Evelina Zakarauskaite, Ranya Praxmarer

Womens Junior 1X Holly Davis – Lee Valley

Mens Junior

Mens Junior 8+ St Josephs RC – Evan Forde, Peader O’Connell, Cathal Monaghan, Shane Carroll, Conaill Cunningham, Iannis Praxmarer, James Murphy, Alex McWeeney, Daragh Clery (cox)

Mens Junior 4+ St Josephs RC – Iannis Praxmarer, Conaill Cunningham, James Murphy, Alex McWeeney, Daragh Clery (cox)

Mens Junior 4X Athlone BC – Cillian Lynam, Thomas O’Brien, Martin O’Grady, Donagh Claffey (cox)

Mens Junior 2- Presentation Cork – Jack Cotter, Rory Buckley

Mens Junior 2X Athlone BC – Martin O’Grady, Donagh Claffey

Mens Junior 1X Donagh Claffey – Athlone BC

Womens Novice

Womens Novice 8 Commercial RC – Rachel Smith, Evelyn Flynn, Hodel Herlihy, Fiona McAteer, Catherin Tooher, Brid Ni Laochdha, Caroline Shaw, Jasmyn Baines, Laura McDermott (cox)

Womens Novice 4X+ QUBLBC – Grace Doherty, Abbie-Louise McCrum, Rachel Canniford, Sam McCormick, Aoife Colleary (cox)

Mens Novice

Mens Novice 4X+ DUBC– Matthew McRedmond, Ruairi Doyle, Alfie Hayes, Christopher Dehaene, Isabel Doyle (cox)

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The Irish rowing team has been given a heroes’ welcome after an historic performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Rowing Ireland and Cork County Council hosted a special homecoming at the Kinetica National Rowing Centre in Cork on Saturday.

The event, to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the high-performance athletes who represented their country so admirably at the games, was attended by An Taoiseach, Micheal Martin TD; Minister for Sport, Jack Chambers TD; and the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan.

A record six crews qualified for Tokyo, which saw Rowing Ireland secure both bronze and gold medals. Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan won Ireland’s first ever gold medal in rowing. The duo also broke a seven-year world record in their Lightweight Men’s Double semi-final.

Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty won bronze in the Women’s Four. It is the first-ever medal for an Irish women’s crew. In total, four Irish crews finished in the top ten, with two finishing just outside. Irish Rowing is now ranked above countries like the USA, Germany, Russia, Great Britain and Poland.

The bronze medal winners in the Women's Four - Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty with the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan and An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin. Photo: Brian LougheedThe bronze medal winners in the Women's Four - Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty with the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan and An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin. Photo: Brian Lougheed

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “The whole country is so proud of our Olympic rowing team following their historic achievements at the Tokyo games. Team Ireland provided the country with huge inspiration and excitement over the course of the games, lifting the spirits of the nation time and time again. In securing medals, and achieving many more excellent performances, Ireland’s rowers have once again proven that they can compete and succeed at the sport’s highest level. I would like to congratulate all members of the six crews who represented our country at the Olympic Games as well as the high-performance team, coaches, and administration of Rowing Ireland.”

The Mayor of County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan added, “Each of the athletes here today has served a higher sporting purpose. Not only did they motivate men, women and children to get up in the middle of the night to watch their races, they inspired a whole new generation. The athletes and the entire team at Rowing Ireland showed what can be achieved with hard work and dedication. The location for this event too is truly fitting - the National Rowing Centre, designed to bring out the best in our athletes, and to help them be the best that they can be. We are very lucky that nature, and a dam, provided us with such an amazing amphitheatre for rowing and I am looking forward to many similar occasions here in the years to come.”

Speaking about the homecoming Rowing Ireland’s Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Carpenter said; “We are delighted to be able to celebrate all of Rowing Ireland’s Olympic athletes and their fantastic achievements in Tokyo. All of us at Rowing Ireland take immense pride in the performances of our high-performance athletes in what was a historic Olympics for our sport in this country. Tokyo 2020 saw the largest squad of Irish rowers in history and a record six crews qualifying for the games. To return with a gold and bronze medal including the first-ever Olympic medal that Ireland has won in a women’s team event is a testament to both the athletes and the people behind Rowing Ireland, the high-performance team, the coaches, the administration, the clubs, Sport Ireland, Sport NI and the Olympic Federation, and our wonderful partners that have supported us and the teams throughout. Their historic achievements undoubtedly deserve to be celebrated. I would also like to thank Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Minister for Sport Jack Chambers and The Mayor of County of Cork Gillian Coughlan for their support with the homecoming.”

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Ireland had three crews competing in the 2021 World Rowing Junior Championships this week in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

In the first race of the day, Ronan Gibbon, Fergus Bryce, Donagh Claffey and David Foley raced in the Men’s Quadruple Sculls A Final, finishing sixth with a time of 06:11.00. The crew faced five other quads, from Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

In the Women’s Double Sculls A Final, Holly Davis and Rachel Bradley finished third to take the bronze medal. The duo finished with a final time of 07:15.62, after achieving the fastest time of all crews in the W2x Semi-Finals. Holly and Rachel faced crews from Greece, France, Slovenia, Italy and The Netherlands.

In the final race of the day, Oisin Boyle and Martin O’Grady finished fifth in the Men’s Double Sculls A Final, with a time of 06:36.52. Oisin and Martin faced crews from Greece, Italy, Poland and Germany.

Speaking after the race, Rowing Ireland’s High-Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni said: “I would like to congratulate all of the athletes and coaches on their performances and results in the World Rowing Junior Championships this weekend. This was the last event of the year and overall, it was a very successful weekend for our athletes and coaches.

“The Rowing Ireland National Rowing Centre has once again delivered a fantastic performance after the six crews qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics winning two medals, and the U23 crews racing at the u23 World Championships, also taking home two medals.

“Congratulations to Holly, Rachel and their coaches on winning the bronze medal in the women’s double. For all three crews to reach A Finals is a great accomplishment and continues to show how successful the high-performance program is.

“Thank you to their coaches Ciro, Janet, Nicolo and Leah for their hard work and dedication in preparing and coaching the crews over the last number of weeks at the National Rowing Centre. I also want to thank the athlete’s and coaches clubs and their families for their continued support. The experience that these athletes gained from this challenging competition will be beneficial for their future development and I look forward to seeing their progression in the coming years.

We are on the right direction, but more work needs to be done in order to support our young rowers for the future; for Paris 2024 and beyond.”

Results

M4x (Ronan Gibbon, Fergus Bryce, Donagh Claffey and David Foley) – Sixth place
W2x (Holly Davis and Rachel Bradley) – Third place - Bronze Medal
M2x (Oisin Boyle and Martin O’Grady) – Fifth place

Staff Team

Antonio Maurogiovanni – High-Performance Director
Ciro Prisco – Coach
Janet Walsh – Coach
Nicolo Maurogiovanni – Coach
Leah O’Regan – Coach

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Irish Olympic Gold medalists will feature in this month's Irish Rowing Championships 2021 later this month for the first time.

Fresh off their incredibly impressive gold medal victory in the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls, both Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen Rowing Club) and Paul O’Donovan (UCC Rowing Club) will compete in multiple senior events as they look to add to an outstanding 2021.

Gary O’Donovan (Skibbereen Rowing Club) will also compete with Daire Lynch (Clonmel Rowing Club) and Ronan Byrne (UCC Rowing Club), of the Men’s Double Sculls crew from Tokyo, rounding out the men’s high-performance athletes currently confirmed for the Championships.

On the women’s high-performance front, two of Ireland’s bronze medal-winning Women’s Four crew have been announced, with Emily Hegarty (UCC Rowing Club) and Aifric Keogh (UCC Rowing Club) set to compete.

The 2021 Irish Rowing Championships will take place at The National Rowing Centre during the weekend of the 20th-22nd of August, with a host of Ireland’s Olympians set to feature.

Aileen Crowley, left, and Monika Dukarska (right) of Ireland in action during the heats of the Women's Pair at the Sea Forest Waterway during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Dukarska will compete in the Irish ChampionshipsPhoto by Seb Daly/SportsfileAileen Crowley, left, and Monika Dukarska of Ireland in action during the heats of the Women's Pair at the Sea Forest Waterway during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Dukarska will compete in the Irish Championships later this month Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

There are 55 categories with 503 crews entered for the weekend.

Our High-Performance athletes will be representing their clubs across several categories with senior and under 23 high-performance athletes competing throughout the weekend.

Aoife Casey (UCC Rowing Club) and Margaret Cremen (UCC Rowing Club), who raced together in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls in Tokyo, will both feature in a number of senior events, with Monika Dukarska (Killorglin Rowing Club) of the Women’s Pair Olympic crew also set to set to race at the NRC.

Tara Hanlon (UCC Rowing Club) and Lydia Heaphy (UCC Rowing Club) round out a stacked line-up of high-performance athletes set to compete in Cork.

Some of our other High-Performance athletes will also be representing their clubs at the Irish Rowing Championships. Claire Feerick (Neptune Rowing Club), Jake McCarthy (Skibbereen Rowing Club), Cliodhna Nolan (NUIG), Alex Byrne (UCC RC), John Kearney (UCC RC), Ross Corrigan (QUBBC), Jack Dorney (Shandon), Hugh Moore (QUBBC), Finn O’Reilly (Skibbereen RC), and Leah O’Regan (Shandon),

Senior High-Performance Athletes Competing

  • Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen Rowing Club)
  • Paul O’Donovan (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Emily Hegarty (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Aifric Keogh (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Gary O’Donovan (Skibbereen Rowing Club)
  • Jake McCarthy (Skibbereen Rowing Club)
  • Monika Dukarska (Killorglin Rowing Club)
  • Ronan Byrne (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Tara Hanlon (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Daire Lynch (Clonmel Rowing Club)
  • Gary O’Donovan (Skibbereen Rowing Club)
  • Jake McCarthy (Skibbereen Rowing Club)

The draw and entries for the Irish Rowing Championships is available here

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The hard decision has been made to withdraw rower Sanita Puspure from the B Final of the Women’s Single, set to occur tomorrow due to her being unwell.

Speaking this evening, Puspure said: “Over the past few days, I have not been well, and I had to make the difficult decision to withdraw from the Olympic Regatta. This is really disappointing, as I had been going well over the past few months and had hoped to continue this good form. The Olympics is always a big goal, so it’s heartbreaking to have to pull out in this manner.”

As regular Afloat readers know, in the final race of the day for the rowers, there was disappointment for Puspure in the semi-finals of the Women’s Single, where she finished fifth in her race, with only the top three progressing to the A Final where the medals are contested.

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Cork pair Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy have won a historic Olympic gold rowing medal for Ireland in Tokyo.

The Irish favourites dominated their closest German challengers, and the rest of the lightweight men's double sculls field, to win in a time of six minutes and six seconds.

It marks Ireland's second medal of the Games, after bronze for the women's rowing four, and completes their own set of medals — with Paul adding gold to his silver medal from Rio, won alongside his brother Gary.

It makes the Skibbereen pair Ireland's only seventh gold medal winners in the history of Irish sport.

The Irish crew maintained a steady pace throughout, reaching the 500m mark in third, behind Germany and Italy, but by halfway it was clear it would be Ireland v Germany for gold.

It's Gold! A screenshot of the finish shows Ireland as clear winners in the men's double sculls in TokyoIt's Gold! A screenshot of the finish shows Ireland as clear winners in the men's double sculls in Tokyo

O'Donovan and McCarthy edged ahead by 1,500m and they wore out the Germans in the sprint to the line, holding off the nearest challenges by 0.86 seconds, with Italy a further seven seconds back in third.

Speaking after the race, O’Donovan said: “The Germans and Italians always have a quick start, so for the first time we had a quick start as well, not for lack of effort.

“It was a bit of a surprise that it paid off and we weren’t totally dropped in the first 500m, so that was good. And then we put the heads down and ploughed on so it was good.”

McCarthy added: “It feels pretty good. We can’t complain! We had a really good race — but a tough one. The Germans were flying so it was hard. I was really excited when we first crossed the line and there was a bit of relief as well.

“We have had a good time all week, so we are a bit sad that it is all over. We hadn’t had too much time to think about it but it feels pretty good and hopefully it will be that way for a while.”

Meanwhile, in the lightweight women’s double sculls the Irish crew performed outstandingly to finish second in their B Final with a time of 6:49.90.

This resulted in an eighth overall final standing — pushing winners of the B Final, Switzerland, to the line and crossing just 0.74 seconds after them.

Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in May, and throughout the Olympic Regatta have produced top-class performances, which bodes well for the Paris Olympic cycle.

The women’s pair of Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley finished fifth in their B Final with 7:02.22, in what was an extremely competitive field, resulting in an 11th place finish overall.

They started strong, putting themselves right in the mix, in a grueling battle with Romania and USA which ensued for the remainder of the race. The Killorglin pair are part of the emerging strong squad of female rowers in Ireland from which the Olympic bronze medal-winning crew was selected.

In the final race of the day for Ireland’s rowers, there was more disappointment for Sanita Puspure in the women's single sculls. The two-time world champion never kept the pace in her semi-final as she finished fifth, missing out on a place in the A final.

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Irish rowers Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan finished first in the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls A/B Semi-Final. Fintan and Paul raced against, Caetano Horta Pombo & Manel Balastegui (Spain), Niels Van Zandweghe & Tim Brys (Belgium), Stefano Oppo & Pietro Ruta (Italy), Igor Khmara & Stanislav Kovalov (Ukraine), and Arjun Lal Jat & Arvind Singh (India).

Fintan and Paul finished with a World’s Best time of 06:05.33 and will now race in the A Final tomorrow morning.

A/B Semi-Final

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 1st – 06:05.33

Cremen & Casey Fifth in Double Sculls A/B Semi-Final

Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey finished fifth in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls A/B Semi-Final. Margaret and Aoife competed against Patricia Merz & Frederique Rol (Switzerland), Laura Tarantola & Claire Bove (France), Marieke Keijser & Ilse Paulis (Netherlands), Emily Craig & Imogen Grant (Great Britain), Ina Nikulina & Alena Furman (Belarus). Margaret and Aoife finished with a time of 06:49.24 Margaret and Aoife will race in the B Final tomorrow morning

Women’s Pair of Crowley & Dukarska Fifth in A/B Semi-Final

The Women’s Pair of Aileen Crowley & Monika Dukarska finished fifth in the A/B Semi-Final this morning. Aileen and Monika competed against Helen Glover & Polly Swan (Great Britain), Caileigh Filmer & Hillary Janssens (Canada), Jessica Morrison & Annabelle Mcintyre (Australia), Hedvig Rasmussen & Fie Udby Erichsen (Denmark) and Maria Kyridou & Christina Ioanna Bourmpou (Greece). Aileen and Monika finished with a time of 07:06.07. Aileen and Monika will race in the B Final tomorrow morning

Irish Results

A FINAL

Women’s Four (W4-) – Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty & Fiona Murtagh – 3RD – BRONZE MEDAL – 06:20.46

A/B Semi-Final

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 1st – 06:05.33

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 5th – 06:49.24

Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 5th – 07:06.07

B Final

Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 4th – 06:16.89

Upcoming Irish Races Thursday 29th (IST)

B Final

Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 00:40

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 01:00

A Final

Lightweight Men's Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 01:50

A/B Semi-Final

Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Sanita Puspure – 02:30

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Rowers Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle competed in the Men’s Double Sculls B Final this morning.

The Irish Men’s Double finished fourth after a photo finish with the Romania Double. Ronan and Phil competed against, Jack Lopas & Christopher Harris (New Zealand), Ilya Kondratyev & Andrey Potapkin (ROC), Ioan Prundeanu & Marian Enache (Romania), Saulius Ritter & Aurimas Adomavicius (Lithuania) and Stephan Krueger & Marc Weber (Germany).

Ronan and Phil finished with a time of 06:16.89 and finished tenth overall.

B Final

Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 4th – 06:16.89

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Rowing was the first sport to win a medal for Ireland at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The Women’s Four of Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty won Bronze in the Women’s Four A Final in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The four are the first open weight Irish crew and female athletes to win a medal for Ireland in Rowing at an Olympic Games. Aifirc, Eimear, Fiona and Emily were racing against crews from Great Britain, Australia, Netherlands, China and Poland.

The Irish boat finished with a time of 06:20.46 to secure their Bronze medal.

A FINAL

Women’s Four (W4-) – Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty & Fiona Murtagh – 3RD – BRONZE MEDAL – 06:20.46

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In her third Olympic Games, the current World Rowing Champion in the Women’s Singles Sanita Puspure won her quarter-final in impressive style in today’s race in Tokyo, and will now compete in the semi-final A/B next Tuesday.

The Women’s Pair of Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley and the Lightweight Women’s Double of Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey also progressed to the semi-finals from their repechages this morning.

There was disappointment for the Men’s Double of Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne though, whose sixth-place finish in the semi-final in 6.49.06 was not enough to progress to the A Final.

Four Irish boats were racing on the third day of rowing at the Tokyo Olympics. Three Irish boats qualified for the A/B Semi-Finals and the Men’s Double will race in the B Final.

The Women’s Pair of Aileen Crowley & Monika Dukarska finished third in the Repechage this morning. Aileen and Monika competed against Megan Kalmoe & Tracey Eisser (USA), Kaifeng Huang & Jinchao Liu (China) and Maria Kyridou & Christina Ioanna Bourmpou (Greece). Aileen and Monika finished with a time of 07:31.99. Aileen and Monika will race in the A/B Semi-Final Tuesday morning

Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey finished third in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls Repechage. Margaret and Aoife competed against Valentina Cavallar & Louisa Altenhuber (Austria), Thi Thao Luong & Thi Hao Dinh (Vietnam), Patricia Merz & Frederique Rol (Switzerland), Yulisa Lopez & Jennieffer Zuinga (Guatemala) and Anatasia Lebedeva & Maria Botalova (Russian Olympic Committee). Margaret and Aoife finished with a time of 07:23.46. Margaret and Aoife will race in the A/B Semi-Final Tuesday morning.

Sanita Pušpure finished first in the Women’s Single Sculls Quarter-Final. Sanita faced competition from Wing Yan Winnie Hung (Hong Kong), Jovana Arsic (Serbia), Kara Kohler (USA), Yan Jiang (China) and Alejandra Alonso (Paraguay). Sanita won the Heat comfortably with a time of 07:58.30 finishing ahead of Kara Kohler (USA) and Yan Jiang (China). Sanita will now race in the A/B Semi-Final on Wednesday morning.

Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle finished sixth in the Men’s Double Sculls A/B Semi-Final. Ronan and Phil competed against Miroslaw Zietarski & Mateusz Biskup (Poland), Jack Lopas & Christopher Harris (New Zealand), Graeme Thomas & John Collins (Great Britain), Hugo Boucheron & Matthew Androdias (France), and Stephan Krueger & Marc Weber (Germany). Ronan and Phil finished with a time of 06.49.06 and Ronan and Phil will now race in the B Final on Wednesday morning.

Day 3 Results

Repechage

Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 4th – 07:31.99

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 3rd – 07:23.46

Quarter-Final

Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Sanita Puspure – 1st – 07:58.30

A/B Semi-Final

Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 6th – 06.49.06

Next Irish Races (Confirmed)

Tuesday 27th Racing (IST)
A/B Semi-Final

Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 02:58/03:08 (TBC)

Lightweight Men;s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 03:18/03:28 (TBC)

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 03:38/03:48 (TBC)

Wednesday 28th (IST)
B Final

Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 00:42

Women’s Four (W4-) – Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty & Fiona Murtagh – 01:50

A/B Semi-Final

Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Sanita Puspure – 02:58/03:08 (TBC)

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About the Irish Navy

The Navy maintains a constant presence 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout Ireland’s enormous and rich maritime jurisdiction, upholding Ireland’s sovereign rights. The Naval Service is tasked with a variety of roles including defending territorial seas, deterring intrusive or aggressive acts, conducting maritime surveillance, maintaining an armed naval presence, ensuring right of passage, protecting marine assets, countering port blockades; people or arms smuggling, illegal drugs interdiction, and providing the primary diving team in the State.

The Service supports Army operations in the littoral and by sealift, has undertaken supply and reconnaissance missions to overseas peace support operations and participates in foreign visits all over the world in support of Irish Trade and Diplomacy.  The eight ships of the Naval Service are flexible and adaptable State assets. Although relatively small when compared to their international counterparts and the environment within which they operate, their patrol outputs have outperformed international norms.

The Irish Naval Service Fleet

The Naval Service is the State's principal seagoing agency. The Naval Service operates jointly with the Army and Air Corps.

The fleet comprises one Helicopter Patrol Vessel (HPV), three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), two Large Patrol Vessel (LPV) and two Coastal Patrol Vessels (CPV). Each vessel is equipped with state of the art machinery, weapons, communications and navigation systems.

LÉ EITHNE P31

LE Eithne was built in Verlome Dockyard in Cork and was commissioned into service in 1984. She patrols the Irish EEZ and over the years she has completed numerous foreign deployments.

Type Helicopter Patrol Vessel
Length 80.0m
Beam 12m
Draught 4.3m
Main Engines 2 X Ruston 12RKC Diesels6, 800 HP2 Shafts
Speed 18 knots
Range 7000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 55 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 7 December 1984

LÉ ORLA P41

L.É. Orla was formerly the HMS SWIFT a British Royal Navy patrol vessel stationed in the waters of Hong Kong. She was purchased by the Irish State in 1988. She scored a notable operational success in 1993 when she conducted the biggest drug seizure in the history of the state at the time, with her interception and boarding at sea of the 65ft ketch, Brime.

Type Coastal Patrol Vessel
Length 62.6m
Beam 10m
Draught 2.7m
Main Engines 2 X Crossley SEMT- Pielstick Diesels 14,400 HP 2 Shafts
Speed 25 + Knots
Range 2500 Nautical Miles @ 17 knots
Crew 39 (5 Officers)

LÉ CIARA P42

L.É. Ciara was formerly the HMS SWALLOW a British Royal Navy patrol vessel stationed in the waters of Hong Kong. She was purchased by the Irish State in 1988. She scored a notable operational success in Nov 1999 when she conducted the second biggest drug seizure in the history of the state at that time, with her interception and boarding at sea of MV POSIDONIA of the south-west coast of Ireland.

Type Coastal Patrol Vessel
Length 62.6m
Beam 10m
Draught 2.7m
Main Engines 2 X Crossley SEMT- Pielstick Diesels 14,400 HP 2 Shafts
Speed 25 + Knots
Range 2500 Nautical Miles @ 17 knots
Crew 39 (5 Officers)

LÉ ROISIN P51

L.É. Roisin (the first of the Roisín class of vessel) was built in Appledore Shipyards in the UK for the Naval Service in 2001. She was built to a design that optimises her patrol performance in Irish waters (which are some of the roughest in the world), all year round. For that reason a greater length overall (78.8m) was chosen, giving her a long sleek appearance and allowing the opportunity to improve the conditions on board for her crew.

Type Long Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 78.84m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 X Twin 16 cly V26 Wartsila 26 medium speed Diesels
5000 KW at 1,000 RPM 2 Shafts
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 18 September 2001

LÉ NIAMH P52

L.É. Niamh (the second of the Róisín class) was built in Appledore Shipyard in the UK for the Naval Service in 2001. She is an improved version of her sister ship, L.É.Roisin

Type Long Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 78.84m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 X Twin 16 cly V26 Wartsila 26 medium speed Diesels
5000 KW at 1,000 RPM 2 Shafts
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 18 September 2001

LÉ SAMUEL BECKETT P61

LÉ Samuel Beckett is an Offshore Patrol Vessel built and fitted out to the highest international standards in terms of safety, equipment fit, technological innovation and crew comfort. She is also designed to cope with the rigours of the North-East Atlantic.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ JAMES JOYCE P62

LÉ James Joyce is an Offshore Patrol Vessel and represents an updated and lengthened version of the original RÓISÍN Class OPVs which were also designed and built to the Irish Navy specifications by Babcock Marine Appledore and she is truly a state of the art ship. She was commissioned into the naval fleet in September 2015. Since then she has been constantly engaged in Maritime Security and Defence patrolling of the Irish coast. She has also deployed to the Defence Forces mission in the Mediterranean from July to end of September 2016, rescuing 2491 persons and recovering the bodies of 21 deceased

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS P63

L.É. William Butler Yeats was commissioned into the naval fleet in October 2016. Since then she has been constantly engaged in Maritime Security and Defence patrolling of the Irish coast. She has also deployed to the Defence Forces mission in the Mediterranean from July to October 2017, rescuing 704 persons and recovering the bodies of three deceased.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

LÉ GEORGE BERNARD SHAW P64

LÉ George Bernard Shaw (pennant number P64) is the fourth and final ship of the P60 class vessels built for the Naval Service in Babcock Marine Appledore, Devon. The ship was accepted into State service in October 2018, and, following a military fit-out, commenced Maritime Defence and Security Operations at sea.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

Ship information courtesy of the Defence Forces

Irish Navy FAQs

The Naval Service is the Irish State's principal seagoing agency with "a general responsibility to meet contingent and actual maritime defence requirements". It is tasked with a variety of defence and other roles.

The Naval Service is based in Ringaskiddy, Cork harbour, with headquarters in the Defence Forces headquarters in Dublin.

The Naval Service provides the maritime component of the Irish State's defence capabilities and is the State's principal seagoing agency. It "protects Ireland's interests at and from the sea, including lines of communication, fisheries and offshore resources" within the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The Naval Service operates jointly with the Army and Air Corps as part of the Irish defence forces.

The Naval Service was established in 1946, replacing the Marine and Coastwatching Service set up in 1939. It had replaced the Coastal and Marine Service, the State's first marine service after independence, which was disbanded after a year. Its only ship was the Muirchú, formerly the British armed steam yacht Helga, which had been used by the Royal Navy to shell Dublin during the 1916 Rising. In 1938, Britain handed over the three "treaty" ports of Cork harbour, Bere haven and Lough Swilly.

The Naval Service has nine ships - one Helicopter Patrol Vessel (HPV), three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), two Large Patrol Vessel (LPV) and two Coastal Patrol Vessels (CPV). Each vessel is equipped with State of the art machinery, weapons, communications and navigation systems.

The ships' names are prefaced with the title of Irish ship or "long Éireannach" (LE). The older ships bear Irish female names - LÉ Eithne, LÉ Orla, LÉ Ciara, LÉ Roisín, and LÉ Niamh. The newer ships, named after male Irish literary figures, are LÉ Samuel Beckett, LÉ James Joyce, LÉ William Butler Yeats and LÉ George Bernard Shaw.

Yes. The 76mm Oto Melara medium calibre naval armament is the most powerful weapon in the Naval Services arsenal. The 76mm is "capable of engaging naval targets at a range of up to 17km with a high level of precision, ensuring that the Naval Service can maintain a range advantage over all close-range naval armaments and man-portable weapon systems", according to the Defence Forces.

The Fleet Operational Readiness Standards and Training (FORST) unit is responsible for the coordination of the fleet needs. Ships are maintained at the Mechanical Engineering and Naval Dockyard Unit at Ringaskiddy, Cork harbour.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

The Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service (FOCNS) is Commodore Michael Malone. The head of the Defence Forces is a former Naval Service flag officer, now Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett – appointed in 2015 and the first Naval Service flag officer to hold this senior position. The Flag Officer oversees Naval Operations Command, which is tasked with the conduct of all operations afloat and ashore by the Naval Service including the operations of Naval Service ships. The Naval Operations Command is split into different sections, including Operations HQ and Intelligence and Fishery Section.

The Intelligence and Fishery Section is responsible for Naval Intelligence, the Specialist Navigation centre, the Fishery Protection supervisory and information centre, and the Naval Computer Centre. The Naval Intelligence Cell is responsible for the collection, collation and dissemination of naval intelligence. The Navigation Cell is the naval centre for navigational expertise.

The Fishery Monitoring Centre provides for fishery data collection, collation, analysis and dissemination to the Naval Service and client agencies, including the State's Sea Fisheries Protection Agency. The centre also supervises fishery efforts in the Irish EEZ and provides data for the enhanced effectiveness of fishery protection operations, as part of the EU Common Fisheries Policy. The Naval Computer Centre provides information technology (IT) support service to the Naval Service ashore and afloat.

This headquarters includes specific responsibility for the Executive/Operations Branch duties. The Naval Service Operations Room is a coordination centre for all NS current Operations. The Naval Service Reserve Staff Officer is responsible for the supervision, regulation and training of the reserve. The Diving section is responsible for all aspects of Naval diving and the provision of a diving service to the Naval Service and client agencies. The Ops Security Section is responsible for the coordination of base security and the coordination of all shore-based security parties operating away from the Naval base. The Naval Base Comcen is responsible for the running of a communications service. Boat transport is under the control of Harbour Master Naval Base, who is responsible for the supervision of berthage at the Naval Base and the provision of a boat service, including the civilian manned ferry service from Haulbowline.

Naval Service ships have undertaken trade and supply missions abroad, and personnel have served as peacekeepers with the United Nations. In 2015, Naval Service ships were sent on rotation to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean as part of a bi-lateral arrangement with Italy, known as Operation Pontus. Naval Service and Army medical staff rescued some 18,000 migrants, either pulling people from the sea or taking them off small boats, which were often close to capsizing having been towed into open water and abandoned by smugglers. Irish ships then became deployed as part of EU operations in the Mediterranean, but this ended in March 2019 amid rising anti-immigrant sentiment in the EU.

Essentially, you have to be Irish, young (less than 32), in good physical and mental health and with normal vision. You must be above 5'2″, and your weight should be in keeping with your age.

Yes, women have been recruited since 1995. One of the first two female cadets, Roberta O'Brien from the Glen of Aherlow in Co Tipperary, became its first female commander in September 2020. Sub Lieutenant Tahlia Britton from Donegal also became the first female diver in the navy's history in the summer of 2020.

A naval cadet enlists for a cadetship to become an officer in the Defence Forces. After successfully completing training at the Naval Service College, a cadet is commissioned into the officer ranks of the Naval Service as a Ensign or Sub Lieutenant.

A cadet trains for approximately two years duration divided into different stages. The first year is spent in military training at the Naval Base in Haulbowline, Cork. The second-year follows a course set by the National Maritime College of Ireland course. At the end of the second year and on completion of exams, and a sea term, the cadets will be qualified for the award of a commission in the Permanent Defence Force as Ensign.

The Defence Forces say it is looking for people who have "the ability to plan, prioritise and organise", to "carefully analyse problems, in order to generate appropriate solutions, who have "clear, concise and effective communication skills", and the ability to "motivate others and work with a team". More information is on the 2020 Qualifications Information Leaflet.

When you are 18 years of age or over and under 26 years of age on the date mentioned in the notice for the current competition, the officer cadet competition is held annually and is the only way for potential candidates to join the Defence Forces to become a Naval Service officer. Candidates undergo psychometric and fitness testing, an interview and a medical exam.
The NMCI was built beside the Naval Service base at Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, and was the first third-level college in Ireland to be built under the Government's Public-Private Partnership scheme. The public partners are the Naval Service and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the private partner is Focus Education.
A Naval Service recruit enlists for general service in the "Other Ranks" of the Defence Forces. After successfully completing the initial recruit training course, a recruit passes out as an Ordinary Seaman and will then go onto their branch training course before becoming qualified as an Able Body sailor in the Naval Service.
No formal education qualifications are required to join the Defence Forces as a recruit. You need to satisfy the interview board and the recruiting officer that you possess a sufficient standard of education for service in the Defence Forces.
Recruit training is 18 weeks in duration and is designed to "develop a physically fit, disciplined and motivated person using basic military and naval skills" to "prepare them for further training in the service. Recruits are instilled with the Naval Service ethos and the values of "courage, respect, integrity and loyalty".
On the progression up through the various ranks, an Able Rate will have to complete a number of career courses to provide them with training to develop their skills in a number of areas, such as leadership and management, administration and naval/military skills. The first of these courses is the Naval Service Potential NCO course, followed by the Naval Service Standard NCO course and the Naval Service senior NCO course. This course qualifies successful candidates of Petty officer (or Senior Petty Officer) rank to fill the rank of Chief Petty Officer upwards. The successful candidate may also complete and graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership, Management and Naval Studies in partnership with Cork Institute of Technology.
Pay has long been an issue for just the Naval Service, at just over 1,000 personnel. Cadets and recruits are required to join the single public service pension scheme, which is a defined benefit scheme, based on career-average earnings. For current rates of pay, see the Department of Defence website.

 

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