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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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The Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's fourth 'Blue Light' service (along with An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance Service and the Fire Service). It provides a nationwide maritime emergency organisation as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

The purpose of the Irish Coast Guard is to promote safety and security standards, and by doing so, prevent as far as possible, the loss of life at sea, and on inland waters, mountains and caves, and to provide effective emergency response services and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The Irish Coast Guard has responsibility for Ireland's system of marine communications, surveillance and emergency management in Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and certain inland waterways.

It is responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue and counter-pollution and ship casualty operations. It also has responsibility for vessel traffic monitoring.

Operations in respect of maritime security, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration and fisheries enforcement are co-ordinated by other bodies within the Irish Government.

On average, each year, the Irish Coast Guard is expected to:

  • handle 3,000 marine emergencies
  • assist 4,500 people and save about 200 lives
  • task Coast Guard helicopters on missions

The Coast Guard has been around in some form in Ireland since 1908.

Coast Guard helicopters

The Irish Coast Guard has contracted five medium-lift Sikorsky Search and Rescue helicopters deployed at bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo.

The helicopters are designated wheels up from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night. One aircraft is fitted and its crew trained for under slung cargo operations up to 3000kgs and is available on short notice based at Waterford.

These aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains of Ireland (32 counties).

They can also be used for assistance in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and aerial surveillance during daylight hours, lifting and passenger operations and other operations as authorised by the Coast Guard within appropriate regulations.

Irish Coastguard FAQs

The Irish Coast Guard provides nationwide maritime emergency response, while also promoting safety and security standards. It aims to prevent the loss of life at sea, on inland waters, on mountains and in caves; and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The main role of the Irish Coast Guard is to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction. It has three marine rescue centres in Dublin, Malin Head, Co Donegal, and Valentia Island, Co Kerry. The Dublin National Maritime Operations centre provides marine search and rescue responses and coordinates the response to marine casualty incidents with the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Yes, effectively, it is the fourth "blue light" service. The Marine Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for the coastal area between Ballycotton, Co Cork and Clifden, Co Galway. At the same time, the MRSC Malin Head covers the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle. Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Dublin covers Carlingford Lough, Co Louth to Ballycotton, Co Cork. Each MRCC/MRSC also broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and MF radio, including navigational and gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings.

The Irish Coast Guard handles about 3,000 marine emergencies annually, and assists 4,500 people - saving an estimated 200 lives, according to the Department of Transport. In 2016, Irish Coast Guard helicopters completed 1,000 missions in a single year for the first time.

Yes, Irish Coast Guard helicopters evacuate medical patients from offshore islands to hospital on average about 100 times a year. In September 2017, the Department of Health announced that search and rescue pilots who work 24-hour duties would not be expected to perform any inter-hospital patient transfers. The Air Corps flies the Emergency Aeromedical Service, established in 2012 and using an AW139 twin-engine helicopter. Known by its call sign "Air Corps 112", it airlifted its 3,000th patient in autumn 2020.

The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is responsible for the Northern Irish coast.

The Irish Coast Guard is a State-funded service, with both paid management personnel and volunteers, and is under the auspices of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. It is allocated approximately 74 million euro annually in funding, some 85 per cent of which pays for a helicopter contract that costs 60 million euro annually. The overall funding figure is "variable", an Oireachtas committee was told in 2019. Other significant expenditure items include volunteer training exercises, equipment, maintenance, renewal, and information technology.

The Irish Coast Guard has four search and rescue helicopter bases at Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo, run on a contract worth 50 million euro annually with an additional 10 million euro in costs by CHC Ireland. It provides five medium-lift Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and trained crew. The 44 Irish Coast Guard coastal units with 1,000 volunteers are classed as onshore search units, with 23 of the 44 units having rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and 17 units having cliff rescue capability. The Irish Coast Guard has 60 buildings in total around the coast, and units have search vehicles fitted with blue lights, all-terrain vehicles or quads, first aid equipment, generators and area lighting, search equipment, marine radios, pyrotechnics and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Community Rescue Boats Ireland also provide lifeboats and crews to assist in search and rescue. The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the Garda Siochána, National Ambulance Service, Naval Service and Air Corps, Civil Defence, while fishing vessels, ships and other craft at sea offer assistance in search operations.

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.

Units are managed by an officer-in-charge (three stripes on the uniform) and a deputy officer in charge (two stripes). Each team is trained in search skills, first aid, setting up helicopter landing sites and a range of maritime skills, while certain units are also trained in cliff rescue.

Volunteers receive an allowance for time spent on exercises and call-outs. What is the difference between the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI? The RNLI is a registered charity which has been saving lives at sea since 1824, and runs a 24/7 volunteer lifeboat service around the British and Irish coasts. It is a declared asset of the British Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and the Irish Coast Guard. Community Rescue Boats Ireland is a community rescue network of volunteers under the auspices of Water Safety Ireland.

No, it does not charge for rescue and nor do the RNLI or Community Rescue Boats Ireland.

The marine rescue centres maintain 19 VHF voice and DSC radio sites around the Irish coastline and a digital paging system. There are two VHF repeater test sites, four MF radio sites and two NAVTEX transmitter sites. Does Ireland have a national search and rescue plan? The first national search and rescue plan was published in July, 2019. It establishes the national framework for the overall development, deployment and improvement of search and rescue services within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and to meet domestic and international commitments. The purpose of the national search and rescue plan is to promote a planned and nationally coordinated search and rescue response to persons in distress at sea, in the air or on land.

Yes, the Irish Coast Guard is responsible for responding to spills of oil and other hazardous substances with the Irish pollution responsibility zone, along with providing an effective response to marine casualties and monitoring or intervening in marine salvage operations. It provides and maintains a 24-hour marine pollution notification at the three marine rescue centres. It coordinates exercises and tests of national and local pollution response plans.

The first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on duty was Caitriona Lucas, a highly trained member of the Doolin Coast Guard unit, while assisting in a search for a missing man by the Kilkee unit in September 2016. Six months later, four Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew – Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith -died when their Sikorsky S-92 struck Blackrock island off the Mayo coast on March 14, 2017. The Dublin-based Rescue 116 crew were providing "top cover" or communications for a medical emergency off the west coast and had been approaching Blacksod to refuel. Up until the five fatalities, the Irish Coast Guard recorded that more than a million "man hours" had been spent on more than 30,000 rescue missions since 1991.

Several investigations were initiated into each incident. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board was critical of the Irish Coast Guard in its final report into the death of Caitriona Lucas, while a separate Health and Safety Authority investigation has been completed, but not published. The Air Accident Investigation Unit final report into the Rescue 116 helicopter crash has not yet been published.

The Irish Coast Guard in its present form dates back to 1991, when the Irish Marine Emergency Service was formed after a campaign initiated by Dr Joan McGinley to improve air/sea rescue services on the west Irish coast. Before Irish independence, the British Admiralty was responsible for a Coast Guard (formerly the Water Guard or Preventative Boat Service) dating back to 1809. The West Coast Search and Rescue Action Committee was initiated with a public meeting in Killybegs, Co Donegal, in 1988 and the group was so effective that a Government report was commissioned, which recommended setting up a new division of the Department of the Marine to run the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC), then based at Shannon, along with the existing coast radio service, and coast and cliff rescue. A medium-range helicopter base was established at Shannon within two years. Initially, the base was served by the Air Corps.

The first director of what was then IMES was Capt Liam Kirwan, who had spent 20 years at sea and latterly worked with the Marine Survey Office. Capt Kirwan transformed a poorly funded voluntary coast and cliff rescue service into a trained network of cliff and sea rescue units – largely voluntary, but with paid management. The MRCC was relocated from Shannon to an IMES headquarters at the then Department of the Marine (now Department of Transport) in Leeson Lane, Dublin. The coast radio stations at Valentia, Co Kerry, and Malin Head, Co Donegal, became marine rescue-sub-centres.

The current director is Chris Reynolds, who has been in place since August 2007 and was formerly with the Naval Service. He has been seconded to the head of mission with the EUCAP Somalia - which has a mandate to enhance Somalia's maritime civilian law enforcement capacity – since January 2019.

  • Achill, Co. Mayo
  • Ardmore, Co. Waterford
  • Arklow, Co. Wicklow
  • Ballybunion, Co. Kerry
  • Ballycotton, Co. Cork
  • Ballyglass, Co. Mayo
  • Bonmahon, Co. Waterford
  • Bunbeg, Co. Donegal
  • Carnsore, Co. Wexford
  • Castlefreake, Co. Cork
  • Castletownbere, Co. Cork
  • Cleggan, Co. Galway
  • Clogherhead, Co. Louth
  • Costelloe Bay, Co. Galway
  • Courtown, Co. Wexford
  • Crosshaven, Co. Cork
  • Curracloe, Co. Wexford
  • Dingle, Co. Kerry
  • Doolin, Co. Clare
  • Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  • Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
  • Fethard, Co. Wexford
  • Glandore, Co. Cork
  • Glenderry, Co. Kerry
  • Goleen, Co. Cork
  • Greencastle, Co. Donegal
  • Greenore, Co. Louth
  • Greystones, Co. Wicklow
  • Guileen, Co. Cork
  • Howth, Co. Dublin
  • Kilkee, Co. Clare
  • Killala, Co. Mayo
  • Killybegs, Co. Donegal
  • Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
  • Knightstown, Co. Kerry
  • Mulroy, Co. Donegal
  • North Aran, Co. Galway
  • Old Head Of Kinsale, Co. Cork
  • Oysterhaven, Co. Cork
  • Rosslare, Co. Wexford
  • Seven Heads, Co. Cork
  • Skerries, Co. Dublin Summercove, Co. Cork
  • Toe Head, Co. Cork
  • Tory Island, Co. Donegal
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford
  • Waterville, Co. Kerry
  • Westport, Co. Mayo
  • Wicklow
  • Youghal, Co. Cork

Sources: Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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