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Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue attended the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg on Monday (23 October) where there were a number of important fisheries items on the agenda.

Among those were an exchange of views on the EU priorities for the upcoming ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna) meeting in Cairo.

Minister McConalogue welcomed the positive stock assessment for northern albacore tuna and the significant increase on the current total allowable catch.

He added that Ireland “calls to reopen a discussion within the EU on internal reallocation of the EU’s bluefin tuna quota in light of the new management plan and the recent adjustment to the ICCAT sharing arrangements”.

Another important aspect of the meeting were contributions from member states on the ongoing negotiations in respect of the Baltic Sea 2024 Fishing Opportunities Regulation.

The minister welcomed the progress that had been made by participating member states on the Baltic Sea 2024 Fishing Opportunities Regulation.

Minister McConalogue will attend the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture Food and the Marine later this Wednesday (25 October) to present the Sustainability Impact Assessment in relation to 2024 fishing opportunities for Ireland.

This is an important step in Ireland’s preparation for the annual fisheries negotiations and is an opportunity for the minister to hear the views of the Oireachtas Committee before the negotiations commence later this month.

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At the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg on Monday (26 June), Ireland’s Marine Minister highlighted the need to protect the EU’s mackerel quota in the face of external threats from third countries.

Minister Charlie McConalogue said: “At council, fisheries ministers held an initial discussion on the preparation for the negotiations on setting quotas for 2024. I set out clearly Ireland’s priorities, including the need for action to prevent the unsustainable actions of other coastal states, outside of the EU, diluting the EU’s mackerel quota share.”

Fisheries ministers also discussed the conclusions on the European Commission’s Fisheries Policy Package, which was published in February.

Minister McConalogue acknowledged the considerable progress that has been achieved to date through the framework of the Common Fisheries Policy and the key role played by stakeholders in this regard.

However, the minister also highlighted the need to take account of the significant changes over the past number of years, especially Brexit.

“The package did not, in my view, address the real and detrimental impact of Brexit on Irish fishers in particular,” he said. “Neither did it address the new reality that the majority of EU fishing opportunities are determined by annual negotiations with third parties.”

The minister added: “At my insistence, the conclusions now include a demand that the [European] Commission fully analyse and report on the impacts of quota transfers, as well as the need to develop a comprehensive strategy for relations with third countries. This demand was supported by the majority of member states.”

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Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue has welcomed progress made on key fish quotas for Ireland at the EU Fisheries Council of Ministers which began on Sunday morning (11 December).

The council has been agreeing provisional fish quotas to enable EU fishers to operate from the first of January.

In parallel, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine says “intensive” work has continued to conclude a deal with the UK which would see full-year quotas established for 2023 on the majority of stocks of interest for Irish fishermen, which are jointly managed with the UK.

Speaking on Tuesday (13 December), Minister McConalogue said: “The EU negotiations with the UK on setting quotas for 2023 are at an advanced stage and I made use of the opportunities at the Fisheries Council to work with fellow ministers. I also continued my discussions with Commissioner Sinkevičiusto ensure that Ireland’s priorities are protected.

“My objective has been to set quotas based on scientific advice and rebuild depleted and overfished stocks. In general, I want our fishers to have access to the maximum level of quota that can be sustainably fished, whilst taking account of the complex nature of mixed fisheries.

“As the negotiations are almost complete, I am satisfied that the agreement will deliver on this objective. We have positive advice on a number of our critical commercial stocks including spurdog, nephrops, Celtic Sea monkfish, hake and megrim and northwest haddock and whiting.

“I am satisfied, following the work done over recent days that we will deliver quotas that follow the increases advised by the science. I am also supporting cuts where these are needed to reduce fishing pressure on stocks and restricted catch limits for depleted stocks.”

The Fisheries Council adopted provisional quotas for the first three months of 2023 as the EU/UK agreement is not finalised. These quotas will support fishing at the beginning of the year, the minister said: “I do not expect we will need these provisional quotas but they are an insurance policy to provide certainty for our fishers.”

Meanwhile, negotiations with Norway were suspended amid an atmosphere “negatively impacted at European level by Norway’s recent fisheries discussions with Russia”, Minister McConalogue said.

“My main issue of concern remains that [European Union] member states who benefit from an agreement with Norway pay their fair share in quota transfers.

“I am working to limit the transfer of blue whiting and keep it at no more than 4% of the blue whiting global total allowable catch (TAC). I am also working closely with Commissioner Sinkevičius to restrict access for the Norwegian fleet to the Irish zone and in particular the area within 50 miles of the Irish coast.

“I expect that negotiations will reopen soon and I am satisfied that Ireland’s key concerns are clearly understood and will be protected.”

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Minister Charlie McConalogue met on Friday (23 September) with representatives of the broad seafood sector covering the fishing fleet, aquaculture and processing, providing an update on progress on the implementation of the recommendations of the Seafood Task Force.

Minister McConalogue said: “I set out how each of the main support schemes recommended by the Seafood Task Force are progressing including the €24 million voluntary tie-up scheme for the fishing fleet which continues to the end of November, the €60 million voluntary decommissioning scheme which commenced in early September, the €45 million processing capital, the €20 million aquaculture growth schemes which opened at the end of August and the €25 million Blue Economy Enterprise Scheme and the Fisheries Co-operative Transition Scheme.

“I listened to the requests from the sector to progress quickly the remaining schemes provided for in the task Fforce report and I undertook to work to progress consideration of these proposals with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the EU State Aid approval processes.”

The seafood sector also explained the challenges they are facing with the high cost of fuel and energy prices and asked for additional supports across all elements of the sector.

“I am very aware of the challenges being faced by the seafood sector arising from the increased costs of marine fuel and of energy,” the minister said. “I advised that I have made clear the position that the seafood sector must be supported under any business supports provided in the upcoming Budget.

“I also undertook to continue to monitor the situation and in particular the fuel costs, which have stabilised albeit at a higher level than Quarter 1 2022 prices. The current ongoing extensive supports under the task force are targeted at addressing the impacts of Brexit taking account of the current situation. I will continue to monitor and assess the situation over the coming period and keep all available options under active consideration.”

There was also in-depth discussion on the upcoming negotiations with the UK on setting whitefish quotas for 2023 and negotiations with the maritime states of the UK, Norway, Faroe Islands and Iceland on the management, sharing and quota setting for the mackerel stock and arrangements for the blue whiting fishery in 2023.

Organisations attending the meeting were the Irish South and East Fish Producer Organisation, Irish Fish Producer Organisations, Irish South and West Fishermen’s Organisation, Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, Irish Island’s Marine Resource Producer Organisation, National Inshore Fisheries Forum, Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Organisation and IFA Aquaculture. Bord Iascaigh Mhara and the Marine Institute also attended.

The meeting came two days after a Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture heard that aquaculture businesses in Ireland will “no longer be profitable” without significant supports to cope with “spiralling input costs”, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Fishing

Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue claimed a “productive” dialogue after meeting with representatives of the fishing industry to discuss a number of important issues facing the seafood sector today, Thursday 7 July.

“The meeting gave me the opportunity to engage directly with industry representatives and to hear first-hand their concerns and priorities,” the minister said. “This meeting was very productive with representatives from the offshore and inshore fleets, aquaculture and the processing industry attending.

“These are very challenging times for the Irish fishing industry and it is vital that we work together to achieve our shared goal of a sustainable and profitable industry.”

Topics discussed included the operation of schemes recommended by the Seafood Sector Taskforce, the impacts of the fuel crisis, that state of play of the coastal states negotiations on a new sharing arrangement for mackerel and the ongoing discussions between the EU and UK on measures to protect cod and whiting in the Celtic Sea.

The minister thanked the attendees for their input and said that he looked forward to continuing to work closely with the sector on these issues in the coming months.

“I recognise that the seafood sector is facing particular challenges both arising from the impacts of the EU/UK Brexit agreement and the Ukraine war resulting in very high fuel prices,” he said.

“I am pushing forward with the implementation of a range of schemes to address the financial impacts under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve fund involving support of up to €143 million and anticipate receiving State Aid approval for a further number of significant schemes that will support the industry.”

The minister added: “There are important discussions ongoing at EU level on a range of issues that impact directly on the sector involving mackerel sharing negotiations involving the EU, UK, Norway, the Faroe Islands and Iceland that will have longer term impacts. I want to work closely with the sector so that the EU and Ireland secure a fair and proportionate share of this important stock.

“There are also EU/UK discussions ongoing on additional measures to better protect cod in the Celtic sea and also support the whiting stock that is in decline. We need an ambitious approach that helps rebuild these stocks without undue impact on our whitefish fishing fleet which are heavily dependant on the Celtic Sea fisheries.”

Today’s meeting was attended by representatives from the Irish South & East Fish Producers Organisation, Irish Fish Producers Organisation, Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation, Killybegs Fisherman’s Organisation, Irish Islands Marine Resources Organisation, Co-operatives, Irish Fish Processors & Exporters Association, IFA Aquaculture and National Inshore Fisheries Forum.

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Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue has today (Tuesday 21 June) announced an extension of the 2022 Brexit Voluntary Temporary Fishing Vessel Tie-up Scheme for the polyvalent and beam trawl fleets to include the month of November 2022.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the scheme is an extension of the 2021 Tie-up Scheme, with some modifications, and aims to help mitigate the impacts of quota cuts for 2022 arising from the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

The scheme delivers on a recommendation of the Report of the Seafood Task Force – ‘Navigating Change’ (October 2021) and is proposed for funding under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

In light of the quota cuts taking effect in 2022, Minister McConalogue modified the scheme so that vessel owners can, if they wish, choose to tie-up for up to two calendar months — thereby freeing up additional quota for those vessels continuing to fish, supporting viability in the wider fleet.

However, vessels choosing to tie up for two months must maintain a two-month gap between tie-up months, for example June and September or July and October

Payment rates will be the same as the 2021 scheme. Vessel owners participating in the 2022 scheme will again be required to distribute one third of that payment to crew.

As previously reported, the minister made a formal request to the European Commission to amend the approval of the scheme to encompass November so as to provide for an additional August/November tie-up option.

An official response was received today with no objections to the scheme as amended, on the grounds that it is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

“I am pleased to have secured this extension of the time frame allowable for the 2022 Brexit Voluntary Tie-up Scheme,” Minister McConalogue said. “The third option of an August/November tie-up is key to the industry’s ability to manage and maintain the supply of fish to all its customers throughout the six month period of the tie-up scheme.

“This extension has been sought by industry and I welcome their responsiveness to learnings from the experiences of the 2021 scheme.”

The scheme will be administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and further details will be published by BIM shortly.

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At the EU Fisheries Council in Luxembourg today, Monday 13 June, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue outlined Ireland’s priorities during discussions on preparation for negotiations on setting quotas for 2023.

The minister praised the efforts of all fisheries stakeholders for their ongoing contribution to delivering on the CFP’s core ambition of sustainable fisheries management.

“I noted that considerable progress has been made over the recent years in setting sustainable quotas for our important fisheries,” he said.

“I supported the commitment to delivering quotas for 2023 that build on the progress we have made. I emphasised in particular the importance of the EU addressing effectively the current unsustainable behaviour of Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands setting unilateral unsustainable quotas for mackerel and blue whiting.”

The minister raised again the disproportionate impacts of the EU/UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement on Ireland’s quotas.

“I made clear at Council that we need a full CFP review that takes stock of the disproportionate impacts imposed on the Irish fishing industry by Brexit and the outcome of the EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA).

“If we are to continue to build on our hard-won progress, we must acknowledge and take stock of the many ways that our fisheries landscape has been totally transformed by Brexit and the TCA. This will allow us to find solutions in a spirit of solidarity within the Union to adapt and once again thrive in, our totally new post Brexit environment.”

The minister concluded by saying: “I have assured Commissioner Sinkevicius that I will continue to work closely and constructively with him and with fellow Member States on these challenges to build a sustainable future for our fishing industry.”

Published in Fishing

Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue today (Wednesday 11 May) announced a 2022 Brexit Voluntary Temporary Fishing Vessel Tie-Up Scheme for the polyvalent and beam-trawl fleets.

The scheme is an extension of the 2021 Tie-Up Scheme, with some modifications, and aims to help mitigate the impacts of quota cuts for 2022 arising from the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

“The object of the scheme is to enable a reduction in quota uptake so as to improve quota availability for the fleet overall throughout the remainder of the year,” Minister McConalogue said.

“The €24 million scheme I am announcing today delivers on a key recommendation of the Report of the Seafood Task Force – Navigating Change (October 2021). In light of the quota cuts taking effect in 2022 I have modified the scheme so that vessel owners can, if they wish, choose to tie-up for up to two calendar months.

“This enhanced tie up opportunity will free up additional quota for those vessels continuing to fish, supporting viability in the wider fleet.”

Payment rates will be the same as the 2021 scheme. Vessel owners participating in the 2022 scheme will again be required to distribute one third of that payment to crew.

In order to maintain the supply of fish to processors and fishmongers, vessels choosing to tie-up for two months must maintain a two-month gap between tie-up months, for example June and September or July and October.

The scheme will initially be expected to operate over the period June to October, but the minister will be asking the European Commission to amend the approval of the scheme to encompass November so as to provide for an additional August/November tie up option.

The scheme will be administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara and further details will be available from BIM at bim.ie/fisheries/funding/

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Marine Minister Michael Creed has announced that the implementation of the Pilot Quota Balancing Policy for Demersal (Whitefish) Stocks will be delayed until Monday 1 June.

The Pilot Quota Balancing Policy for Demersal (Whitefish) Stocks (with technical amendment of August 2019) was due to be implemented from 1 January, with quota balancing statements to issue to licence holders by the end of April.

But the minister said he acknowledges the current economic climate has had a significant impact on the seafood industry and has been particularly challenging for vessels in the whitefish fleet — fishing for hake, haddock, monkfish and whiting.

“This delay will allow our whitefish fleet extra time to become familiar with the quota balancing process and to adapt in these unprecedented times,” he said on Friday (24 April).

Quota balancing means that where a vessel lands more than its allocated catch limit for a stock during a fishery management period, a deduction will be made from a future catch limit for that vessel.

It is understood that quota balancing statements for demersal (whitefish) stocks for the calendar months of January 2020 to May 2020 will be issued to licence holders for information purposes only.

Minister Creed has recently come under fire for his reluctance to avail of EU finding to ease the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Ireland’s fishing sector.

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Marine Minister Michael Creed last week welcomed agreement reached between the European Union, Norway, the Faroe Islands and Iceland regarding the blue whiting fishery for 2020.

“This agreement provides welcome stability in this important fishery for Irish fishermen,” he said in London last Friday (25 October).

“There will be a small increase compared to 2019 with a quota of approximately 38,500 tonnes in 2020 for Ireland.”

The total allowable catch of 1,161,616 tonnes agreed between the parties is fully in line with the scientific advice provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES).

Minister Creed added: “In these uncertain times, stability for our fisheries sector is always welcome.

“The agreement reached following the negotiations this week, in which Ireland was an active participant, will provide a quota worth approximately €11.5 million for our fishermen next year.

“This follows the international negotiations two weeks ago which agreed to a 41% increase in the mackerel quotas for 2020 in line with the scientific advice, giving Ireland a mackerel quota of over 78,000 tonnes worth over €80m directly to our catching sector for 2020.”

The minster also acknowledged the assistance provided on the Irish delegation by the Marine Institute and fishing sector representatives.

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Annalise Murphy, Olympic Silver Medalist

The National Yacht Club's Annalise Murphy (born 1 February 1990) is a Dublin Bay sailor who won a silver medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics. She is a native of Rathfarnham, a suburb of Dublin.

Murphy competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the Women's Laser Radial class. She won her first four days of sailing at the London Olympics and, on the fifth day, came in 8th and 19th position.

They were results that catapulted her on to the international stage but those within the tiny sport of Irish sailing already knew her of world-class capability in a breeze and were not surprised.

On the sixth day of the competition, she came 2nd and 10th and slipped down to second, just one point behind the Belgian world number one.

Annalise was a strong contender for the gold medal but in the medal race, she was overtaken on the final leg by her competitors and finished in 4th, her personal best at a world-class regatta and Ireland's best Olympic class result in 30 years.

Radial European Gold

Murphy won her first major medal at an international event the following year on home waters when she won gold at the 2013 European Sailing Championships on Dublin Bay.

Typically, her track record continues to show that she performs best in strong breezes that suit her large stature (height: 1.86 m Weight: 72 kg).

She had many international successes on her road to Rio 2016 but also some serious setbacks including a silver fleet finish in flukey winds at the world championships in the April of Olympic year itself.

Olympic Silver Medal

On 16 August 2016, Murphy won the silver medal in the Laser Radial at the 2016 Summer Olympics defying many who said her weight and size would go against her in Rio's light winds.

As Irish Times Sailing Correspondent David O'Brien pointed out: " [The medal] was made all the more significant because her string of consistent results was achieved in a variety of conditions, the hallmark of a great sailor. The medal race itself was a sailing master class by the Dubliner in some decidedly fickle conditions under Sugarloaf mountain".

It was true that her eight-year voyage ended with a silver lining but even then Murphy was plotting to go one better in Tokyo four years later.

Sportswoman of the Year

In December 2016, she was honoured as the Irish Times/Sport Ireland 2016 Sportswoman of the Year.

In March, 2017, Annalise Murphy was chosen as the grand marshal of the Dublin St Patrick's day parade in recognition of her achievement at the Rio Olympics.

She became the Female World Champion at the Moth Worlds in July 2017 in Italy but it came at a high price for the Olympic Silver medallist. A violent capsize in the last race caused her to sustain a knee injury which subsequent scans revealed to be serious. 

Volvo Ocean Race

The injury was a blow for her return to the Olympic Laser Radial discipline and she withdrew from the 2017 World Championships. But, later that August, to the surprise of many, Murphy put her Tokyo 2020 ambitions on hold for a Volvo Ocean Race crew spot and joined Dee Caffari’s new Turn the Tide On Plastic team that would ultimately finish sixth from seventh overall in a global circumnavigation odyssey.

Quits Radial for 49erFX

There were further raised eyebrows nine months later when, during a break in Volvo Ocean Race proceedings, in May 2018 Murphy announced she was quitting the Laser Radial dinghy and was launching a 49er FX campaign for Tokyo 2020. Critics said she had left too little time to get up to speed for Tokyo in a new double-handed class.

After a 'hugely challenging' fourteen months for Murphy and her crew Katie Tingle, it was decided after the 2019 summer season that their 'Olympic medal goal' was no longer realistic, and the campaign came to an end. Murphy saying in interviews “I guess the World Cup in Japan was a bit of a wakeup call for me, I was unable to see a medal in less than twelve months and that was always the goal".

The pair raced in just six major regattas in a six-month timeframe. 

Return to Radial

In September 2019, Murphy returned to the Laser Radial dinghy and lead a four-way trial for the Tokyo 2020 Irish Olympic spot after the first of three trials when she finished 12th at the Melbourne World Championships in February 2020.

Selection for Tokyo 2021

On June 11, Irish Sailing announced Annalise Murphy had been nominated in the Laser Radial to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Murphy secured the Laser Radial nomination after the conclusion of a cut short trials in which rivals Aoife Hopkins, Aisling Keller and Eve McMahon also competed.

Disappointment at Tokyo 2021

After her third Olympic Regatta, there was disappointment for Murphy who finished 18th overall in Tokyo. On coming ashore after the last race, she indicated her intention to return to studies and retire from Olympic sailing.  

On 6th Aguust 2020, Murphy wrote on Facebook:  "I am finally back home and it’s been a week since I finished racing, I have been lucky enough to experience the highs and the lows of the Olympics. I am really disappointed, I can’t pretend that I am not. I wasn’t good enough last week, the more mistakes I made the more I lost confidence in my decision making. Two years ago I made a plan to try and win a gold medal in the Radial, I believed that with my work ethic and attitude to learning, that everything would work out for me. It didn’t work out this time but I do believe that it’s worth dreaming of winning Olympic medals as I’m proof that it is possible, I also know how scary it is to try knowing you might not be good enough!
I am disappointed for Rory who has been my coach for 15 years, we’ve had some great times together and I wish I could have finished that on a high. I have so much respect for Olympic sailing coaches. They also have to dedicate their lives to getting to the games. I know I’ll always appreciate the impact Rory has had on my life as a person.
I am so grateful for the support I have got from my family and friends, I have definitely been selfish with my time all these years and I hope I can now make that up to you all! Thanks to Kate, Mark and Rónán for always having my back! Thank you to my sponsors for believing in me and supporting me. Thank you Tokyo for making these games happen! It means so much to the athletes to get this chance to do the Olympics.
I am not too sure what is next for me, I definitely don’t hate sailing which is a positive. I love this sport, even when it doesn’t love me 😂. Thank you everyone for all the kind words I am finally getting a chance to read!"

Annalise Murphy, Olympic Sailor FAQs

Annalise Murphy is Ireland’s best performing sailor at Olympic level, with a silver medal in the Laser Radial from Rio 2016.

Annalise Murphy is from Rathfarnham, a suburb in south Co Dublin with a population of some 17,000.

Annalise Murphy was born on 1 February 1990, which makes her 30 years old as of 2020.

Annalise Murphy’s main competition class is the Laser Radial. Annalise has also competed in the 49erFX two-handed class, and has raced foiling Moths at international level. In 2017, she raced around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race.

In May 2018, Annalise Murphy announced she was quitting the Laser Radial and launching a campaign for Tokyo 2020 in the 49erFX with friend Katie Tingle. The pairing faced a setback later that year when Tingle broke her arm during training, and they did not see their first competition until April 2019. After a disappointing series of races during the year, Murphy brought their campaign to an end in September 2019 and resumed her campaign for the Laser Radial.

Annalise Murphy is a longtime and honorary member of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

Aside from her Olympic success, Annalise Murphy won gold at the 2013 European Sailing Championships on Dublin Bay.

So far Annalise Murphy has represented Ireland at two Olympic Games.

Annalise Murphy has one Olympic medal, a silver in the Women’s Laser Radial from Rio 2016.

Yes; on 11 June 2020, Irish Sailing announced Annalise Murphy had been nominated in the Women’s Laser Radial to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021.

Yes; in December 2016, Annalise Murphy was honoured as the Irish Times/Sport Ireland 2016 Sportswoman of the Year. In the same year, she was also awarded Irish Sailor of the Year.

Yes, Annalise Murphy crewed on eight legs of the 2017-18 edition of The Ocean Race.

Annalise Murphy was a crew member on Turn the Tide on Plastic, skippered by British offshore sailor Dee Caffari.

Annalise Murphy’s mother is Cathy McAleavy, who competed as a sailor in the 470 class at the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988.

Annalise Murphy’s father is Con Murphy, a pilot by profession who is also an Olympic sailing race official.

Annalise Murphy trains under Irish Sailing Performance head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, with whom she also prepared for her silver medal performance in Rio 2016.

Annalise Murphy trains with the rest of the team based at the Irish Sailing Performance HQ in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Annalise Murphy height is billed as 6 ft 1 in, or 183cm.

©Afloat 2020

At A Glance – Annalise Murphy Significant Results

2016: Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Silver

2013: European Championships, Dublin, Ireland – Gold

2012: Summer Olympics, London, UK – 4th

2011: World Championships, Perth, Australia – 6th

2010: Skandia Sail for Gold regatta – 10th

2010: Became the first woman to win the Irish National Championships.

2009: World Championships – 8th

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