Bridge Notes: Father-son team take Duais an Uachtaráin in Cork

First national event played at the bridge table since February 2020 sees drop in entrants

John and Kelan O'Connor, the father-son partnership from Tralee, won the Contract Bridge Association of Ireland's president's prize (Duais an Uachtaráin) in Cork at the weekend. It was their second national championship success, having previously been members of the team that won the Kelburne Cup in 2016. Second and third places went to Cork pairs Derek O'Gorman and Tom McCarthy and Anne Dillon and Cian Holland respectively, while Liz Taaffe and Cynthia Coyne were fourth.

O’Gorman and McCarthy led at halfway with an excellent 65 per cent session score, with Dillon and Holland within striking distance. At this stage the O’Connors, almost 10 percentage points in arrears, seemed out of contention, but a huge, almost 69 per cent final session brought them through the field, while their main rivals, although scoring well, had no answer to the Tralee pair’s finish. Taaffe and Coyne, fourth after the first session, held that position to the end.

Best area masters were: Bart Van Oyen, Oliver Morgan; best intermediate: Pat Twomey, Tadhg Harrington. Session prizes: Catherine McCann, Brendan Martin; Norma Madden, Paul Porteous.

The competition was the first national event to be played at the bridge table since February of last year and attracted an entry of 40 pairs, a big drop from the 119 pairs that contested the same competition in 2019.


Other results

Anne Hassan and Sandie Millership won Northern Ireland's Belfast Swiss pairs event on Sunday. Bill Scott and Drew Lindsay were second, Wayne Somerville and Paul Tranmer third. Recent trials winners Mark Moran, John Carroll, Tom Hanlon, Tommy Garvey, Nick FitzGibbon and Adam Mesbur, along with Gráinne Barton and Leslie Amoils (Canada), have reached the final of the Online Contract Bridge League's October cup.

Donegal congress, which for the second consecutive year will be played online on the BBO website, will begin on Friday evening next with mixed, gala, intermediate and novice competitions, plus a Fast-Friday pairs event that will incorporate the Irish Bridge Union's (IBU) simultaneous contest.

Saturday's programme will include the congress pairs championship and separate two-session competitions for area masters, intermediate A and intermediate B and novice grades. Team competitions will be held on Sunday. Online entry forms, available at, must be completed for all competitions, including open pairs' events which will be held throughout the weekend.

The IBU simultaneous pairs competitions continue in clubs throughout the country for the remainder of this week.