Rowing: Head of the Shannon event the focus for Irish rowers

Grant of €40,000 a welcome boost for Get Going, Get Rowing programme

The Head of the Shannon carries the hopes of Irish rowers this weekend.

Muckross head, also set for Saturday, has cancelled because of the weather. But while conditions for the Carrick-on-Shannon event may not be perfect, the low water levels should help make it another good day.

Galway school clubs Coláiste Íognáid and St Joseph’s promise good competition, while Ireland junior Molly Curry of Coleraine Grammar School is also entered. The mixed masters eights again adds novelty.

The push to bring young people into rowing through the Get Going, Get Rowing programme received a boost with the announcement of a €40,000 grant from the Dormant Accounts Fund.


Sanita Puspure has made the long list for the RTÉ Sports Personality of the Year, while Maeve Donnelly and Sam Balcombe gave BBC viewers a fine account of the importance of Enniskillen RBC in cross-community affairs on the Breakfast programme this week.

Rob Collins and Kevin O'Farrell of St Michael's Rowing Club in Dublin will compete in the 2020 Atlantic Challenge. This year's race starts next week, without an Irish entry.

The club remains central to so much of what is best about rowing. The UCD annual dinner celebrated big wins, but mostly it celebrated this fact.

Something in Water, the new book on Skibbereen Rowing Club, rattles through the story of Paul and Gary O’Donovan in entertaining fashion and ends well with a chapter on Dominic Casey. In the middle the name-checking of athletes, coaches and committee members and events at home and abroad might lose the general reader.

There are a few errors. Apparently, nobody from the national media at the 2016 Skibbereen press conference knew Denise Walsh (ahem!); and the Irish Amateur Rowing Association is credited in one chapter as the national governing body.

The IARA did exist and is referenced in an anecdote in Limerick Regatta, a new book in which Kieran Kerr reviews almost 150 years of rowing history. The short-lived IARA (replaced by the Irish Amateur Rowing Union) banned those working “in or about boats, or in manual labour”!

The pictures are a joy. Want to see 11 eights racing? It is quite a sight, and it is on page 78.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in rowing