Trial at National Rowing Centre showcases Irish talent

Top sculler Sam McKeown has left Irish system for financial reasons

The Ireland trial at the National Rowing Centre showcased some crews which look set to bring the country glory on the world stage this year. Funding concerns are pulling the other direction. Top sculler Sam McKeown has left the system for the financial certainty of the British one.

In Cork, the under-23 lightweight pair of David O'Malley and Shane Mulvaney and the putative under-23 lightweight quad of Andrew Goff, Jake and Fintan McCarthy and Niall Beggan shone on two bright days.

Last year Ireland took two medals at the World Under-23 Championships, but Sport Ireland has cut the expected funding for the athletes.

There is talent also at younger level. Shandon's Jack Dorney and Carlow's Jack Keating impressed in a junior double, and Fermoy's Liza O'Reilly and Gill McGirr in a pair. Aoife Casey (18) was the closest challenger in a single scull to outstanding senior Monika Dukarska.


Sanita Puspure is recovering from injury, and Denise Walsh has been ill.

The fastest men's scullers were Philip Doyle of Queen's and Andy Harrington of Shandon, who teamed up in a double on Sunday.

The next trial in May will feature Paul and Gary O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan. They return from Australia on April 10th/11th.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

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