Irish boxing claimed nine medals – three of which are gold – in 17 days of European Elite Men’s and Women’s Youth and Junior competition in June and July.
Joe Ward won gold and Brendan Irvine and Kurt Walker double bronze at the European Men’s Championships in Kharkiv, Ukraine last month and also qualified for next month’s World Championships in Hamburg, Germany along with Sean McComb, who was very unlucky not to finish amongst the medals in Kharkiv.
The Irish women’s team followed that up with a haul of two gold, one silver and three bronze at the European Women’s Youth and Junior Championships which finished in Sofia, Bulgaria yesterday.
Daina Moorehouse and Aoibhe Carabine struck double gold in the Junior event and Ciara Brien and Catherine Blaney double bronze.
Caitlin Fryers claimed European Youth silver and Lauren Kelly bronze.
The Junior side finished in 3rd spot in the medals table and in 4th place in the rankings table at the 29-nation tournament.
The Youth side finished 10th in the medals table and 7th in the rankings table in Sofia.
Jimmy Payne was Irish head coach in the Bulgarian capital and worked Ireland’s corner with Ger McDaid, Antoinette Faye-McClean and Liam Brereton. Bernie Harold was Irish Team Manager.
The Elite Men’s squad, under head coach Zaur Antia and coaches Dmitry Dimitruc, Jimmy Payne and Eoin Pluck finished in 4th place in the medals in the Ukraine and in 4th place in the rankings table.
High-Performance Director Bernard Dunne, with the Irish team in Kharkiv, hailed the performances of Team Ireland at the 42nd European Championships.
“Fantastic performances all round from the Irish squads and coaches and staff in European competition over the last number of weeks in Bulgaria and the Ukraine, said IABA President Pat Ryan.
“Nine medals against some of the top boxers in the world in the various Elite, Youth and Junior categories speaks for itself.”
The IABA President also praised the contribution of Ireland’s clubs, club coaches and staff, a contribution he described as invaluable.
Team Ireland arrived home from Sofia this afternoon via Dublin Airport.