Michael O'Reilly (blue) in action

Michael O’Reilly (blue) in action

The Irish Athletic Boxing Association tonight ratified a nine-strong male and female squad for the European Olympic qualifiers in Samsun, Turkey.

Ceire Smith, Katie Taylor, Christina Desmond, Brendan Irvine, David Oliver Joyce, Dean Walsh, Michael O’Reilly, Darren O’Neill and Dean Gardiner will represent Ireland in Samsun.

Eight of the panel have been in Assisi, Italy in training camp since Monday. Smith joins the squad in Assisi tomorrow.

The Irish team are training with the host nation, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and Finland in Italy.

Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan and Joe Ward, who have already qualified for Rio 2016, are also in training camp in Assisi. The Rio trio return home on April 7 and the squad for the Olympic qualifiers travel straight to Samsun. Boxing begins on April 9.

Steven Donnelly, who is slated to line out for the Hussars of Poland versus Argentina in Poland in the World Series of Boxing on Friday, has also qualified for Rio.

The top two females in the three Olympic weight  classes – flyweight, lightweight and middleweight – for women qualify for Rio 2016 in Samsun.

The top three males in the ten weight classes for men qualify.

Irish squad European Olympic qualifiers Samsun, Turkey April 7/17

51kg Ceire Smith (Cavan)
60kg Katie Taylor (Bray)
71kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans)
52kg Brendan Irvine (St Pauls)
60kg David Oliver Joyce (AIBA Pro Boxing)
64kg Dean Walsh (St Joesphs/St Ibars)
75kg Michael O’Reilly (Portlaoise)
91kg Darren O’Neill (Paulstown)
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)
Team manager: Joe Hennigan
Coaches: Zaur Antia, Eddie Bolger, John Conlan