Olympic Team Profiles

July 24, 2012

ATHLETICS

 

JESSIE BARR

Athletics – Women’s 4 x 400 metres Relay

The Ferrybank, Waterford athlete is one of the most promising 400m hurdles athletes in the country, achieving a PB at the recent European Championships in Helsinki and making the final.

Only 22, Jessie comes from an athletics family and is the Irish Under 23 record holder – a talented 400m performer with a big future.

 

CLAIRE BERGIN

Athletics – Women’s 4 x 400 metres Relay

Claire enters the Irish sporting record books by being the first female to compete for Ireland at both the Summer and Winter Games. In 2010 she was part of Ireland’s superb women’s bobsleigh team at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

From Dublin, Claire is 27 and is a trainee chartered accountant, and a key member of the Relay team that competed at the World Championships in Korea.

CATRIONA CUDDIHY

Women’s 4x400metres Relay – reserve

The Kilkenny City Harriers athlete has been recently training in Australia and has had a very successful junior career.

Catriona is 26 and her Olympic odyssey to date has been well documented in the media. Her sister is 400m star Joanne Cuddihy.

 

BRENDAN BOYCE

Athletics – Men’s 50K Walk

From Milford, Co. Donegal, he is the first athlete to qualify from the county for the Olympic Games in 36 years.

A late convert to race walking, he now is fourth in the all-time Irish ranking list. Only 25, he is based and trains at the UK’s national race walking centre in Leeds and represents Letterkenny AC.

 

FIONNUALA BRITTON

Athletics – Women’s 10,000 metres

This superb Kilcoole AC, Co. Wicklow athlete has a ‘first’ in sports science at DCU. Always a renowned cross country specialist, she won gold at the 2011 European championships in Slovenia, a crowning achievement for Ireland’s top female cross county runner.

Under coach Chris Jones, she has now moved her focus to track running and has achieved Olympic ‘A’ standards in three disciplines for London – steeplechase, 5K and 10K. She will drop the steeplechase option and now, at 28, enters her second Olympic Games as one of the most improved track athletes in Europe.

 

LINDA BYRNE

Athletics – Women’s Marathon

Age 25, from Dundrum, South Dublin, Linda has overcome lengthy illness to achieve her Olympic dream. Running internationally since she was 15, she is a graduate of DCU.

She achieved the Olympic ‘A’ standard in her first ever marathon in Dublin and, in the process, became the Irish title holder. She recently warmed up for London by winning the Dublin Mini Marathon – a young, emerging athlete with great prospects for the future.

 

MICHELLE CAREY

Athletics – Women’s 4 x 400 metres Relay

This top Dublin athlete is making her second Olympic appearance after competing in Beijing in the 400 metres hurdles.

Now 31, she is usually based in the UK and is a primary school teacher. She competed in the World Championships in Korea as part of Ireland’s Relay team.

 

ALISTAIR CRAGG

Athletics – Men’s 5,000 metres

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa of Irish stock, Alistair is one of the major names on the Grand Prix circuit. He lives most of the year in Arkansas with another base in London. He is the Irish 5K and 10 national record holder.

Now 32, London will be his third Olympics. He won gold at the World Indoor Championships in 2005 and recently set a new Irish and European 5K record time as part of his London 2012 build-up.

 

CATRIONA CUDDIHY

Athletics – Women’s 4 x 400 metres Relay

Representing Kilkenny City Harriers, the 26 year old is a regular member of the Women’s 4x400m relay team, recently being with the squad at the European Championships in Helsinki.

Catriona has competed internationally including Australia. She is the younger sister of 400m Olympian, Joanne.

 

JOANNE CUDDIHY

Athletics – Women’s 400 metres

Age 28, from Kilkenny City, Joanne is Ireland’s one-lap wonder and was the first Irish female to run the 400 metres in under 51 seconds. She is the national title holder.

Joanne comes from a talented family and is a qualified medical doctor and a highly rated violinist. This is her second Olympics and she has been training full-time in Australia for the London Games for the past year. She is also a key member of Ireland’s 4×400 metre Relay team.

 

COLIN GRIFFIN
Athletics – Men’s 50K Walk
Age 30, Colin comes from Co. Leitrim and has a family athletics background. His father was athletics team coach at the Munich and Moscow Olympics and a former president of the national federation; and his mother Patricia won many athletics titles.
Now based in Limerick, this outstanding athlete is now heading into his second Olympics after a season of highs and lows, yet with the satisfaction of gaining Olympic qualification in Russia recently.

MARIAN HEFFERNAN

Athletics – Women’s 4 x 400 metres Relay

A native of Cork City, Marian is part of Ireland’s latest high profile sporting couple, being married to Ireland’s renowned Olympic race walker Rob Heffernan.

She is fifth in the all-time Irish record books for the women’s 400 metres. She has spent time in Australia training for the London Games with her husband – and is a fully qualified sports injuries therapist.

 

ROB HEFFERNAN

Athletics – Men’s 20K & 50K Race Walks

The hugely talented Togher, Cork City athlete, at 33, has a lifetime of race walking experience at the highest levels and will be a fourth-time Olympian in London.

Rob is the Irish national 20K and 50K record holder and is one of the country’s most respected athletes. In Beijing he finished eighth in the 20K walk – and is one of Ireland’s chief medal hopes at London 2012.

 

PAUL HESSION

Athletics – Men’s 200 metres

Paul is the fastest man in Irish sprint history and is the current record holder from 60 metres to 200 metres. Now 29, the Athenry, Co. Galway flyer has stalled his medical studies in order to compete in his second Olympics.

He won silver at the World University Games in 2003 and was Ireland’s track athlete of the year in 2007. At the Beijing Olympics, he narrowly missed out on a final place in the 200 metres, won by Usain Bolt, and in 2010 made Irish athletics history as the first Irishman to make a 200m European sprint final.

 

AVA HUTCHINSON

Athletics – Women’s Marathon

Eva, age 29, is the current Irish half marathon and cross country title holder and was the fastest of the four Irish athletes to achieve the Olympic ‘A’ standard in the women’s marathon.

Born in Blackrock, Co. Dublin, she was raised in Hampshire. The Dundrum South Dublin runner was educated at Butler University, Indiana and has worked and trained in Loughborough for the past four years.

 

CATRIONA JENNINGS

Athletics – Women’s Marathon

Running for Rathfarnham AC, this 31 year old Dublin based tax adviser gained Olympic qualification in Amsterdam in April by running a personal best.

From Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Catriona is relatively new to marathon running and is the second person from the county to achieve Olympic qualification in 36 years. She is a sister of champion rower Sinead Jennings.

 

MARK KENNEALLY

Athletics – Men’s Marathon

Mark started his athletics career with Raheny Shamrock AC and is now with Clonliffe Harriers AC. He has successfully balanced his pursuit of excellence in both sport and scholarship while studying at Trinity College Dublin, initially for a BSc in Physiotherapy and currently as a PhD student in Physiology, as well as running his own practice.

He is the reigning National Senior 10,000 champion and was awarded the Athletics Ireland Cross-Country Athlete of the Year title in 2010. Aged 31, he achieved Olympic marathon qualification in Amsterdam in 2011.

 

OLIVE LOUGHNANE

Athletics – Women’s 20K Walk

Making her fourth Olympic appearance, Olive was born in Cork and reared in Carrabane, Co. Galway. Now 36, she lives back in Cork with her husband and daughter.

One of the mainstays of the Irish Olympic athletic squad, Olive is the eldest of seven and is a qualified school teacher. She finished seventh at the Beijing Olympics and won the silver medal at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin – a phenomenal competitor, now in her prime.

 

CIARAN O’LIONAIRD

Athletics – Men’s 1,500 metres

From Macroom, Co. Cork, Ciaran has spent most of his athletics life in the USA on scholarships in Michigan and Florida universities. He is now ranked fourth in the all-time Irish 1,500m list, only bettered by Olympians such as Ray Flynn, Marcus O’Sullivan and Frank O’Mara.

Now aged 24, he has successfully overcome injury to take 14 seconds off his 1,500m best in order to qualify for London. In addition, he finished 10th at last years World Championships in Korea – undoubtedly a star of the future.

 

DERVAL O’ROURKE

Athletics – Women’s 100 metres Hurdles

Ireland’s ‘golden girl’ of athletics hails from Cork City and has several college degrees from UCD plus a Masters from the Smurfit Business School. Aged 31, she is competing in her third Olympics in London.

She was the first Irishwoman to win a World Indoor Championships (and to retain her title as well). In 2006 she won silver at the European Championships (outdoor) in Athens and represented Europe at the 2010 IAAF Continental Cup.

Derval is the Irish 60m and 100m record holder and has competed in five world championships – a marvelous competitor for her country.

 

TORI PENA

Athletics – Women’s Pole Vault

Representing Donegal’s Finn Valley AC, near to the home of her Derry born maternal grandmother, 25 year old Victoria ‘Tori’ Pena from California also has a strong Mexican/American background.

A graduate of UCLA in Los Angeles, Tori has dual citizenship and is the Irish outdoor and indoor record holder. This season, she has twice achieved the Olympic ‘A’ standard at big athletics meetings in the USA.

 

STEPHANIE REILLY

Athletics – Women’s 3,000 m Steeplechase

Now 34, Stephanie hails from Co. Wicklow and has been in the USA since she went there on a athletics scholarship to the renowned Providence College, Rhode Island in 1997.

She has served as head coach at Bryant University, Rhode Island, following her graduation from Providence and has won many accolades over the years as an athlete and coach. A triple Irish national champion, Stephanie achieved the Olympic ‘A’ standard at the World Championships in Korea last year.

 

LAURA REYNOLDS

Athletics – Women’s 20K Walk

Coached by fellow race walker Colin Griffin, Laura made the Olympic qualification mark by beating her personal best by 2 minutes in her final attempt in La Coruna, Spain recently.

Representing Mohill & District AC, Co. Leitrim, she has competed for Ireland at the World University Games and at under age Euro championships – now only 24, definitely an athlete for the future.

 

DEIRDRE RYAN

Athletics – Women’s High Jump

Deirdre has make the history books as Ireland’s first ever female Olympic high jumper. Clearing 1.95m in the World Championships in Korea, she achieved Olympic qualification and finished sixth, the standout Irish performer.

From Ballinteer, the South Dublin suburb, Deirdre has been working and training in Germany for many years and has been a consistently good athlete at all the major championships, despite injury problems from time to time. Now 29, she is hoping to do well in London.

 

PATSY McGONAGLE

Athletics – Team Manager

From Ballybofey, Co. Donegal, Patsy has managed many medal-winning Irish athletic squads over the years and was the Irish track and field manager at the Sydney and Beijing Olympic Games.

A former cross country star, he has a proud record of success in his managerial career and also has a unique London Olympic heritage – his father played with the Irish soccer team in the famous London Olympics of 1948.

 

KEVIN ANKROM

Athletics – High Performance Director

From the USA, Kevin has extensive experience at senior level in high performance sport over the past 16 years, working in the USA, Bahrain and Hong Kong.

He moved to Ireland last year after serving a very successful four year stint as High Performance Director of Athletics New Zealand. Since arriving, he has created a new performance environment which has seen a large squad of Irish track and field athletes qualifying for the London Games.

 

SUPPORT TEAM

ANNE KEENAN BUCKLEY – Coach

MARK CARROLL – Coach

STEPHEN MAGUIRE – Coach

LIAM REILLY – Coach

PATRICK RYAN – Coach

KYLE ALEXANDER – Physiotherapist

EMMA GALLIVAN – Physiotherapist

BADMINTON

 

CHLOE MAGEE

Badminton – Women’s Singles

From Raphoe, Co. Donegal, this 23 year old is, by far, Ireland’s top female badminton player.

Now a full-time professional in Denmark, Chloe continues to fly the Irish flag at competitions all over the world. She performed well at her first Olympics in Beijing and London 2012 is now her main goal as she moves into her prime.

 

SCOTT EVANS

Badminton – Men’s Singles

Scott hails from South Dublin and is a graduate of Wesley College where he excelled at hockey, badminton and football. In 2005 he moved to Copenhagen to further his badminton career.

Now 25, he is a full-time professional playing in the Danish leagues. He was the first Irishman to qualify in badminton for the Olympics (Beijing 2008) and has won over 36 caps for his country.

JIM LAUGESEN

Badminton – Team Coach

This former international from Europe’s top badminton nation, Denmark, has starred at many world tournaments for years and is coach to Ireland’s Olympians Chloe Magee and Scott Evans.

He served a similar role at the Beijing Olympics and is a vital contributor to the development of the sport in Ireland.

DANIEL MAGEE

Badminton – Team Manager

The 24 years old is a member of the renowned Magee badminton dynasty from Raphoe, Co. Donegal and a brother of Chloe Magee.

A former international, he was recently appointed Ireland’s High Performance coach by Badminton Ireland

BOXING

 

PADDY BARNES

Boxing – Men’s 49Kg

Now 24, Paddy is a member of the famous Holy Family Club in Belfast and is a bronze medal winner from the Beijing Olympics 2008.

Ireland’s national champion is also a regular tournament winner, taking gold at the Commonwealth Games and at the European Championships of 2010. He is all set to strike gold again at London 2012.

 

MICHAEL CONLAN

Boxing – Men’s 52Kg

Described as the ‘uncut diamond’ of Irish boxing, this young 20 year old is the current Irish champion.

Michael comes from the Falls Road area of West Belfast, boxing out of the St. John Bosco club. His dynamic international performances have hit the headlines and his Olympic debut is eagerly awaited.

 

JOHN JOE NEVIN

Boxing – Men’s 56Kg

This exciting 23 year old hails from Mullingar and boxes out of Cavan BC. This is his second Olympic Games appearance.

Twice a bronze medal winner at world championships and also a winner with his Paris team at the recent World Series of Boxing, John Joe is now a decent medal prospect for London 2012.

 

ADAM NOLAN

Boxing – Men’s 69Kg

The Bray based Garda and hurling fanatic gained his debut London Olympic spot after winning gold at the qualification tournament in Trabzon, Turkey earlier this year.

From Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, this southpaw, age 25, is now a member of Bray Boxing Club where he trains alongside Katie Taylor.

 

DARREN O’NEILL

Boxing – Men’s 75Kg

Darren is the Irish boxing team captain and three time’s national champion. He comes from Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny and is a qualified school teacher.

He won silver at the European championships in Moscow in 2010. Age 25, he boxes out of Paulstown BC and is an excellent prospect for a podium position.

KATIE TAYLOR

Boxing – Women’s 60Kg

Katie is the premier women’s boxer in the world, with four world championships and five European championships to her belt.

From Bray, Co. Wicklow, the 26 year old is also an Irish soccer international. She took up boxing at the age of 12 and is coached by her dad, Pete Taylor. Katie is one of the medal favourites for the London Olympics.

DES DONNELLY
Boxing – Team Manager
This Belfastman has managed the very successful Irish boxing squad for the past four years.
He founded the Ashbourne Boxing Club in Co. Meath, where he lives.
Des has served Irish boxing with honour, having been one of Ireland’s top coaches for 30 years
and also a boxing adjudicator of note.

BILLY WALSH

Boxing – Head Coach

This Wexford Town native has contributed greatly to the success of Irish boxing in recent years as head coach of the IABA’s High Performance Unit.

He was one of Ireland’s outstanding boxers of the 80s, winning seven national titles and representing his country at the Seoul Olympics of 1988 – a masterful coach and mentor.

 

SUPPORT TEAM

DES DONNELLY– Team Manager

ZAUR ANTIA – Coach

PETE TAYLOR – Coach

GERRY HUSSEY – Psychologist

CONOR McCARTHY – Physiotherapist

CANOEING

 

EOIN RHEINISCH

Canoeing – Men’s Kayak K1 Slalom

Age 32, Eoin finished fourth in Beijing, missing out on a medal by the slimmest of margins. He is a World Cup gold medalist and a 6-times World Cup finalist.

Eoin is a full time and highly experienced athlete who travels the world for competition. He is a business and marketing graduate of Nottingham University and hails from Leixlip, Co. Kildare, where his local Salmon Leap Canoe Club is based. He is currently in the form of his life and is a definite medal prospect.

 

HANNAH CRAIG

Canoeing – Women’s Kayak K1 Slalom

Born in Armoy, Co. Antrim and raised in France where she got the canoeing bug, Hannah narrowly missed out on qualification for Beijing.

Age 27, she is a tough competitor who formed her own clothing company to help fund her Olympic qualification effort. She is now largely based in Belfast with her coach Han Binjen. Han worked with the Irish team at the Beijing Games.

 

ANDRZEJ JEZIERSKI

Canoeing – Sprint C1 200 metres

The 31 year old athlete has lived with his family in Ballincollig, Cork, for several years and won gold for Poland at the World Championships in Zagreb in 2005. He is the surprise newcomer to Team Ireland.

Originally from Poznan, Andrzej has also won five medals at the Canoe World Sprint Championships including two golds. He trains at the National Rowing Centre at Farrans, Co. Cork.

 

KARL DUNNE

Canoeing – Team Manager

This active paddler is one of the top administrators in Irish sport and has been active in canoeing circles for many years with the Irish Canoe Union.

Karl is a member of the Wild Water Kayak Club based at Dublin’s Strawberry Beds on the River Liffey.

 

SUPPORT TEAM

HAN BINJEN – Coach

THILO SCHMITT – coach

IRENEUSZ PRACHARCZYK – coach

CYCLING

MARTYN IRVINE

Irvine claimed his qualification slot for the London 2012 Olympics following a seventh place finish in the Omnium event at the Track World Championships at Melbourne.

Irvine rode consistently over the two days in the six-event Omnium with five top ten finishes ensuring a high overall finish.

The Track World Championships in Melbourne marks the end of a long qualification route for Irvine, which started in Poland in November 2010 and included twelve events in total.

Irvine, a native of Ards, in Co Dowm, completed in eleven of the twelve events during qualification, taking in China, Kazakhstan, Columbia and, more recently, the Olympic Velodrome at the London World Cup.

MARTIN O’LOUGHLIN

Cycling – Team Manager

Martin hails from cycling mad Carrick on Suir and has competed as an elite road cyclist and is a multiple national vet’s champion.

He was manager of Ireland’s Olympic cycling team in Athens and national team director from 2003/2005. A secondary school teacher, he is currently youth development coach for Cycling Ireland.

DAVID McCANN

Cycling – Men’s Road Race

David has been Irish national road race champion three times and national time trial champion six times. He is also a Commonwealth Games medallist and a Ras winner.

Now 39, his extensive professional career has seen the Belfast man gain several stage wins at the highest levels on world cycling circuit over the years. He competed for Ireland at the Sydney and Athens Olympics.

 

DANIEL MARTIN

Cycling – Men’s Road Race

A cousin of Nicolas Roche, Dan turned pro in 2008 and quickly made an international impact. He is 26 and has a bright future in the sport.

To date, the Irish national road race champion, born in Birmingham, has won several impressive stages on the Grand Tour and London 2012 marks his Olympic debut.

 

NICOLAS ROCHE

Cycling – Men’s Road Race

Now 28, this superb pro was born in France and educated at Blackrock College, Dublin. He is the son of former Olympian, world champion and Tour de France winner, Stephen.

Nicolas turned pro in 2005 and is one of the most charismatic figures in Irish sport – gaining huge acclaim for his top ten performances on the world pro circuit and for his high profile media work. This is his second Olympics appearance.

ANDY SPARKS

Cycling Track Coach

BRIAN KENNEALLY

Cycling – Bike Mechanic

 

SHOW JUMPING

 

DAMIAN McDONALD

Equestrian – Team Leader

From Crossabeg, Co. Wexford, Damian lives in Stradbally, Co. Laois. He was manager of the Irish Olympic equestrian team in Beijing.

One of the top administrators in equestrian sport, he is CEO of Horse Sport Ireland.

ROBERT SPLAINE

Equestrian – Show Jumping Chef D’Equipe

From Belgooly, Co. Cork, Robert is a former Irish show jumping champion and represented Ireland for over 30 years internationally, including three World Championships.

He has served as Ireland’s show jumping team manager for the past six years including European, World and Olympic Games.

CIAN O’CONNOR

Equestrian – Show Jumping

Based in Co. Meath, Cian runs a successful training establishment and is a renowned international rider having competed at Olympic, World Cup and Grand Prix levels.

He is 33 and is vastly experienced, having ridden in 85 Irish Nations’ Cup teams.

He is one of Ireland’s highest world ranked horsemen and a formidable competitor.

TAYLOR VARD

Show Jumping Coach

JAMES TARRANT

Show Jumping Coach

EVENTING

 

AOIFE CLARK

Equestrian – Three day Eventing

This first class graduate of UCD has had numerous top ten finishes in major UK eventing competitions, where she has been based for the past six years.

Age 31, Aoife now runs a professional event training yard in Oxfordshire. She hails from Naas, Co. Kildare.

 

MARK KYLE

Equestrian – Three day Eventing

Mark comes from Co. Wicklow and has risen through the eventing ranks from junior level. He now lives and works in Leicestershire and is age 39.

He has performed well at all the major European championships and represented Ireland with distinction at the Athens Olympic Games.

 

JOSEPH MURPHY

Equestrian – Three Day Eventing

Originally from Mullingar, co. Westmeath, this superb rider is now based at Killyleagh, Co. Down where he runs a successful competition and training yard.

Age 35, this is his Olympic debut and follows many recent top performances at major competitions. He is a HSI level 2 coach.

MICHAEL RYAN

Equestrian – Three Day Eventing

This very experienced competitor helps runs the Donegan Ryan Eventing operation in Bandon, Co. Cork with his wife Patricia. He competed at the World Championships in Kentucky.

He hails from Oala, Co. Limerick and is 37 year of age. He is a Tattersalls leading rider award winner.

 

CAMILLA SPIERS

Equestrian – Three day Eventing

Living in Athy, Co. Kildare, Camilla is one of the bright stars on the Irish equestrian scene and the youngest member of the eventing team, at age 23.

She began competing at eleven and has posted many excellent results on the circuit including Badminton. She has twice won the Irish Field award.

 

GINNY ELLIOT

Equestrian – Three day Eventing Chef D’Equipe

Ginny is best known for her stellar equestrian career which has seen her win four Olympic medals for Great Britain – two silver and two bronze.

Her other achievements include riding on three world team eventing winning squads and being crowned world champion in 1986.

DRESSAGE

 

ANNA MERVELDT

Equestrian – Mixed Dressage-Individual

Anna is one of the leading dressage riders on the international circuit and represented Ireland at the Barcelona Olympics of 1992.

From Kildare, she is a regular Rider of the Year award winner and is currently based in Italy.

 

EQUESTRIAN SUPPORT TEAM

 

TRIONA CONNORS – Dressage Team Chef d’equipe

MARCUS SWAIL – Veterinary Surgeon

FERDI EILBERG – Coach

IAN FEARON – Coach

JESSICA HARRINGTON – Coach

 

GYMNASTICS

 

KIERAN BEHAN

Gymnastics – Men’s Artistic – Floor

Kieran has defied all the odds and overcome life threatening illnesses in his young life to achieve his Olympic dream. Now 23, this son of Irish parents was born in London and is based in Surrey.  He is the first Irish gymnast to officially qualify by right to the Olympics and only the second to compete.

He is the world challenge cup series winner for 2011 and within this achievement Kieran secured 3 world cup medals including the Gold medal for his performance on floor in the Ostrava world cup 2011. Achieving a floor final in the Olympic test event and European Championships these are also further milestones for Kieran being the best ever results by an Irish gymnast.

 

SUPPORT TEAM

SIMON GALE – Coach

DEMETRIOS BRADSHAW – Coach

JUDO

 

LISA KEARNEY

Judo – Women’s 48Kg

Overcoming a long and tough qualification programme, Lisa will be the first female to represent Ireland in judo at the Olympics – and is a leading prospect for medal success.

The 22 year old comes from West Belfast and is the most successful Irish judo player in the world, winning four World Cup gold medals and a Commonwealth Games title to date, despite many injuries. She competes out of the Yamakwai Club in Belfast and is coached by double Olympian Ciaran Ward.

 

CIARAN WARD

Judo – Team Manager

Ciaran is Irish Judo’s High Performance Director and personal coach to Lisa Kearney.

He founded the renowned Yamakwai (Black Mountain) Judo Club in his native Belfast and has represented Ireland as a judo athlete in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games.

 

KEITH GOUGH

Judo – Coach

From North Dublin, this very experienced coach represented Ireland at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

He promotes the sport of judo nationwide through a variety of competitions and educational activities including very successful judo camps.

MODERN PENTATHLON

 

NATALYA COYLE

Modern Pentathlon – Women

This multi-talented athlete took up the sport following Irish Pony Club Tetrathlon competitions as a junior – and is the first Irish competitor to qualify in Modern Pentathlon since the Moscow Games of 1980.

The Tara, Co. Meath athlete is 21 and has put her Trinity College Dublin business studies degree on hold in order to compete in London. Natalya will be a popular addition to Ireland’s Olympic challenge in what is a very tough sport.

ARTHUR LANIGAN-O’KEEFFE

Modern Pentathlon

The 20 year old hails from Kilkenny and is an elite sports scholarship athlete at UCD, and now lives in Dublin.

He has proven himself as an Olympic candidate with superb performances on the World Cup circuit in Brazil and China in 2012. Despite narrowly missing out on direct qualification, he now joins Team Ireland following the withdrawal of a Polish competitor.

 

LINDSEY WEEDON

Modern Pentathlon – Team Manager

Moving to Ireland from the UK in 2009, Lindsey has overseen the progression of the sport as High Performance Director – and its success in qualifying one athlete for the London Games.

She’s competed for Britain, winning bronze at the junior worlds in 2003. Lindsey has sports science and coaching education masters degrees from the University of Bath. Interestingly, both of her grandparents competed as gymnasts in the 1948 London Games.

 

SUPPORT TEAM

MURAK WALDEMAR MAKAY – coach

JOHN LEDINGHAM – coach

ROWING

 

SANITA PUSPURE

Rowing – Women’s Single Sculls

Sanita, 30, will be Ireland’s sole competitor in rowing and gained her Olympic spot with a great performance in the Olympic qualifier in Lucerne, Switzerland in May. She represents UCD’s Old Collegians Boat Club.

 

Originally from Latvia, Sanita has lived in Ireland for many years and both of her children were born here. Her surname is pronounced PUSH PURR. This very gutsy athlete could be Ireland’s surprise packet of the rowing competition.

 

MARTIN McELROY

Rowing – Team Manager

Martin is a native of Eyrecourt, County Galway and coached GB’s Olympic gold medal winning rowing eight to victory at the 2000 Sydney Games. He founded and developed a high performance training centre in Hammersmith, London for athletes that yielded four world championship medals and an Olympic gold in the space of three years.

Martin is also a recipient of the Mussabini medal, Sport Coach UK’s highest award for excellence in coaching.

 

ADRIAN CASSIDY

Rowing – Coach

Born in South Africa of Scottish parents, Adrian is Rowing Ireland’s chief coach and has been based at the National Rowing Centre in Farrens, Co. Cork since 2009.

He has won several gold medals at world championships for Great Britain and was Talent ID coach at Cambridge University Boat Club which delivered medals for GB at the Beijing Games.

 

SAILING

 

DAVID BURROWS

Sailing – Men’s Star

Representing both Malahide and Howth Yacht Clubs, this Malahide, Co. Dublin native is one of Ireland’s most experienced international sailors.

David now competes at his fourth Olympics having represented Ireland at the Atlanta, Sydney and Athens Games. With his team mate Peter O’Leary, he won gold at the recent Sail for Gold competiton in Weymouth.

 

JAMES ESPEY

Sailing – Men’s Laser

Ireland’s number one laser sailor nailed his Olympic qualification place with a series of great performances at the World Laser Championships in Germany earlier this year.

James is 28 and comes from Bangor, Co. Down, sailing out of the famous Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough.

 

MATTHEW McGOVERN

Sailing – Men’s 49er

Matt is regarded as one of the best 49er sailors in the world and, with his team mate Ryan Seaton, is ranked in the world’s top ten.

This first time Olympian is now age 28. He is a member of Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough and a native of Bangor, Co. Down.

 

ANNALISE MURPHY

Sailing – Women’s Laser Radial

The Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin star started sailing at 6 and sails out of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. Her mum Cathy represented Ireland at the 1988 Olympics and her dad Con holds the Round Ireland speed record.

 

Annalise was the first Irish sailor to qualify for London 2012 and, age 22, is an excellent medal prospect for Ireland having won bronze at the recent Sail For Gold competition at Weymouth.

 

PETER O’LEARY

Sailing – Men’s Star

Peter, age 29, comes from a famous Cork sailing dynasty and sails with the Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork. He is a native of Crosshaven, Co. Cork.

He made his Olympic debut in China in 2008 and recently won gold with his team mate David Burrows at the rrecent Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth – a superb achievement in Olympic year.

 

GER OWENS

Sailing – Men’s 470

Making his third consecutive Olympic appearance, Ger is from Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin and is a member of the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

Age 35, he is a hugely experienced sailor, regularly appearing at championships and regattas worldwide for many years. His sailing partnership with 19 year old Scott Flanigan is the perfect combination of experience and young talent – and is much anticipated in Weymouth.

 

SCOTT FLANIGAN

Sailing – Men’s 470

From Malahide, Co. Dublin and sailing out of Howth Yacht Club, Scott is age 19. He is one of the most promising young sailors in Ireland having competed in over 15 world and European championships at junior level.

Scott and Ger Owens were the gold medal winners at this year’s Delta Lloyd Regatta in Holland. Scott will be one of the youngest competitors at the 2012 Olympic Games sailing event.

 

RYAN SEATON

Sailing – Men’s 49er

Ryan (25), one of the bright stars of Northern sailing, hails from Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, where he sails out of the local yacht club.

Making his Olympic debut, he is a renowned laser sailor who has combined his talents with those of Matt McGovern to make a very effective 49er team that has secured vital Olympic qualification.

 

JAMES O’CALLAGHAN

Sailing – Team Manager

This Malahide, Co. Dublin business graduate of Trinity College is a qualified sailing coach with lots of Olympic and World Championship experience at all levels.

He is High Performance Director of the Irish Sailing Association and has coached at numerous world ranked events including with the South African and Seychelles squads at the Sydney Games. James was manager of the Irish team at the Beijing Games.

 

SUPPORT TEAM

 

IAN BARKER – Coach

RORY FITZPATRICK – Coach

RICHARD HONEYFORD – Coach

MARK PICKEL – Coach

ROSS KILLIAN _ Coach

 

SHOOTING

 

DEREK BURNETT

Shooting – Men’s Trap

The Kenagh, Co. Longford sharpshooter travels to the London Olympics determined to reach the final shoot-out. He finished a brilliant seventh place at the Athens Games following his Olympic debut in Sydney.

Derek is 42 and travels the world for competition – a mentally tough competitor who has won medals in World Cups and has beaten every top ranked athlete in the shooting world at some stage. He works in the field sports business and is a member of the Dublin Olympic Trap Club.

 

KEVIN KILTY

Shooting – Team Manager

An active international competitor until 1995, Kevin holds the highest coaching (Class A) qualification of the International Shooting Sports Federation – one of a dozen worldwide.

From Dublin, he has transformed Irish Clay Pigeon Shooting’s High Performance programme since taking over in 2006 and has overseen Ireland’s World Championship and World Cup medal successes since then.

JOE NEVILLE

Shooting Coach

SWIMMING

 

BARRY MURPHY

Swimming – 100 metes Breaststroke

From Drumcondra, Dublin, Barry graduated from the University of Tennessee with a business degree in 2010 and is now a member of Club Wolverine in Michigan.

He achieved the Olympic ‘A’ standard last year in Indianapolis and has competed for Ireland at world and European levels. He has been swimming competitively for 15 years and is a consistent record breaker.

 

GRAINNE MURPHY

Swimming – Women’s 800 metres Freestyle

Grainne is one of the elite athletes on the world swimming stage. She hails from New Ross, Co. Wexford and is 20 years of age. London marks her Olympic début.

Based at the High Performance Unit at the University of Limerick, she has put Irish swimming on the world map with medal winning and record breaking performances at junior and world championship levels. In 2010, Grainne won the Irish Times Sports Woman of the Year Award.

 

SYCERIKA McMAHON

Swimming – Women’s 100 metres Breaststroke

This great prospect from Portaferry, Co. Down, has won medals at the European Junior and European Youth Olympics and competed in major events including the Commonwealth Games.

Making her Olympic début in London, at just 17 she will be a force to be reckoned with at future Games.

 

MELANIE NOCHER

Swimming – Women’s 200 metres Backstroke

Now swimming in her second Olympic Games at London 2012, the 27 year old is in her final year of a sports science degree at Loughborough University in the UK.

Melanie comes from Hollywood, Co. Down and has also competed in two Commonwealth Games and several world and European Championships. She has been one of the mainstays of Irish swimming in recent years – a great personality!

 

RONALD CLAES

Swimming – Head Coach

Ronald is head coach at Swim Ireland’s High Performance Centre at the University of Limerick. A former swimmer for Belgium, he was head coach for the Flemish and for the Royal Belgian swimming federations.

He is one of Europe’s top coaches and has achieved great results with the Irish team to date.

 

PETER BANKS

Swimming – Team Manager

Following a highly successful coaching career in the USA, Peter returned to his home city of Dublin to become Ireland’s swimming High Performance Director in 2009.

In the US, he coached several Olympic medal winners and was USA’s Assistant Women’s swimming coach at the Sydney Games. In the same year he was named American Swim Coach of the Year.

 

SUPPORT TEAM

BOBBY MADINE – Coach

SCOTT MURPHY – Physiotherapist

TRIATHLON

 

AILEEN MORRISON

Triathlon – Women

Now a top rated professional competing worldwide, Aileen is 30 and is coached by Chris Jones in Lisburn. She hails from Derry and is, by far, Ireland’s best triathlete and a medal prospect for London 2012.

Aileen has posted eleven top ten positions on the world circuit in the past three years and was second in the recent World Cup competition in Madrid – her best ever result. A qualified PE teacher, she is one to watch.

 

GAVIN NOBLE

Triathlon – Men

Gavin has been Ireland’s number one male triathlete for the past decade. The Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh native narrowly missed out on an Olympic place for Beijing but has come good for London.

Now 31, he has represented Ireland at all levels internationally and twice competed in the Commonwealth Games. He is making Irish Olympic history by becoming the first Irish male to compete in an Olympic triathlon.

 

CHRIS JONES

Triathlon – Team Manager

Chris Jones, from Swansea, is one of Europe’s leading sports coaches and was recently awarded the European Athletics Coach of the Year accolade. He is currently Performance Director for Triathlon Ireland.

He has worked as head coach for British Triathlon and national event coach for Welsh Athletics, Chris has also worked extensively in pioneering the first UK sports science research programme with elite tri-athletes. With ten years world class coaching experience, his athletes compete at Olympic, European, Commonwealth and World Cup levels.

 

SUPPORT TEAM

 

TOMMY EVANS – Coach

DEIRDRE BURRELL – Physiotherapist

TEAM IRELAND MANAGEMENT

 

SONIA O’SULLIVAN

Chef de Mission

Sonia, from Cobh, Co. Cork, was one of the world’s leading female 5000m runners for most of the 1990s and early 2000s and is a true Irish sporting icon. She won gold in the 5000m at the 1995 World Athletics Championships and silver in 1993.

Her crowning glory was when she won the silver medal for Ireland in the 5000m at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Sonia has also won three European Championship gold medals and two World Cross-Country Championship titles.

 

STEPHEN MARTIN

Deputy Chef de Mission

This former captain of both the Irish and Great Britain hockey teams won a gold medal in Seoul Olympics 1988 and a bronze medal in Los Angeles 1984. He has 229 International caps – Great Britain (94) and Ireland (135).

Stephen, from Hollywood, Co. Down, is the former Deputy CEO and Head of the High Performance Unit at the British Olympic Association. He served as Deputy Chef de Mission of the Team GB at the Sydney, Salt Lake and Athens Olympic Games. He is Chief Executive of the Olympic Council of Ireland.

 

MARTIN BURKE

Team Headquarters – Logistics

Martin joined the Olympic Council of Ireland prior to the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 and is the OCI Sports Director. His background is in canoe flat-water racing, but he has also competed in cycle road racing. He has been involved in four Olympic Games with Team Ireland.

Martin was Chef de Mission for the last two editions of the European Youth Olympic Games and has attended five European Youth Olympics overall. He was Chef de Mission for team Ireland at the inaugural World Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010.

 

MEDICAL & SPORTS SCIENCE TEAM

 

DR. SEAN GAINE

Chief Medical Officer

Sean is a consultant respiratory physician at the Mater Hospital Dublin and directs the national Pulmonary Hypertension unit there. He served as Chief Medical Officer for Team Ireland at the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games.

A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he completed his clinical training at John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, USA, where he became Assistant Professor of Medicine in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine before returning to Dublin in 2000.

DR. DAVID FEGAN

Team Doctor

From Glasnevin, Dublin, David is a graduate of Belvedere College and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and is part of a renowned Finglas medical family.

He has degrees from UCD and London’s Royal College of Physicians and has practiced in many corners of the world, from Nepal to the South Seas, as a general physician. He has worked with the Irish Olympic teams at the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Games, as well as with many Irish Youth Olympic teams.

DR. ROD McLOUGHLIN

Team Medical Officer
Rod is responsible for overseeing the delivery of sports medical support systems across the Olympic sports, with particular emphasis on rehabilitation and injury prevention.

He is a UCD graduate, a renowned lecturer and has been medical officer with many sports. A key member of Ireland’s HQ medical team in Beijing and Ireland’s chief medical officer at the 2009 Youth Olympic Games in Finland, Rod is Director of Performance Medicine at the Institute of Sport and board member of the faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine, RCSI and RCPI.

DR. SUZI CLARKE

Team Doctor

Suzi is a Sports Medicine Physician based in the Emergency Department at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin and the Sports Surgery Clinic, Santry.

She graduated from UCD in 2002. She completed her sports medicine fellowship at Wake Forest University, North Carolina in 2009. She has worked as team Doctor for the FAI, Swim Ireland and Irish Athletics and is medical officer for the Irish Hockey Association.

Making her Olympic team debut in London, Susan will service the Lensbury Training Camp and Olympic Village

AIDAN WOODS

Chief Physiotherapist

A UCD graduate, Aidan has worked with many Irish sporting organisations

including Athletics Ireland, the Irish rugby, Irish boxing, Irish rowing and the Canoe

Union. He was part of the Irish team in Athens and Beijing and has worked at many

other top world and European championships.

An active triathlon and mountain runner, he received his Masters degree in Musculoskeletal Medicine at Brisbane University in 2000. He hails from Clones, Co. Monaghan and is in private practice in Dublin.

SARAH JANE McDONNELL

Physiotherapist

Sarah has worked as physio to the Irish rowing squad and also works in other sports areas, especially rugby.

She graduated from Trinity College Dublin prior to working in Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, where she received her Masters degree from the University of Queensland in 2004. She was part of Team Ireland at the Beijing Games.

EIMEAR O’LEARY

Physiotherapist

Eimear graduated from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, having first secured a BSc Sports and Exercise Science degree at the University of Limerick. She has worked at large multi–sports events including European and World Youth Olympic and World Special Olympic Games,

Her personal interests lie in camogie, hockey and more recently triathlon and adventure racing. She is currently studying for an MSc in Sports Physiotherapy from the University of Bath.

GER HARTMANN

Physical Therapist

Gerard is a native of Limerick City and over the past 22 years has worked as a physical therapist with many of the world’s greatest athletes including 61 Olympic medal winners plus numerous world champions and record holders. He is a former national triathlon champion.

Gerard operates the Hartmann International Sports Injury Clinic at the University of Limerick, and also the High Altitude Training Centre in Iten, Kenya. Gerard was a member of the support staff with the USA team in Barcelona, the Irish team in Atlanta and with the GB in Sydney, Athens and Beijing Games.

JOHN SHARKEY

Neuro Muscular Therapist

Involved in exercise science and bodywork therapy since 1978, this Dubliner is director of the National Training Centre and a senior tutor with the University of Chester.

He joined the OCI’s medical and science team for the Sydney Olympics and has worked internationally with elite and Olympic athletes on neuro muscular injury issues. John is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.

NON – ACCREDITED SUPPORT PERSONNEL

DR. GILES WARRINGTON

Team Exercise Physiologist/ Lensbury and Village

Now a physiologist and academic at Dublin City University, Giles has extensive Olympic experience, this being his fifth Games.

For the past 22 years he has been working with elite athletes from more than 20 sports in Ireland and the UK. He is a graduate of the University of Surrey and a Fellow of the American Academy of Sports Medicine.

NIAMH FITZPATRICK

Team HQ Sports Psychologist Lensbury and Village

Niamh runs a Dublin practice and is one of the most sought after sports performance psychological coaches in the country. She is also an NLP Master Practitioner & NLP Life & Business Coach. This is her third Olympics with Team Ireland.

Well known for her role in helping the Wexford Senior Hurling team to win the All Ireland Championship in 1996 for the first time in 28 years, Niamh has worked with elite athletes from many different sports. She is a regular broadcaster and columnist on sports psychology and career coaching.

Dr. SHARON MADIGAN

Team Nutritionist Lensbury and Village

This University of Ulster graduate is Belfast based and has worked with Ireland’s hugely successful boxing team since 2003. Sharon also works with the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland, the Irish Sports Institute in Dublin and at Dublin City University.

Her portfolio also includes working with the Irish rugby team, Ulster rugby, rowing, judo and the Dublin, Derry and Donegal GAA teams. This is her first Olympic Games.

MARK McCABE – Sailing Physiotherapist

DR. MICHAEL WEBB – Sailing Team Doctor

KATE KIRBY- Sailing / Modern Pentathlon Sports Psychologist

DES JENNINGS- Sailing Sports Psychologist

MEENO SHRADAR- Sailing Meteorologist

CIARA LOSTY – Lensbury Training Camp Psychologist

MARTINA McCARTHY – Strength & Conditioning Coach Triathlon and Lensbury Camp

KEN LYNCH – Triathlon logistical support

SARH JANE CULLEN – Lensbury Training Camp logistical support

DES EARLS – Lensbury Training Camp logistical support

 

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