Tir Chonaill link to European Cross Country Victory

Sunday, 20 December 2010

Ireland’s European Cross Country heroes received a warm welcome home on Monday morning when their plane touched down at Dublin airport at 9:00am and were greeted by members of the press together with friends, family and supporters of the winning Men’s U23 team.

The gold medal winning team of David McCarthy (West Waterford AC), Brendan O’Neill (DSD), Michael Mulhare (North Laois AC), David Rooney (Raheny Shamrock AC), John Coghlan (Metro /St Brigid’s AC) and Ciaran O’Lionaird (Leevale AC) were all in sparkling form as they appeared into the arrivals area with the rest of the Irish Team from the 17th European Cross Country Championships in Albufeira, Portugal.

Speaking to RTE & TV3 news and sports crews, and journalists from the written press, the victorious team was delighted to share their experiences in winning Ireland’s first cross country gold medals on the international stage since Catherina McKiernan’s individual gold back at the inaugural European Cross Country in Alnick, Yorkshire, in 1994.

West Waterford’s David McCarthy told reporters that the team felt confident that they would do well before the race. “There was a mood in the team that was different to every other year. Without getting ahead of ourselves, we just felt confident the night before. We felt it was going to happen.”

David, who led the Irish Team home, is a frequent visitor to his uncle Richard ’s residence in Lough Eske, Donegal Town. On numerous occasions during the past two years he has trained with the local Tír Chonaill Group.

Team Manager Anne Keenan-Buckley, who was on the Irish Women ’sTeam that won a European cross country silver in 2003, said, “Our junior men finished fifth out of 17 teams in Albufeira, which was a great result. Athletics Ireland has definitely made progress and will now be looking to fund and support more of these athletes and get them to this level of competition.”

The reception the Irish team received yesterday at Dublin airport, together with the deserving media attention which has followed, will give the six members of the triumphant U23 team and all the Irish athletes who competed over the weekend on The Algarve, real grounds for optimism and appetite for more success on the international stage in the future.


David McCarthy left with Irish Winning European Cross Country Team


Irish European Gold Winning U23 Cross Country Team

David McCarthy front 2nd right


Richard McCarthy, Michelle Harvey & David McCarthy


David McCarthy 4th right at back

with Tír Chonaill Group last summer


Letterkenny supporting Group

at European Cross Country in Portugal

last weekend