Rowing Ireland

Rowing Ireland, formerly the Irish Amateur Rowing Union, is the governing body of rowing for Ireland.[1][2] It is a cross-border organisation administering the sport in both the Republic of Ireland[1] and Northern Ireland.[2]

Rowing Ireland
Rowing Ireland Logo 2016.jpg
Founded1899 (1899)
HeadquartersNational Rowing Centre, Cork
PresidentEamonn Colclough
Vice president(s)Connacht Deirdre O’Hara Leinster Leo Gibson Munster Lisa O’callaghan Ulster Brenda Ewing
SecretaryBreda Leader (Scully)
CoachHP Director Antonio Mauro Giovanni Coaches Dominic Casey David Mc Gowan
Other key staffCEO Michelle Carpenter
Official website
Republic of Ireland

Rowing Ireland is a member of the Olympic Council of Ireland[3] and the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron (FISA).[4]


In excess of 100 clubs are affiliated to Rowing Ireland.[5] These are from every part of the island and include schools, third level institutions and open clubs. In June 2017 Rowing Ireland created an Offshore Division to cater for Offshore (FISA Coastal) rowing and in October it added a Coastal Division to cater for fixed seat coastal rowing. Rowing Ireland also has a successful schools programme called Get Going...Get Rowing.

National Rowing CentreEdit

The National Rowing Centre (NRC) in Farran Wood, Cork is the headquarters of Rowing Ireland and is also the base of the High Performance team. The Centre has an eight-lane Albano course and hosts a number of regattas and the Championship Regatta each year. Every four years it hosts the Home International Regatta.[6] In 1999 and 2008 it hosted the Coupe de la Jeunesse[7] It successfully hosted the event again in 2018.[8]

Irish ChampionshipsEdit

Established in 1899 as the Irish Amateur Rowing Union, the association hosted its first championship in 1912.[3] At the 1912 AGM, which was held in February, it was agreed that a cup be purchased for £100 for the Union to be presented for annual competition amongst senior eights. This would in time become known as "The Big Pot". The inaugural Senior eights championship took place at Metropolitan Regatta in Ringsend on the Lower Liffey in July 1912 and City of Derry Boating Club were the winners.[9] It would be 1934 before the Junior (Intermediate) eights championship was added.[10] Since then many additional championships have been added and 44 are now contested each year at the Championship Regatta.[11] In 2017 it added the Irish Offshore Rowing Championship and in 2018 the inaugural Irish Coastal Rowing Championships took place.

World ChampionshipsEdit

Ireland has won ten gold, nine silver and eight bronze medals at the World Championships.[12][13] The Gold winners were:

Year Event Rower(s) Club
1991 LM1x Niall O'Toole Commercial Rowing Club
2001 LM1x Sam Lynch St Michael's Rowing Club
2001 LW1x Sinead Jennings St Andrew Boat Club
2001 LM2- Gearoid Towey, Tony O'Connor Neptune Rowing Club
2002 LM1x Sam Lynch St Michael's Rowing Club
2016 LM1x Paul O'Donovan UCD Boat Club
2017 LM2- Mark O'Donovan, Shane O'Driscoll Skibbereen Rowing Club
2017 LM1x Paul O'Donovan Skibbereen Rowing Club
2018 LM2X Paul O'Donovan, Gary O'Donovan Skibbereen Rowing Club
2018 W1x Sanita Pušpure Old Collegians Boat Club
2019 LM2X Paul O'Donovan, Fintan McCarthy Skibbereen Rowing Club
2019 W1x Sanita Pušpure Old Collegians Boat Club

European ChampionshipsEdit

2016 Gary O'Donovan and Paul O'Donovan were European Champions in the lightweight men's double sculls.[14]

2017 Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan were European Champions in the lightweight men's pair. Gary and Paul O’Donovan won silver in the lightweight men's double sculls and Denise Walsh won silver in the lightweight women's single sculls. .[14]

2019 Sanita Pušpure won the W1X at the European Championships.


Ireland first participated at the 1948 Olympics when a men's eight represented Ireland. It participated at 11 subsequent games. The Rio games in 2016 were its most successful with three crews participating and Ireland's first olympic rowing medal. Gary O'Donovan and Paul O'Donovan won silver in the LM2x. Claire Lambe and Sinead Jennings became the first women's crew to make an Olympic final where they finished sixth. Due to weather conditions Sanita Pušpure was unfortunate to only finish thirteenth. Prior to this Ireland's best performances had been fourth place on two occasions. In 1976 Sean Drea came fourth in Montreal[15] and in 1996 the Lightweight four also finished fourth in Atlanta.[16] In September 2019 Ireland qualified four boats for the 2020 Olympics and will have an opportunity to qualify further crews at the final qualifying regatta in 2020. The boats qualified to date are the W1X, W2-, M2X, LM2X.


  1. ^ a b Sport Ireland – List of Governing Bodies
  2. ^ a b Sport Northern Ireland – List of Governing Bodies
  3. ^ a b "Olympic Council of Ireland: Introduction to Rowing". Olympic Council of Ireland. 1 January 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  4. ^ World Rowing: National Federations: Ireland
  5. ^ Rowing Ireland: About Us
  6. ^ Home International Regatta Rules of the Regatta: Date and Venue
  7. ^ 2018 Coupe de la Jeunesse Awarded to Ireland, Rowing Ireland
  8. ^ Cork set to host prestigious Junior Regatta in 2018 Aifric Keogh 8 August 2015,
  9. ^ The Big Pot – The Irish Senior Championships 1912–1991 by Micheal Johnston, Shandon Books, 1992, ISBN 0-9519187-0-2
  10. ^ Irish Rowing Archives – List of championship winners
  11. ^ Irish Rowing Archives – List of Championship Events.
  12. ^ Irish Rowing archives – FISA medal listing
  13. ^ FISA Athlete database
  14. ^ a b Skibbereen Rowing Club
  15. ^ Ireland at the 1976 Summer Olympics
  16. ^ Ireland at the 1996 Summer Olympics

External linksEdit