10 reasons why Skibbereen Rowing Club is number one!

February 22nd, 2023 12:59 PM

By Southern Star Team

Skibbereen Rowing Club sits on the bank of the River Ilen. (Photo: James Tidmarsh)

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Tomás Burchill, on work experience with The Southern Star, fills us in on why Skibbereen Rowing Club is the best in class.


Skibbereen Rowing Club has sent eight rowers to the Olympic Games over the last 20 years: Eugene Coakley (2000, 2004), Timmy Harnedy (2004), Richard Coakley (2008), Gary O’Donovan (2016), Paul O’Donovan (2016, 2020), Fintan McCarthy (2020), Emily Hegarty (2020) and Aoife Casey (2020).

Nuala Lupton won Skibbereen Rowing Club’s first national championship title in 1976. She was also the club’s first international oarsperson (1975). 

Brothers Paul and Gary O’Donovan won Ireland’s first-ever Olympic rowing medal, with a superb silver at the Rio Games in 2016.

Former World Rowing Coach of the Year, and rowing mastermind, Dominic Casey has been involved with Skibbereen Rowing Club since 1977, when he started rowing. He is the current Rowing Ireland lightweight coach.

Skibbereen has won more national titles (189) than any other club in the country. The club won four at the 2022 Irish Rowing Championships.

Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy, both from Aughadown, are unbeatable in the Irish men’s lightweight double and together they are currently reigning Olympic, World and European champions! No-one can get close to them!

Denise Walsh, the 2017 European silver medal winner, is the club’s head coach and is ensuring Skibbereen remains the best in the country.

Skibbereen rower Emily Hegarty was in the Ireland women’s four that won a brilliant bronze at the Tokyo Games in 2020. This was the first Irish women's crew to win an Olympic medal in rowing, and it had a Skibbereen rower in the boat.

The club was founded in 1970 by Richard Hosford, Danny Murphy and Donie Fitzgerald, and has grown to become the most successful rowing club in Ireland!

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