There was great success for Ireland this week as the team claimed a silver medal at the 27th World Shore Angling Championships U-16s held over four days in Vila Real de Santo António, southern Portugal. The team, managed by Joe Byrne and consisting of Eoin Foley, Finn Healy, Ben Barron, Evan Ryan, Darragh Byrne and Finnian McCarthy, battled against seven other nations and challenging, often sweltering conditions to take 2nd place. There were particularly strong performances by Evan Ryan on day 1 and Eoin Foley on days 3 and 4 which secured silver for the team. France took gold with the Italians in 3rd place. England placed 6th.
The under-21s, made up of Sean Carley, David Farrelly, Killian Farrelly, Ryan Blair, Jake Melley and Connor O’ Leary, also struggled with the conditions and managed to place 7th overall, despite a good individual result for David Farrelly on the final day.
The qualification process for these teams started last year when anglers competed at club level in Provincial Championships. The top five from each province then competed at national level and the top six overall were selected to compete on the world stage.
These recent successes build on last years (2017) results in France, where the Irish U-21s won World silver, the under-16s narrowly missed out on bronze and David Farrelly won an individual U-16 silver medal.
Ireland will be the host for the prestigious World Shore Angling Championships in 2020 and hopes are rightly high for the event.