Inspired Ireland team net bronze in big World event
The Irish Federation of Sea Anglers (IFSA) World Shore Team arrived back into Dublin to huge celebrations, following their fantastic achievement in winning the team bronze medal at the 32nd World Shore Angling Championships in Portugal.
The Irish lads, captain Dean Quigley, Kilmore SAC; Richie Dalton Tramore/Waterford SAC; Harry McKee Snr. East Antrim Surf Casters; Harry McKee Jnr. East Antrim Surf Casters; Joe Byrne Kilmuckridge SAC; Martin Howlin Wexford SAC; Manager John O'Brien Tramore/Waterford SAC and Assistant Manager Mick Mullane, Cloyne SAC, competed against 17 other nations over the course of four days of angling in the Algarve.
The team were met at the airport by members of the IFSA including Chairman Michael Quinn, who welcomed the team home and congratulated all of the individual team members for their sterling efforts that contributed to the success of the team in the World Championships.
Michael commented: "The importance of this result cannot be overstated. It shows that Ireland's anglers are among the very best in the world and can compete at the highest international level." Team member Harry McKee Snr from East Antrim Surf Casters said: "It was one of the toughest events that I have ever participated in. As a top international event it was at a completely different level altogether."
Ireland finished fourth on Day Four of the competition to claim their bronze medal, having been, seventh, fourth and as high as second after the first three days.
The team gold medal was won by France with the Netherlands second. Mathieu Lubiato completed the double for France by banking the individual gold medal with Frank Peene (Netherlands) taking silver and Saul Page (England) the bronze.
Ireland's Richard Dalton produced a fantastic performance to finish fifth, the best of the Irish rods. The Ulster lads, Harry McKee, senior and Harry McKee junior finished in eighth and 29th places respectively and Dean Quigley was 11th.
The anglers made the team by firstly qualifying through their club in 2013 to fish the National Master Angler Championships in 2014. The top 20 anglers at the National Masters, then qualified for the World Shore Team 2015 Fish Off, held last January. The top five at this championship made the team for Portugal with the winner of the 2014 Master Angler Championship qualifying automatically as Captain.
WATER OF WEEK: Not as many anglers braved the gale force winds and snow at the Craigmore Fishery, Randalstown, this week, but amazingly there were still a lot of fish getting caught on dry fly patterns.
Michael Currie landed 23 on dries and lures including a brace at almost 5lbs each.
Martin Foster grassed 20 on mixed lures; Jeff Davidson banked a dozen on brown dry flies and Alan Temple tempted 11 to 4lbs plus on dries, Shipmans and Shuttlecocks.
Billy Hazalett bagged 10 to over 5lbs on mixed dries; Emmit McWilliams cast wet patterns to attract 20 trout including one at almost 7lbs; Brian Busby had 11 to over 5lbs and Gunter Schiefter took a dozen to almost 5lbs on mixed Damsels. Jimmy Irvine caught eight to 5lbs plus on Damsels, and Darren McFadden landed seven including the best trout of the week at over 8lbs!
Some nice individual fish were also taken by, Derek McCandless, with one at 5lbs; Rab Currie, one at 5lbs plus; John Carson, with a brace at over 4lbs and 5lbs plus and Andy McQuire also banked one at 5lbs plus.