October 02, 2019

In preparation for the Olympic season ahead, Swim Ireland Performance have announced 12 athletes who will feature as part of our National Squad (Performance) cohort for the 2019-2020 period. The selections are made from those athletes who produced qualifying performances at either the 2019 Irish Open Championships (the nation’s Trials for the summer international competitions) or from their identified benchmark meet during the summer of 2019. The criteria allowed athletes to be selected via their profile in Olympic individual events in relation to Tokyo or within relay events where Ireland believe that we have a strong chance of qualifying for the 2020 Games. Following the 2019 FINA World Championships, Ireland currently occupy two-Top 16 slots in relays but will need to focus on cementing these positions between now and May 2020 to ensure one of more of them gain invitation to the Tokyo Games. Ireland have only ever had one relay partake in an Olympic Games before (Munich, 1972) and have never had a male relay compete at the Games to date.


National Squad (Performance Cohort) 2019-2020

Name

Home Programme

Home Programme Coach

Niamh Coyne

National Centre (Dublin)

Ben Higson & Steven Beckerleg

Conor Ferguson

Larne

Peter Hill

Darragh Greene   

National Centre (Dublin)

Ben Higson & Steven Beckerleg

Danielle Hill

Larne

Peter Hill

Brendan Hyland   

National Centre (Dublin)   

Ben Higson & Steven Beckerleg

Jack McMillan

Bangor

Paul Dennis

Mona McSharry   

Marlins (Ballyshannon)

Grace Meade

Cillian Melly

National Centre (Limerick)   

John Szaranek

Robert Powell

National Centre (Dublin)

Ben Higson & Steven Beckerleg

Jordan Sloan

Bangor

Paul Dennis

Shane Ryan

National Centre (Dublin)

Ben Higson & Steven Beckerleg

Ellen Walshe

Templeogue (Dublin)

Brian Sweeney

The Performance element of the National Squad is spearheaded by Ireland’s two strongest performers at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Brendan Hyland and Darragh Greene, with 2018 World SC medallist Shane Ryan also amongst those selected. National Performance Director Jon Rudd and National Senior Team Head Coach Ben Higson will have primary oversight of this group of athletes as Ireland prepare for their Olympic Trials in Dublin from 1st - 5th April next year.

 

The National Squad (Performance Pathway) cohort have also been named, with 15 athletes selected based on their performance credentials in relation to qualification for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Eoin Corby, a finalist at the 2019 LEN European Junior and FINA World Junior Championships is one of the key athletes named to this group, with Amelia Kane and Daniel Wiffen, two of Ireland’s strongest performers at junior level in 2019 also named to the group. National Performance Pathway Manager Andrew Reid will have primary oversight of this group of athletes, with the 2020 LEN European Junior Championships in Aberdeen, Scotland and the 2020 LEN European Championships in Budapest, Hungary the premier focus for this group.


National Squad (Performance Pathway Cohort) 2019-2020

Name

Home Programme

Home Programme Coach

Victoria Catterson   

University of Edinburgh

Ross Douglas

Uiseann Cooke

National Centre (Limerick)   

John Szaranek

Eoin Corby

National Centre (Limerick)

John Szaranek

Andrew Feenan

Sundays Well (Cork)

Richard Cassidy

Maria Godden

Kilkenny

John Duffy

Ethan Hansen

Mount Kelly

Emma Collings-Barnes

Michael Hewitt

University of Edinburgh

Ross Douglas

Paddy Johnston

Ards (Newtonards)

Davy Johnston

Amelia Kane

Ards (Newtonards)

Davy Johnston

Cadan McCarthy

National Centre (Limerick)

John Szaranek

Finn McKeever

National Centre (Limerick)

John Szaranek

Ellie McKibbin

Ards (Newtonards)

Davy Johnston

Naomi Trait

Kilkenny

John Duffy

Daniel Wiffen

Lisburn City

Martin McGann

Ben Woodside

Larne

Peter Hill

Athletes based outside of Europe would not normally be selected for Ireland’s National Squad on logistical grounds, with both Molly Mayne and Sean McNicholl of Hamilton Aquatics in the UAE (coached by Ash Morris) meeting the required qualification criteria to gain National Squad status in this regard.

 

National Performance Director Jon Rudd was to say of the selection, “The National Squad provides our athletes with a number of initiatives and interventions that we believe add to their home programme environment and assist both the athletes and their home programme coaches in accessing opportunities and services which may otherwise be limited or unavailable to them. However, we strongly believe that this is so much more than camps, meets and services. This is about our identity as we approach an Olympic Games and further developing the performance culture within Irish swimming that has been growing each and every year. We have strong values and high standards and this allows us ensure that when we walk into the arena together, we are galvanised, aligned and understanding of what is expected and required of us and from us. This is a very exciting group of athletes”