Hockey Ireland is delighted to announce the launch of two new programmes aimed at growing the base of umpires within hockey; the Elite Umpiring Programme and the Club Umpire Programme.

Working with the IHUA and provincial associations, the programme will run in 2019/2020 Hockey Ireland aim to see influential changes right from grassroots hockey through to European level. While the programmes are aimed at growing umpiring at all levels, the programme is funded by the Sport Ireland Women in Sport programme and the focus for the first year will be on female umpiring.

Elite Umpiring Programme

The main aim of the Elite Umpiring Programme is to create a fast-track pathway for females, for those wanting to achieve high standards of umpiring in a short period of time.

Across the whole of Ireland, we need to engage 24 female umpires. Within the duration of our funding we are aiming to have one female working with the EHF on the Umpire Development Programme. This programme will be done through an application process, so if you are between 18-30 years old and are actively umpiring within club or have a strong desire to umpire at the highest level what are you waiting for? All we need is a brief background on your umpiring career along with a 2/3 minute of you umpiring emailed to before January 10th!

Club Umpire Programme

The Club Umpire Programme is aimed at tackling grassroots umpiring, it involves the creation of a Club Umpire Officer in clubs. The main aims of this programme are as follows;

To support clubs by training up Club Umpire Officers

To deliver courses and workshops to support clubs (National courses, indoor course, Young Umpire)

To encourage engagement and movement up pathway – e.g. membership to provincial organisation and personal umpire development from qualified coaches

If your club is interested in the programme, please enter your details at the following link:

Cargo made his debut in the 2009 Celtic Cup scoring on debut as Ireland defeated France 3-1 in Edinburgh. 11 years, 195 matches and 28 international goals later he has decided to call time on his international career.

Performance Director Adam Grainger congratulated Chris on his career on behalf of Hockey Ireland, saying “Congratulations on your Hockey Ireland playing career, you have a lot to be proud of. We have no doubt you’ll be successful in everything you undertake off the pitch.

Please do keep in touch with Hockey Ireland, the experiences retired internationals can put back into our system is invaluable.”

Chris came through the ranks of Bangor Grammar and played for the seaside club whilst also having played in England and Europe during his illustrious career.

He was part of the Irish side who made history winning the first senior European medal when they defeated England 4-2 in London in 2015 to win bronze at the Europeans and then made history again to qualify for the Rio Olympics in 2016. Chris played all 5 matches and unfortunately the side were not able to repeat the feat when the lost on penalties to Canada in their bid to qualify for Tokyo.

In all he played in 3 European A division championships alongside the Olympic games winning 77 of the 195 matches he played for Ireland. He finishes his Irish career 8th on the all-time caps list, with 28 goals and captaining the team twice against Pakistan in Lisburn in 2017.

I have loved wearing the green shirt for 10 years in countries all over the world and making history with this group,” said Cargo.

“I would particularly like to thank Paul Revington for giving me my first opportunity to wear a green shirt. I had given up on that dream so I will always be truly grateful to him for giving me that chance and changing my life. He made me, and the whole group, believe that we could make history and instilled in us a huge drive and determination. To Ned, for galvanising the team after the disappointment of 2012, you pushed us on again through our “No excuses” mantra. Finally, to Tum for coming in and making this group enjoy their hockey again.

I have been very lucky to have been playing in an Irish shirt during a period when, in my opinion, some of the best players in Irish history were playing alongside me. To all the lads I have shared a pitch with over the years; Thanks! It was an amazing journey and I was lucky enough to forge some enduring friendships, whilst making history with this team and having a great laugh along the way. There have been many low points on the journey, but they make the successes so much sweeter.

To my parents, thank you for all your support along the way and for trusting and backing me in all the decisions I have made. To Sarah, my fiancée, thank you for being so understanding and allowing me to chase my dreams with unconditional support. Furthermore, thank you to all the families in Dublin, especially the Loughreys, who have welcomed me into their homes.

I look forward to wearing my green shirt as a supporter of Irish Hockey in future years. Irish hockey is in rude health with the ladies representing us in Tokyo next summer and I believe that the correct support for both teams will mean that we will see both in Paris and for many more Olympics to come.”

Head Coach Sean Dancer has selected the squad which will be travelling to South Africa in January. The squad leaves on the 16th of January with matches against Germany and South Africa arranged during the trip, although exact match dates are yet to be confirmed. The trip will provide the squad with good experience of competing in warmer climates as they prepare for Tokyo later in the year.

1 Ayeisha McFerran GK

2 Emma Buckley GK

3 Roisin Upton Def

4 Nikki Evans Str

5 Kathryn Mullan (Captain) MF / Str

6 Shirley McCay Def

7 Elena Tice Def

8 Emily Beatty Str

9 Beth Barr Def / MF

10 Serena Barr Def

11 Chloe Watkins MF

12 Lizzie Colvin MF

13 Hannah Matthews Def

14 Sarah Hawkshaw MF / Str

15 Anna O’Flanagan (Vice Captain) Str

16 Deirdre Duke Str

17 Ellen Curran MF

18 Elizabeth Murphy GK

19 Hannah McLoughlin Def

20 Sarah Torrans Str

Members of the wider squad who are not travelling will continue training as usual in Ireland.

The full match schedule of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic hockey tournaments as well as the pools – which were confirmed last month – can be viewed here.The matches will be staged in the brand-new Oi Hockey Stadium, in Japan’s capital city.

The Green Army will face South Africa in their opening match on Saturday the 25th of July.

The Irish Women’s Indoor team competed in 6 test matches over in South Africa, for the first time since 1990, in preparation for their return to competing on the EuroHockey Championships in January 2020. The opening game saw Orla Fox with the first goal for Ireland in Durban finalizing in a 2-1 defeat. The second game in Durban saw Orla Patton scoring the goal for Ireland but unfortunately South Africa came back in the last quarter to take the win.

The second part of the tour took place in Cape Town with a fantastic atmosphere where the event joined with the Pro Series Indoor nationals. The next four games saw South Africa besting Ireland in each meeting, however Ireland still managed to put away a couple of goals from Amy Benson and Sophie Barnwell.

These matches were vital preparation for the Indoor Europeans which take place in early 2020.

The Irish Hockey Umpires Association is delighted with the recent selection of Connacht umpire, Ellie Duffy (27) onto the EHF Umpire Development Programme (UDP). A number of past graduates of the Programme have gone on to officiate at the very highest-level of world hockey, including the Olympics and World Cup.

Last year, Ellie was selected for the initial Umpires4Europe (U4E) Programme. The U4E Programme is a pathway to UDP and includes mentoring, webinars and practical weekends.

The UDP identifies and targets young talented umpires within the U4E Programme and provides them with a programme of events over a three year period. Ellie was one of three female umpires selected from a group of over 30 European umpires who took part in the ‘Push Tournament’ in Breda, Netherlands at the start of this season. In addition to Ellie’s selection, we are also delighted that Leinster based Tom Goode, will be a mentor on the Programme alongside Caroline Brunekreefe from the Netherlands.

Ellie’s involvement in hockey started as a goalkeeper. Whilst umpiring local Connacht schools matches, members of Connacht Hockey Umpires Association identified her umpiring potential. Ellie then progressed through the provincial structure and more recently she has risen through the ranks to be a regular face in the Women’s EY Hockey League.

IHUA Vice Chairperson, Rob Argent, commented, “We wish to congratulate Ellie on her selection and this excellent opportunity. Ellie’s selection on UDP follows in the recent footsteps of Alison Keogh and Shane O’Donnell and also represents the commitment of Hockey Ireland in supporting these important European Programmes for umpires and umpire coaches. With the development of the new Young Umpire Programme, we need young role models such as this, and we certainly hope this inspires more young people to take up umpiring and to enjoy reaching their full potential in the game.”

If you would like to know more about Ellie’s story, then catch up on a recent radio interview with Ellie on Galway Bay FM.

In September, the EHL have invited an U14 team from Ireland to the new ABN AMRO EHL U14 Girls competition in the Netherlands on the 11th and 12th April 2020. The directive from the EHF is that the team must have qualified through a national club competition. Unfortunately, only the top 6 nations in the EHL are invited, hence the reason we have not been asked to send a boys’ team.

We have invited the following teams from each province who have qualified through their U13 provincial competition in 2018/2019 season to play in a tournament this Sunday 8th December in UCD from 13.30 – 16.00:

Greenfields Hockey Club (Connacht)

Dromore Hockey Club (Ulster)

Corinthian Hockey Club (Leinster)

Catholic Institute (Munster)

Due to the timing of the invitation from the EHL, we were not able to plan for this format last season. There will be a clearer directive coming from Hockey Ireland soon. We are planning to have a bigger all-Ireland festival for U13 girls and boys in 2020. From this, the next group of U14 girls for the 2021 EHL competition will be decided and there will be an announcement soon of details of how to qualify for this.

It’s an exciting time for Irish Indoor Hockey with the re-establishment of the Men’s and Women’s Senior National Teams after a 30+ year hiatus. The last tournament the Ireland Indoor Men’s Team played in was at home at Loughlinstown Leisure Centre in Co. Dublin in 1987.

“I would like to compliment all players involved in the preparation period so far on their commitment,” said Head Coach, Kenny Carroll. “Selecting the final squad was difficult due to the high standard of players who were in contention. The 12 players selected to represent Ireland, the 2 non travelling reserves, the players on the Training Panel and all players playing domestic club Indoor hockey this season are all part of the journey we are on to compete at the top level and also to build and improve the base of Indoor hockey in Ireland. Both of these aims are mutually inclusive and reliant on each other, and will improve and develop Hockey in Ireland, there is no doubt.

I am very happy to have in our squad an array of talented athletes who I believe will prepare diligently for and play exciting and clinical Indoor hockey while representing Ireland in Santander in January. The team will be lead on the court by our captain John Jackson , who has been part of the many International successes of the Green Machine over the last decade. Throughout the squad we have a nice blend of current and previous International experience, exciting young talent and ambitious athletes. We have tough and experienced opponents in hosts Spain, Scotland , Slovenia and Wales. I know our squad are relishing this challenge.

The supportive management team are also looking forward to assisting the playing group in the next stage of the preparation phase and the Tournament.

Ireland Men Indoor Squad – Santander January 17th- 19th 2020 EuroHockey Indoor Championship III

The Selected Squad is as follows:

1. Ross Canning (Three Rock Rovers)

2. Mark English (Three Rock Rovers)

3. Neal Glassey (Crefelder THC – Germany)

4. John Jackson – captain (Team Bath Buccaneers – England)

5. Jason Lynch – vice captain (Monkstown)

6. Harry Morris (Three Rock Rovers)

7. Stephen O’Keeffe – GK (Railway Union)

8. Brendan Parsons (Railway Union)

9. Rowland Rixon Fuller (Glenanne)

10. Callum Robson (Crefelder THC – Germany)

11. Michael Robson (Crefelder THC – Germany)

12. Stephen West – GK (Team Bath Buccaneers – England)

Non travelling Reserves

13. Eoin MacArthur (Railway Union)

14. Mark Crooks (Cookstown)

Management Team

Kenny Carroll – Head Coach

Craig Stewart – Assistant Coach / Analyst

Rob Abbott – Manager

Huw Rees – Physio


Training Panel

15. Neil Byrne (Glenanne )

16. Richard Couse (Avoca)

16. Ben O Grady (YMCA)

17. Stu Ronan (Glenanne)

18. Stu Smyth (Cookstown)

21. Jakim Bernsden GK (YMCA)

20. Euan MacKay GK (Corinthians)

Hockey Ireland were saddened today to learn of the death of Marius Gallagher following a long illness.

He served as President of the Leinster Umpires Association from 1974 to 1975 and then again from 1986 to 1987.

He also served as President of the Leinster Branch from 1990 to 1992 and then President of the Irish Hockey Union from 1995 to 1997.

Marius was also an FIH Umpire.

His contribution to hockey was felt throughout the land and he will be sadly missed. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

Reposing on Friday evening, November 29 from 5pm to 7pm in Carnegies Funeral Home, Monkstown, A94 XK28. Funeral Mass on Saturday at 10am in the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Foxrock followed by Cremation at Mount Jerome Crematorium, Harold’s Cross, D.6W. Family flowers only please. Donations, if desired, to the Blackrock Hospice. House private.

The new hockey season is now in full swing but let me start this Newsletter by going back to June of this year when the FIH World Series Finals for the Road to Tokyo both for the Women and the Men took place during this month.

The Women’s team were first out of the blocks when the tournament was held at Banbridge Hockey Club from June 8th to June 16th. A very big thank you to Banbridge Hockey Club for hosting this tournament at short notice when there wasn’t a suitable venue available in Dublin. Following a very gruelling schedule of pool matches both Ireland and Korea came top of their groups and came together in the Final on June 16 where Korea got the better of Ireland on a score line of 3-1. Both teams then qualified to go forward to the next phase for the qualifiers to take place in November.

A special mention must go to all the members of Banbridge Hockey Club along with all the other volunteers from the various clubs in Ireland. A special mention must also go to Inez Cooper and Joan Morgan for steering the ship for this event. During the event there was also a reception by the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council which was attended by various dignitaries.

The Men’s team had to travel to Le Touquet, in France for their World Series Tournament which overlapped with the Women’s event in Banbridge. In this event both Ireland and France topped their respective pools and played of for the No 1 spot and this honour went to France on a score of 3-1 in a very tough encounter. However, both France and Ireland advanced to the Olympic Qualifiers to be played in October.

August was the month for the European Championships which were held this year in Antwerp, Belgium which unfortunately due to illness, I was unable to travel to at the last minute. The Women’s team had a very satisfactory tournament finishing a very credible 5th position. However, the same can’t be said of the Men’s side who unfortunately lost their Division 1 status and will be fighting hard over the next number of years to regain this position.

On August 31st I was invited to Mossley Hockey Clubs annual dinner where they were celebrating their 90th year in existence. It was a very special occasion and a very enjoyable evening where the speeches weren’t too long but very entertaining. The dinner was held in the Old Mill and the evening ended with a lot of the guests returning to the Clubhouse to finish off their evening.

September saw both the Boys and Girls Interpros taking place with the Boys competing in Belfast where the Ulster boys were victorious in the U16 competition with Munster taking the honours in the U18 event. In fact, this was the first time that Munster won these Interpros since 2005 where the Harte brothers David & Conor were represented on this team.

The Girls Interpros took place this year in Garryduff, Cork where Ulster had a clean sweep in both the U16 and U18 competitions taking regaining the honours from Leinster who won both in 2018.
On September 7th as President I was invited to chair the AGM of the IHUA which was very well attended this year.

On October 14th I was invited to attend the Cork City & County Youth Awards where the month of September winner was a hockey player. Kevin O’Dea of C of I hockey club and Ashton School was the recipient of this award for captaining the Munster U18 team who brought the trophy back to Munster for the first time in fourteen years. Kevin was also the Captain of the Irish U18 team which competed in the Europeans in 2018 which were held in the Mardyke in Cork.

Later in October the All Ireland Schoolboys Championships took place this year in Dublin where seven venues were used during the three day competition. The weather was magnificent for the first two days but unfortunately on the Friday of the tournament the rain was incessant as both semi finals were played in atrocious conditions, however the four teams put on a magnificent display of hockey despite the weather. The final took place later that afternoon, still in bad conditions, at Columbus College between High School and St Andrews when after a magnificent comeback by High School in the second half they forced the game to a Shootout which they subsequently won on sudden death with a score of 7-6 to take the Tasmanian Shield back to High School for the very first time.

This year also saw the introduction of a Plate Competition for the inaugural Herbie Sharman Shield, which was presented by Kilkenny College. Herbie was a former teacher in the College for 27 years and was also a coach for the school and was manager of many underage Leinster and Irish teams as well as being President of Hockey Ireland from 2010/2012. This competition is played for by the runners up in the 4 pools and this year’s final was between two Cork sides, Ashton and Bandon, with Bandon winning out on this occasion with a score line of 1-0.

November was a big month for Irish Hockey with both the Men’s and Women’s teams playing their respective Olympic Qualifiers for a place in Tokyo 2020. Both teams were drawn against Canadian opposition, with the men playing away in Vancouver and the women playing at home in Energia Park in Donnybrook.

At the end of the second leg in Vancouver, the game finished in controversial circumstances with the Irish team coming out the wrong end of a very unusual umpiring decision. As a result of this the Men’s side will not now, due to this unfortunate incident be going to the Tokyo Olympics next year.

The Ireland Women’s team played Canada on a specially laid an International Hockey pitch to the same standard as the Tokyo Olympic Polytan pitch on a rugby ground in Energia Park in Donnybrook, Dublin. This was achieved with the help of 57 local volunteers with over 350 hours over three sessions to deliver this project. Having drawn the first leg 0-0 in atrocious conditions the stage was set for an intriguing second game. On a much better night for hockey watched by over 6137 people in the stadium and a peak live audience of 397,000 watching on TV. Again, after a nail biting finish, not the best hockey game we’ve seen, it again finished in stalemate at 0-0. So, we went to the dreaded shoot outs. After the first three rounds Ireland were down 1-3….. enter goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran to once again make two crucial saves (as in last year’s World Cup) while Beth Barr and Chloe Watkins both scored and to set up a sudden death scenario. Roisin Upton stepped up to take the first shoot out and squeezed the ball into the net from a very acute angle while Ayeshia went on to thwart the Canadian player. The Canadian player came forward to take her shoot out but failed to score within the 8 seconds allowed.

And so, the celebrations could begin, the Irish team made history by becoming the first Women’s Hockey team to make an appearance at an Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. Many congratulations to Coach Sean Dancer and all the backroom staff on a magnificent achievement.

On Saturday November 9th I, along with my wife Anne were invited guests to the 125th Anniversary Dinner of Monkstown Hockey Club. This event was held at The Pavilion, Leopardstown where 220 guests sat down to an excellent meal which was followed by dancing until the early hours. I spoke on behalf of Hockey Ireland to respond to a toast to Ireland. A very enjoyable night was had in excellent company.

I want to take this opportunity of wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a healthy and peaceful 2020.

Martin Canniffe, Hockey Ireland President.