Hockey Ireland Announce Umpire Programmes

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:


Chris Cargo retires from International Hockey

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.”


Ireland Women’s Squad announced for South Africa Tour Jan 2020

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.

Tokyo 2020 Match Schedule Announced.

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.


Irish Women’s Indoor play South Africa as European Prep.

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.


Young Female Umpire selected for Elite European Programme.

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.


All-Ireland Club U14 Girls Play-off Competition

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.