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Hockey Ireland COVID-19 Update December 30th

Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE regarding Government Announcement on Changes to COVID-19 Restrictions.

30th December 2020

The following changes have been made to the Hockey Ireland Covid-19 guidelines given the latest announcement on Covid-19 restrictions made by the Irish (ROI) Government.

Under Level 5, individual training only is permitted, within a 5km radius of an individual’s home. No matches or group training sessions are to take place.

The exemptions to this are Elite sports*.

Elite sports are permitted to continue behind closed doors. For Hockey this has been defined as the National Senior Men’s and Women’s Programmes. They are permitted to train and play behind closed doors.

*Please note: This category has been defined by the ‘Return to Sport Expert Group’ which has been established by the ROI government to provide guidance to Ireland’s sporting bodies to prepare for the phased return to sporting activity.

Competition/matches may not be played at any level.

December 30th 2020 Covid Update

Ireland Lights Up Funding

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Hockey Ireland Receive Further Funding from COVID-19 Supplementary Funding for Sport

The newly elected Board of Hockey Ireland had its first meeting on Wednesday 16 December by conference call.  We have all been affected by COVID-19, in these difficult and uncertain times, the Board as part of our ongoing work with Sport Ireland are delighted to announce that Sport Ireland has approved the allocation of €400,000 in response to our application under the Covid-19 Supplementary Scheme in the Republic of Ireland.

Further guidance will be given to Clubs and Branches regarding their applications in January 2021. We would like to thank the Government and Sport Ireland for this additional round of funding, which is crucial to the sustainability of the hockey community during the difficult circumstances caused by the Covid-19 restrictions.

For the Ulster Clubs, Sport NI and the Department for Communities has launched a £25 million Sports Sustainability fund and applications by hockey clubs can be made via Ulster Hockey.

Hockey Ireland is fully focused on the return to hockey; with recent announcements in relation to vaccines there is great hope as we move in to 2021. The Hockey Ireland Board has approved the outline of a submission to the Government that will be aimed at increasing hockey activity as a virtually non-contact sport and allowing for competition when it would be safe to do so.  We are seeking priority for school aged players and hopefully we will be allowed return to competition in the early stages of 2021.

The Board would like to thank the clubs, branches and volunteers running our sport under the Covid-19 protocols, who have been successful in the safe and compliant running of training sessions and games. This will help to support our argument that we can run our sport safely.

It has been a difficult year and no doubt there will be more challenges ahead. However, we are looking forward to the opportunities ahead with great optimism and excitement.  In particular, the prospect of seeing the Irish Women’s hockey team playing their games in Tokyo next summer. On behalf of Hockey Ireland, we would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


The Sport Ireland Press Release can be found HERE: https://www.sportireland.ie/news/eu58-million-in-covid-19-supplementary-funding-for-sport

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Hockey Ireland Announce Women’s 2021 Panel

Irish Women’s Head Coach, Sean Dancer, has announced a reduced panel of 23 players for 2021. The team has been training both regionally and nationally throughout the past number of months, playing a series of inter-squad matches in order to remain in top shape despite restrictions preventing them taking on other international squads.

The panel sees a mix of internationally experienced players, with several World Cup medallists included, while also incorporating some young and upcoming talent with the inclusion of two uncapped players. The panel is as follows:

PLAYER                                 Region               Position               CAPS

BARR, Beth                               Ulster                    Defender                30

CAREY, Michelle                      Leinster                Midfielder             Uncapped

CARROLL, Naomi                   Munster               Striker                     111

COLVIN, Elizabeth                  Ulster                    Midfielder             196

DALY, Nicola                            Leinster                Midfielder             189

DUKE, Deirdre                         Leinster                Midfielder             141

EVANS, Nicola                         Leinster                Striker                     198

FRAZER, Megan                      Ulster                    Defender               136

HAWKSHAW, Sarah               Leinster                Midfielder             33

MALSEED, Zara                       Ulster                    Striker                   Uncapped

MATTHEWS, Hannah            Leinster                Defender               147

McCAY, Shirley                         Ulster                    Defender              306

McFERRAN, Ayeisha              Ulster                    Goal Keeper         100

McLOUGHLIN, Hannah        Leinster                Defender               14

MULLAN, Kathryn (C)           Ulster                    Midfielder             193

MURPHY, Elizabeth               Leinster                Goal Keeper          13

O’FLANAGAN, Anna              Leinster                Striker                    207

O’FLANAGAN, Grace             Leinster                Goal Keeper          36

TICE, Elena                              Leinster                Defender                109

TORRANS, Sarah                   Leinster                Striker                     26

UPTON, Roisin                       Munster               Defender                 76

WATKINS, Chloe                   Leinster                Midfielder              226

WILSON, Zoe                         Ulster                    Defender                103

Speaking on the selection, Head Coach Sean Dancer said “This has been a tough process, reducing the number of athletes on the panel. We’ve seen some new talent come in and make an impression, which is a great sign for the longer term vision of the sport here in Ireland.

I’m confident we have a really good mix of experience and talent in this panel. They’ve all been working incredibly hard and it’s been quite challenging over the past number of months with restrictions.

I’m looking forward to the next few months and excited that we’re getting closer to Tokyo 2021.”

Irish Women’s Captain Katie Mullan said “2020 has been a challenging year for everyone but over the past couple of months we have trained incredibly hard. With a very competitive cohort we have made some great progress, despite all the challenges COVID has presented. All our training has been in a safe environment which is credit to our staff and the players for adhering to all rules put in place.

We are very excited for 2021 with 2 major international competitions on the calendar, Europeans and the Olympic Games. However, first and foremost we just cannot wait to play some international test matches again in the New Year.”

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Vacancy – National Development Manager (Maternity Cover)

JOB TITLE: National Development Manager (NDM) – Maternity Cover 


SALARY: Remuneration will be commensurate to qualifications and experience 

RESPONSIBLE TO: Hockey Ireland CEO  

HOURS: 37.5 hours  

CONTRACT: Fixed Term – Maternity cover  

START DATE: Feb 2021 

Job Purpose: 

This position is responsible for managing the delivery of the relevant areas of Hockey Ireland Strategic Plan. The NDM is responsible for administering and managing programmes to promote sustainable participation opportunities in Ireland.  

This role is primarily office based and will involve some work outside of office hours. Access to private transport is required as applicants will be occasionally required to travel. 

Main duties and responsibilities: 

  • Applying for funding and delivering on funding requirements (e.g. Dormant Account Funding and Women in Sport funding) 
  • Managing relationship with Sport IrelandSport Northern Ireland and FIH/EHF, as well as other key stakeholders such as provincial associations / umpire associations 
  • Management of delivery of targets by Hockey Ireland development staff  
  • Management of development programmes on an ongoing basis
  • Leads the review and development of the participation aspects of the strategic and operational plans. Responsible for the implementation of these plans.  
  • Manage all project budgets 
  • Planning and implementation of marketing strategy for development programmes 

For a full job description and personnel specification, please click here.

CV and cover letter should be submitted to info@hockey.ie before Wednesda6th Jan 2021.   

Hockey Ireland is an equal opportunities employer.  


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Hockey Ireland Announce National Boys Development, U16 and U18 Coaches.

Hockey Ireland are delighted to announce the appointment of an array of experienced coaches to the Boys Junior Age Group Squads.

Former Hockey Ireland international Joe Brennan has been appointed as the National Boys Development Coach and U21 Boys Head Coach. In the absence of a specific U21 Boys programme in 2021, Joe will take over the U19 Boys team later this year with Niall Denham stepping away from the programme in May for a sabbatical period. The former international player is also a former Assistant Coach to the Senior Women, as well as previously holding Head Coach roles in Muckross, Three Rock Rovers, and Glenanne.

Simon Lowry takes over as Head Coach to the Boys U18 squad, with Simon supporting Joe Brennan as they set their sights on the U18 EuroHockey Championship in Valencia in July, facing Germany, the Netherlands, and Russia in Pool B (to which Hockey Ireland are sending U19 squads).

Ronan Hickey will take over the Boys U16 squad as Head Coach as they focus on an Easter Five Nations (Covid 19 dependent).

Speaking on the appointments, High Performance Director Adam Grainger said, “It’s fantastic to be able to announce these appointments. Between international playing experience, and coaching at domestic and international level, the knowledge and experience these individuals will bring to the squads will have a lasting impact on the development of underage boys’ hockey in Ireland for years to come.”

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Hockey4All Webinar

If your club is interested in finding out more about our Hockey4All inclusion programme, we would like to invite you to attend a webinar on Wednesday 16th Dec. For more information on the H4A programme click here. To sign up for the webinar click here.


We will cover off:

– First steps towards setting up a disability/ inclusion section in your club

– Tips from those who have already set up H4A in their club

– Putting a plan / timeline in place for the programme


You can register more than 1 person per club.

Date: Wednesday 16th Dec

Time: 19.00 – 20.00

Zoom meeting details will be sent on the morning of the meeting.

If you have any questions, please contact inclusion@hockey.ie.

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Morgan and Boyles Join Honorary Life Members

Both Joan Morgan and Arlene Boyles were awarded Honorary Life Membership of Hockey Ireland at last night’s AGM.

Joan held a variety of posts throughout her time in Hockey Ireland. Over the years she held the position of Team Manager for the Women’s, High Performance Manager, as well as the former company secretary. Joan started with the Irish Hockey Union back in 1996, working with Hockey Ireland until 2018.

Recently retired Women’s Manager Arlene Boyles, who amassed 123 caps for Ireland herself, was also awarded Honorary Life Membership. Having been involved in Hockey Ireland since the age of 13 taking on various roles after retiring from international play. Boyles was also part of an integral part of the Pegasus squad which secured eight Irish Senior Cups and four All-Ireland Club Championship wins. Part of the national setup since 2010, acting as manager for 121 capped games, her mentoring is considered to have been a key influence by many of the Women’s players in their rise to World Cup silver and Olympic qualification.

Both women have been major contributors to the sport, and we hope that their knowledge and experience will be something hockey will benefit from for many years to come.


Martin Canniffe stepped down after his tenure as President at last night’s AGM, and Hockey Ireland would like to thank him for his service over the last number of years. We would also like to welcome Ann Rosa the new President of Hockey Ireland, and the new VP John Dennis.

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Return to Hockey Update 20th November 2020

Hockey Ireland would like to thank all of our clubs for ensuring that Government imposed restrictions on our sport are being followed in order to contribute to the reduction of the spread of Covid-19.

While it is hoped that the Republic of Ireland will move to a lower Level of restrictions in the coming weeks, at this moment Hockey Ireland do not know what the next Level of restrictions on sport will be. Ulster Hockey is also carefully monitoring the situation in Northern Ireland.

The EYHL Working Group and the Board of Hockey Ireland have met this week and discussions have taken place in relation to returning to competitive hockey as soon as possible.

The EYHL working group has prepared three clear scenarios. The first and most positive option would be that we would be able to use two dates (the 12th and 19th of December) for EYHL rounds, but this is only possible if training can resume in early December.

The Board has given guidance to be as flexible as possible in the approach to the playing calendar.  The Hockey Ireland COVID-19 Group, which includes representatives of the Branches, will reconvene next week and discuss the various options and any feedback that the clubs may have is welcome through the Branches.

Where restrictions are not lifted for the Island of Ireland in the beginning of December, the two other scenarios would be to consider re-starting competitive hockey in early January or later in January. The option of a ‘curtailed’ season may also to be considered if the restrictions continue into 2021 or new restrictions are imposed later in the season.

We will keep you updated as soon as we have more information. In the meantime, Hockey Ireland would like to re-iterate to our members our desire to facilitate a return to competitive hockey as soon as it is possible to do so safely.