Four world champions honoured

Civic Reception for top wexford handballers

Saoirse McGarrigle

Published 19/02/2013|05:42

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There was a civic reception in The Irish National Heritage Park on Tuesday evening for four Wexford World champion handballer's, Ned Byggy, Gavin Buggy, Tommy Hynes and Daniel Kavanagh. With family and club members

Wexford's Ned and Gavin Buggy's double success in the A class at last October's World Handball Championships is thought to be the first time that a father and son have ever achieved such a feat.

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They along with Wexford's two other world handball champions, Tommy Hynes and Daniel Kavanagh, were invited to attend a civic reception at the Irish National Heritage Park in their honour.

Mayor Jim Allen commented that it was 'great to have four world champions from the town'.

Ned Buggy added that this is most likely thanks to the development of the handball facilities at the St Joseph's Club in recent years.

'There's been an explosion of young, underage handballers around the town,' he said.

The St Joseph's Club has three 40 x 20 courts, the actual size court which handballers compete in at international level. Traditionally, courts are 60 x 30 in dimension.

Daniel Kavanagh's success in the 13 and Under World Doubles A title is testament to Wexford's strength at underage level.

Daniel is from Shanna Court, Coolcotts, and plays with St Joseph's. He was partnered with Cork's Tadhg O'Neill for the world championships.

Tommy Hynes, meanwhile, won the Over 40s World Doubles A title. The Cromwellsfort man was partnered by the well known Michael Duxie Walsh of Kilkenny.

The two were tipped for the prize from the off, according to spectators.

Gavin Buggy of Pinewood added to his existing 2009 Over 35s World Singles A title, which he won in Portland, Oregon, an Over 35s World Doubles A title at last year's world championships in Citywest.

He was partnered with Dominic Lynch of Kerry.

His father Ned, having just returned to the sport after a 15-year break, scooped the Over 60s A Class World Doubles title in stylish come back fashion.

Ned joined forces with Eugene Kennedy of Dublin for the competition.

He said that in many aspects it was a 'dream come true' for him as, having taken such a long time out from the sport, he never anticipated returning to win a World title.

However, he said there was always a niggling feeling that it was something he needed to achieve seeing as his older brother Seamus was the first Wexford man to win a world handball title back in 1970, and there was always a strong family tradition of handball.

Seamus Buggy was partnered with Dick Lyng of Ballyanne and the pair won a world doubles title on a traditional 60 x 30 sized court.

What is most noteworthy about Wexford's four world champions is that all four won in the A class which is considered 'the elite of the elite' in handball.

Wexford People

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