Four anglers from the Kingdom represented their country with distinction at the recent Home Nations Championships held at Weymouth in England.
In a fiercely competitive contest on the southwest coast of England, Liz McMahon, Rosaleene Murphy, and brothers, Chris and David O’Sullivan, represented the senior men’s and women’s Irish teams.
All four fish for the Tralee Bay Sea Angling Club, and exposure at international level is a great source of publicity for the club.
After the initial qualifying rounds in Ireland, the quartet of anglers left for Weymouth in early July, confident of putting in a bold show.
Chris and David were part of the senior team that beat England to win the Home Nations Trophy in the shore-fishing section.
Beating the host nation is a massive achievement considering their anglers would have had more knowledge of the waters being fished in as part of the competition.
“It’s a huge achievement. The English would have picked a strong team of experienced anglers who would have fished in those waters. So to come out on top was amazing,” said Chris.
“It’s a great achievement for our club as we would have had to qualify through the provincial system, which is competitive. To have two guys on the same team from the same club - and the fact we’re brothers - is nearly unheard of,” added Chris.
The Irish ladies also put in a great effort and finished a commendable fourth in their section.
Rosaleene is originally from Dublin and has plenty of World Championship experience in fishing.
It was Liz’s first time competing at the highest level. She finished as the top female angler from the Irish contingent.
They were in second place after Day 1 with three second placings. Things didn’t quite go to plan after that, but they can be pleased with their overall performance.
“Had things gone their way on the beaches it would have been different,” explained Chris.
“The English ladies team had been in multiple tournaments together. It was a fine line. Even though the Irish ladies finished fourth, they could just as easily have won silver.”
Liz is a cousin to Chris and David, and they come from a family in which angling is a passion. Representing Ireland together in the same competition is a very gratifying experience.
“It is a special side to it. My father, Connie, and Liz’s late father, Paddy Joe, loved fishing. My nephew, Finn, has also fished internationally,” said Chris.
"Liz’s son, Paddy - whose dad, Shane, is a great fisherman - has what it takes to fish internationally as well. Even Rosaleene’s daughter, Donna, fishes with the club. It’s great to see that love for fishing passing down the generations,” he said.
Tralee Bay Sea Angling Club’s membership continues to grow following the addition of a girls and ladies team in recent years.
“It’s strong on all fronts. Winning a club match now is like winning one at national level, the competition is so high. Regardless of your ability, everyone is welcome to join our club,” Chris said.