Ireland’s Fab Four set for European Team Championships

Ronan MacNamara

Sara Byrne (Photo by Tom Dulat/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Four Irish squads will compete in their respective European Team Championships on Tuesday as panels of men, women, boys and girls take to the continent.

The Irish Men’s Team is in Royal Waterloo Golf Club in Belgium while the Women are in Tawast Golf & Country Club, Finland. The Irish Boys team will compete in Golf Club de Geneva in Switzerland and the Girls will tee it up in Golf Club d’Hossegor, France.

“We have four very strong teams who on an individual basis have been playing really well and they all obviously love playing for Ireland and get together and we have a great team environment around us and everyone is really looking forward to doing the best they can,” says Golf Ireland High Performance Director Neil Manchip who will link up with the Girls squad in France.


Ireland have four very strong squads that boast a catalogue of individual titles this season and Manchip feels the key to transforming that into a team environment is preparation.

“It was great to get everyone at Golf Ireland HQ before they head off to their various venues. Everyone has played so much good individual golf this year and now this will be a test at team level, we have a lot of players in really good form who have won championships and we are excited to get going.

“Preparation was key we wanted to get a lot out of the players and give them input into practice and into the team environment.”

Derry native Naomi Quigg will captain a stacked Women’s side that includes Irish Close champion Sara Byrne (Douglas) and Anna Foster (Elm Park) who took to professional golf like a duck to water with fine performances on the LET Access Series.

Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle) has been a model of consistency this year and she is joined by Kate Lanigan (Hermitage) and Ulster Strokeplay champion Jessica Ross (Clandeboye) who was also second at the European Mid-Amateur Championship and the 28-year-old is poised to make her first Irish appearance in four years.

Kanturk’s Mairead Martin was a late replacement for Aine Donegan (Lahinch) who had to withdraw from the side having made the cut at the US Women’s Open last week.

“It’s always an honour to captain your country and especially Golf Ireland. We are really looking forward to this week in Finland and I believe we have a really strong team with many champions in our team,” explains Quigg.

“My role is to create the best platform for the Girls to play their best, express themselves and be focused on the job we are doing to help them achieve their goals and have fun!”

Quigg is excited for the week ahead but also for the future of women’s golf in Ireland with a series of standout performances already this year.

“Aine at the US Open in Pebble Beach was a fantastic achievement, we had Sara Byrne and Anna Foster on the LET Access Tour shooting really good scores. It was difficult to lose Lauren but she will play her first LPGA Tour event which is great and it’s a third presence on the tour which is great to see. It gives the girls great confidence to know that these are the people they play golf with and they can achieve it.

“Beth Coulter and Aine performed well for GB&I at the Vagliano, Jess was second at the European Mid-Am and of course Kate is playing well as usual so everyone has performed well. We are in a great place with the women’s game coming through with plenty of strength and some juniors coming through who will keep these girls on their toes.

“Olivia Costello and Kate Dillon both came off the Junior Vagliano and out of the nine points GB&I got those two got seven of them! They have great strength in their squad and this has taken years in the making with a lot of work put into these girls with some huge talent coming through which is great to see thank God!”

European Amateur Team Championship (Royal Waterloo Golf Club, Belgium)

Max Kennedy (Royal Dublin)

Alex Maguire (Laytown & Bettystown)

Matt McClean (Malone)

Liam Nolan (Galway)

Mark Power (Kilkenny)

Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk)


Captain: Niall MacSweeney (Athenry)

Manager: John McKinstry (Cairndhu)

Coach: Michael Collins


European Ladies’ Team Championship (Tawast Golf & Country Club, Finland)

Sara Byrne (Douglas)

Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle)

Aine Donegan (Lahinch)

Anna Foster (Elm Park)

Kate Lanigan (Hermitage)

Jessica Ross (Clandeboye)


Captain: Naoimh Quigg (City of Derry)

Manager: Helen Jones (Royal Portrush)

Coach: Donal Scott



European Boys’ Team Championship (Golf Club of Geneva, Switzerland)

Aodhagan Brady (Co. Sligo)

Fionn Dobbin (Malone)

Mark Gazi (Tralee)

Sean Keeling (Roganstown)

Jack Murphy (Douglas)

Gavin Tiernan (Co. Louth)


Captain: Peter English (Limerick)

Manager: Jim Long (Monkstown)

Coach: Stephen Hood


European Girls’ Team Championship (Golf Club d’Hossegor, France)

Anna Abom (Edmondstown)

Olivia Costello (Roscommon)

Kate Dillon (Oughterard)

Emma Fleming (Elm Park)

Marina Joyce Moreno (Llavaneras)

Katie Poots (Knock)


Acting Captain: Sara Rose Shelly (Dun Laoghaire)

Manager: Neil Manchip

Coach: Chris Jelly

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