Exciting Irish Team Selected for Brussels 2023

ByEmma Porter |

Fionnuala McCormack will headline an Irish squad stacked with European championship experience which has been selected for the 29th edition of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships which take place in Brussels on December 10th 2023.

Brussels 2023 will mark McCormack’s 18th European Cross Country Championships where she will be joined on an experienced Irish senior women’s team by Eilish Flanagan (Finn Valley AC), Roisin Flanagan (Finn Valley AC), Mary Mulhare (Portlaoise AC), Fionnula Ross (Armagh AC), and recent national champion Fiona Everard  (Bandon AC).

The senior men’s team includes newly crowned national cross country champion Cormac Dalton (Mullingar Harriers) who will be ably supported by Irish 5,000m record holder Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock), Hugh Armstrong (Ballina AC), Keelan Kilrehill (Mov Valley AC), Fearghal Curtin (Youghal AC), and a resurgent Kevin Mulcaire (Ennis Track Club).

The U23 teams will see the return of Danielle Donegan (Tullamore Harriers) who led Ireland home in the U23 race year, while the U23 men’s team will see Dean Casey (Ennis Track Club) graduate from the U20 category following following last year’s brilliant bronze medal performance.

Last year’s U20 silver medallist Nick Griggs (Candour Track Club) will spearhead a strong looking U20 men’s team as he look to go in search of more European success, while recent national champion Anna Gardiner (East Down AC) will head to Brussels buoyed by her impressive win in Gowran last Sunday.

Speaking at the announcement, Athletics Ireland National Endurance Coordinator, Mark Kenneally said, “In my short time in the role it has been heartening to see the stellar work being put in by athletes and coaches to prepare for these championships. In recent years we have enjoyed great individual and team success, and this has raised expectations, both within the team and externally in the wider athletics and sporting community. This is, again, fantastic to see, and while the standard of distance running generally in Europe is on the rise, I am confident that our athletes are capable of rising to the challenge. Our athletes will be prepared to perform at their highest level, and I am certain this will ensure it will be a successful championships on December 10th in Brussels.”

The SPAR European Cross Country Championships is one of the main seasonal appointments of the European Athletics calendar. Brussels 2023 follows last year’s championships in Piemonte, Italy which saw Ireland claim a record 5 medals which resulted in Ireland finishing in second place on the overall medal table alongside Spain and France, bettering the 3 medals won at the 2021 European Cross Country Championships which were hosted in Fingal-Dublin.


Event Athlete Club Coach
U20 Women Anna Gardiner East Down AC Peter Morgan
U20 Women Amy Greene Finn Valley Helen McCready
U20 Women Kirsty Maher Moy Valley Andy Bibby & Phillip Finnerty
U20 Women Maebh Richardson Kilkenny City Harriers Ian Solof/Niamh Richardson/Noel Richardson
U20 Women Avril Millerick Youghal AC Noel Curtin & Joe Ryan
U20 Women Hannah Kehoe Kilkenny City Harriers Niamh Richardson
U20 Men Niall Murphy Ennis Track Club Pat Hogan
U20 Men Jonas Stafford UCD AC Feidhlim Kelly
U20 Men Harry Colbert Waterford AC Des Colbert
U20 Men Seamus Robinson City of Derry Spartans AC Martin Robinson
U20 Men Nick Griggs CNDR Track Club Mark Kirk
U20 Men Shane Brosnan An Riocht Alexander Gibby
U23 Women Danielle Donegan Tullamore Harriers Emmett Dunleavy
U23 Women Aoife Coffey Lucan Harriers Niamh & Eoin Fitzgerald
U23 Women Eimear Maher Dundrum South Dublin AC Donal Hennigan
U23 Women Aoife O’Cuill St Cocas Joe Ryan
U23 Women Ava O’Connor Tullamore Harriers Damon Martin
U23 Women Anika Thompson Leevale AC Shalane Flanagan / Ken Nason
U23 Men Oisin Spillane Ennis Track Club Rory Chesser
U23 Men Callum Morgan CNDR Track Club Mark Kirk
U23 Men Matthew Lavery North Belfast Harriers Jim McGuinness
U23 Men Abdel Laadjel Donore Harriers Ray Treacy
U23 Men Michael Morgan Sligo AC Ray Treacy
U23 Men Dean Casey Ennis Track Club Sean Carlson
Senior Women Fiona Everard Bandon AC Matt Lockett
Senior Women Mary Mulhare Portlaoise AC Michael Mulhare
Senior Women Fionnuala Ross Armagh AC No Coach
Senior Women Fionnuala McCormack Kilcoole AC Alan McCormack
Senior Women Eilish Flanagan Finn Valley Damon Martin
Senior Women Roisin Flanagan Finn Valley Damon Martin
Senior Men Cormac Dalton Mullingar Harriers Joe Ryan
Senior Men Kevin Mulcaire Ennis Track Club Pat Hogan
Senior Men Hugh Armstrong Ballina AC Feidhlim Kelly
Senior Men Keelan Kilrehill Mov Valley AC Emmett Dunleavy
Senior Men Brian Fay Raheny Shamrock AC Feidhlim Kelly
Senior Men Fearghal Curtin Youghal AC James Thie


  • National Cross Country Championships Report (19.11.2023) is available HERE
  • European Cross Country Championships Official Website & Timetable can be found HERE
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