Irish Team Announced for SPAR European Cross Country Championships

ByJoanne Murphy |

Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole AC) heads an Irish squad stacked with Olympic and European championship experience which has been selected for the SPAR European Cross Country Championships set for the Sport Ireland Campus in Fingal-Dublin on December 12th 2021.

McCormack is joined in the squad by fellow Tokyo Olympians, Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC), Sarah Healy (UCD AC), Eilish Flanagan (Finn Valley AC), Aoife Cooke (Eagle AC), Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea AC), and yesterday’s Irish Life Health National Cross Country champion Michelle Finn (Leevale AC).

The senior women’s team will see McCormack, Mageean, Flanagan, and Cooke, joined by Roisin Flanagan (Finn Valley AC) and Aiobhe Richardson (Kilkenny City Harriers), both of whom put it impressive performances at yesterday’s national championships to finish 3rd and 4th respectively.

The senior men’s team will include Hiko Tonosa (Dundrum South Dublin) who looked ultra-smooth in taking the men’s national cross country title within the last 24 hours. Tonsa will be joined by clubmates Paul O’Donnell (Dundrum South Dublin) and Emmet Jennings (Dundrum South Dublin), adding further celebration for DSD who claimed the national club title yesterday.

Ryan Forsyth (Newcastle and District A.C.) will offer previous European cross country experience, while the pair of Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock AC) and Cormac Dalton (Mullingar Harriers AC) will return from action stateside following superb performances at the NCAAs.

Sarah Healy (UCD AC) will lead the charge for U23 team and will be joined by Aoife O’Cuill (St Coca’s AC), Danielle Donegan (UCD AC), Ruth Heery (Waterford AC), and DCH pair Lauren Tinkler (Dublin City Harriers AC) and Jodie McCann (Dublin City Harriers AC).

The men’s U23 team includes the classy Darragh McElhinney (UCD AC), and the Bandon athlete will be joined by Keelan Kilrehill (Moyvalley AC), Thomas McStay (Galway City Harriers), Micheal Power (West Waterford AC), Thomas Devaney (Castlebar AC), and Donal Devane (Ennis Track AC).

Jane Buckley (Leevale AC) was first to claim one of the automatic selection places for Fingal-Dublin 2021 and she will be joined in the women’s U20 team by Emma McEvoy (Dundrum South Dublin), Rebecca Rossiter (Loughview AC), Laura Mooney (Tullamore Harriers AC), Aoife McGreevy (UCD AC), and Róise Roberts (North Belfast Harriers AC).

The men’s U20 team looks particularly strong and boasts two recent European U20 gold medallists over 3000m and 1500m in Nicholas Griggs (Mid Ulster A.C.) and Cian McPhillips (UCD AC).

They will be joined by Abdel Laadjel (Donore Harriers) who returns from action stateside as well as Dean Casey (Ennis Track AC), Scott Fagan (Metro/St. Brigid’s AC), and Sean Kay (Clonliffe Harriers AC) who all performed superbly in national championship competition over the weekend.

The mixed relay team will have no shortage of experience with Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea), Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC), Luke McCann (UCD AC), and Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (Dundrum South Dublin) completing a stacked team.

Athletics Ireland, National Endurance Co-ordinator, Matt Locket said:“We must acknowledge the outstanding work from athletes to put themselves in contention for selection at these home championships. The depth in the Nationals Cross Country championships was fabulous to see, and is a testament to the work of coaches around the country. We have a great history when it comes to European cross country competition and we are in no doubt those who have been selected are primed to take on the best in Europe in just a few weeks’ time.”


7 October 2021; Olympian Andrew Coscoran pictured at the launch of the 2021 SPAR European Cross Country Championships. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile



Team – Athlete – Club – Coach

Senior Men

  • Men’s Senior – Hiko Tonosa Haso – DSD AC – Feidhlim Kelly
  • Men’s Senior – Paul O’Donnell – DSD AC – Donal Hennigan
  • Men’s Senior – Emmet Jennings – DSD AC – Donal Hennigan
  • Men’s Senior – Ryan Forsyth – Newcastle & District AC – Richard Rodgers
  • Men’s Senior – Brian Fay – Raheny Shamrock AC –  Andy Powell
  • Men’s Senior – Cormac Dalton – Mullingar Harriers AC – Steve Gulley

Senior Women 

  • Women’s Senior – Michelle Finn – Leevale AC – Feidhlim Kelly
  • Women’s Senior – Roisin Flanagan – Finn Valley AC  – Damon Martin
  • Women’s Senior – Aoibhe Richardson – Kilkenny City Harriers  – Jon Green
  • Women’s Senior – Aoife Cooke – Eagle AC – John Starrett
  • Women’s Senior – Fionnuala McCormack – Kilcoole AC – Alan McCormack
  • Women’s Senior – Eilish Flanagan – Finn Valley AC  – Damon Martin

U23 Men

  • Men’s U23 – Darragh McElhinney – UCD AC – Emmet Dunleavy
  • Men’s U23 – Keelan Kilrehill – Moy Valley AC – Emmet Dunleavy
  • Men’s U23 – Thomas McStay – Galway City Harriers – Matt Lockett
  • Men’s U23 – Micheal Power – West Waterford AC – David McCarthy
  • Men’s U23 – Donal Devane – Ennis Track Club – Joe Chawke
  • Men’s U23 – Thomas Devaney – Castlebar AC

U23 Women

  • Women’s U23 – Sarah Healy – UCD AC – Eoghan Marnell
  • Women’s U23 – Aoife O’Cuill – St Coca’s AC – Joe Ryan
  • Women’s U23 – Danielle Donegan – UCD AC  – Damian Lawlor
  • Women’s U23 – Lauren Tinkler – Dublin City Harriers – Enda Fitzpatrick
  • Women’s U23 – Ruth Heery – Waterford AC – Des Colbert
  • Women’s U23 – Jodie McCann – Dublin City Harriers – Clark McCann

U20 Men

  • Men’s U20 – Nick Griggs – Mid Ulster AC – Barry Holmes
  • Men’s U20 – Dean Casey – Ennis Track Club – Pat Hogan
  • Men’s U20 – Scott Fagan – Metro St Brigid’s – Brian Tremble
  • Men’s U20 – Sean Kay – Clonliffe Harriers – Stephen Bateson
  • Men’s U20 – Cian McPhillips – UCD AC – Joe Ryan
  • Men’s U20 – Abdel Laadjel – Donore Harriers AC – Gerry Naughton

U20 Women

  • Women’s U20 – Jane Buckley – Leevale AC – Chris Harrington
  • Women’s U20 – Emma McEvoy – DSD AC – Donal Hennigan
  • Women’s U20 – Rebecca Rossiter – Loughview AC – Andrew Hann
  • Women’s U20 – Laura Mooney – Tullamore Harriers – Ray Treacy
  • Women’s U20 – Aoife McGreevy – UCD AC – Mark Kirk
  • Women’s U20 – Róise Roberts – North Belfast Harriers

Mixed Relay

  • Mixed Relay – Andrew Coscoran – Star of the Sea AC – Feidhlim Kelly
  • Mixed Relay – Luke McCann – UCD AC – Clark McCann
  • Mixed Relay – Ciara Mageean – City of Lisburn AC – Steve Vernon
  • Mixed Relay – Siofra Cleirigh Buttner – Dundrum South Dublin –  Mark Coogan



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