Irish Athlete Alex Byrne wins World Indoor Championship in spite of pandemic times

Rowing Ireland congratulate Alex Byrne on winning the Under 23 Men’s 2,000-meter race on Tuesday 23rd of February. Alex won the Gold Medal with a time of 5.55.3

Last week, Alex was on training camp with the Senior High-Performance Team in Varese, Italy and returned home on Sunday evening to prepare for the World Indoor Rowing Championships which took place on Tuesday.

Alex had a successful 2020 with breaking six minutes in the Irish Indoor Championships in UL in January finishing just behind his brother Ronan with a time of 5:58.9. Alex went on to compete at the Under 23 European Rowing Championships in Duisburg in the first International Rowing Competition of 2020. Alex was part of a Coxed Men’s Four alongside Ross Corrigan, Jack Dorney, John Kearney and Leah O’Regan (Cox). The Irish Crew finished third and took home the Bronze medal with only .64 of a second between them and second place.

World Indoor U23 Men’s Champion, Alex Byrne said, I’ve been planning on competing at the World Indoor Championship since Christmas and to win is a tremendous relief. I was wondering to myself how am I going to do it and prepare for it. I’ve been on training camp for the last three weeks, and the first two weeks were very intense, and I collected a lot of blisters on the hand, but at the end of the two weeks, you get used to it.

The training on the ergometer during the lockdown helped me feel way more prepared for the racing, so going into 2021, I thought that it was an excellent base, and I knew that it was going to work so that I would rinse and repeat”.

Alex competed in the competition in his living room surrounded by medals and Irish Championships winning “pots” Alex has competed for Shandon Rowing Club in Cork from a young age and has won from J14 to Senior at Domestic Events. Alec won at the Irish Rowing Championships in 2018 in the J18A categories, 8+ and 4x-. Alex competed in the Men’s Senior 8+ at the 2019 Irish Rowing Championships, finishing second.

On Wednesday’s racing at the 2021 World Indoor Rowing Championships, three time Olympian and World Champion Niall O’Toole took home the Bronze Medal in the LM 50 category.

Niall has recently taken part in Rowing Ireland’s Row with the Pro’s, which is a complimentary service for Rowing Ireland’s members to train at home with Olympians, World Champions and High-Performance athletes. More information can be found:

We wish to congratulate all rowers that represented Ireland throughout the 2021 World Rowing Championships, Alex Byrne, Niall O’Toole, Niamh Hayes, Philip Healy, Aifric O’Sullivan, Wendy O’Leary, Amy Barry, Sally Cudmore, Kenneth Cunningham and Richard Morgan.

Rowing Ireland is delighted to announce a new partnership with the National University of Ireland Galway. NUI Galway is now an official ‘Rowing Ireland Partner Pathway University’ which will help develop the high-performance programme at the University. This partnership builds on the already strong working relationship between the University and Rowing Ireland over the past number of years. 

NUI Galway will become a Pathway University, whose vision and direction will be in line with the Rowing Ireland High-Performance Program and methodology, to develop talented pathway athletes for international selection at U23 and eventually Olympic level.

Rowing Ireland and NUI Galway will work hand in hand to develop a sustainable and robust pathway of young athletes from Junior to U23 World Championship level before progressing to the senior Olympic team.

NUI Galway head coach, Ciro Prisco will continue to build on his experience as part of Rowing Ireland High-Performance coaching team (U23 World Championships 2019, Junior European Championships 2020) by taking up the new position of temporary High-Performance assistant coach working with the team at the National Rowing Centre while combining his duties as NUI Galway head coach, overseeing the development of the club program in Galway. 

Commenting on today’s announcement, High-Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni said ‘We are delighted to have NUI Galway as a partner in supporting the High-Performance Programme Pathway. Along with our partnership with Queens, NUI Galway will have an essential role in our High-Performance programme’s success in the years to come. 

We welcome Ciro Prisco onto our High-Performance team in an important role as Assistant Coach for our High-Performance Senior Athletes. Ciro will be a valuable member of the team, and we look forward to working with him and supporting him alongside his role in NUI Galway.

Michelle Carpenter, Rowing Ireland Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are delighted to welcome NUI Galway as a new partner and as a Pathway University. NUI Galway has a history of producing World Class athletes, and this partnership will benefit both NUI Galway and Rowing Ireland for the future. 

This partnership is a testament to the vision and hard work that our High-Performance Team has put in. I want to thank Antonio Maurogiovanni and Fran Keane for their hard work in getting this over the line. 

Mike Heskin Director of Sport & Physical Activity at NUI Galway, said “We are very excited about this New Partnership with Rowing Ireland’s High Performance Programme . The University has been developing partnerships with a number of the High Performance Sport programmes in Ireland involving both Domestic and Olympic Sports. We are certain these partnerships will prove hugely beneficial to our University athletes by providing a clean pathway for them to archive their athletic goals. We are especially delighted to be in partnership with Rowing Ireland to build on the existing relationship which has provided Olympians in our recent past.

I would like to thank the support that Feargal O’Callaghan our High-Performance Lead and I have received from the University leadership especially Michelle Miller Dean Of Student in developing a High-Performance Hub at NUI Galway for the Western Region, we hope to see a number of other sport follow Rowing’s Lead and operate a high performance programme out of the NUI Galway’s campus.” 

Rowing Ireland is seeking to recruit a full-time Events Executive to join our dedicated team. The Events Executive will be integral in supporting the delivery of key objectives within our Strategic Plan 2019-2024, to include assisting Clubs and leading our sport.

Full job spec is in the the download section below.

Deadline for applications is Wednesday 3rd March at 5pm.

To apply for this role, email your CV along with a covering letter to Michelle Carpenter at


Kieran Kerr has looked back at Irish Rowing competing at the Olympics over the years. Kieran manages and oversee’s the Irish Rowing Archives since 2013.

It covers from the Olympics inception to Ireland’s first participation in the 1948 Olympics to our first Medal in Rio 2016 and our current qualifications for Tokyo.

Read back at some of the early stories of the challenges that the sport faced from post World War II to now being one of Ireland’s most competitive international sports at all levels.

The article is available in the Downloads section below.

More about the Irish Rowing Archives

The Archives can be found here;

The Irish Rowing Archives were created in 2013 to act as a repository for Irish rowing memorabilia and research material. As each generation of rowers passes on, a little bit of  the rich history of our sport dies with them. We aim to  try and preserve as much as possible through borrowing, scanning and uploading the material to the web. 

The site currently contains almost 2,500 items  or over 35,000 pages of material and is growing weekly.

The site is free to access and is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in rowing and Irish sport.


The Reconvened AGM 2020 and EGM 2021 was held on Zoom on Wednesday 17th February 2021 at 7:30 pm.

Please see the minutes from the meeting in the Download Section below.

The following are the agreed changes;

1) Delegate setting the Domestic Events calendar 2021 and the Location of the Irish Rowing Championship Regattas to the Domestic Events Committee and Board of Rowing Ireland.

2) Allow 2020 Novices compete in the 2021 Novice Championships.

3) Hold a one off Junior 19 Championships for 2020 Juniors, who missed out on their Championships last year.

4) Suspend the Championship Extinction rule.

5) Extend the closing date for Championships to two weeks.

These are temporary rule changes that only apply to the 2021 Regatta Season.

The board believe that these changes will give more certainty to Clubs, Coaches and Athletes while giving Rowing Ireland the flexibility to quickly respond to the changing Public Health advice.