*Team Ireland, from left, Jamie Battle, Darragh McElhinney, Michael Power, Keelan Kilrehill, Donal Devane and Thomas Devaney celebrate with their gold medals for the U23 Men’s 8000m team event during the SPAR European Cross Country Championships. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

GOLD and silver medals from the European Cross Country Championships will return to Co Clare.

Ireland claimed the team gold medal in the Men’s Under-23 event SPAR European Cross Country Championships as Cork’s Darragh McElhinney won the individual silver medal. The championships took place at Sport Ireland’s campus in Fingal.

A magnificent race from the UCD runner saw him hold onto the silver medal while Keelan Kilrehil took sixth place and Michael Power had thirteenth spot with Ennis’ very own Donal Devane finishing in fortieth position followed by Jamie Battle (44th) and Thomas Devaney (67th). Their combined results saw Ireland win gold.

Donal who runs with Ennis Track and is coached by Joe Chawke recorded personal bests in 1500m and 3000m in times of 3.57.62 and 8.23.69 respectively in races held at Morton Stadium, Dublin in June of this year.

He memorably claimed a cracking men’s 6000m title in 2019 at the National Novice and Juvenile Uneven Age Cross Country Championships.


Just a single point separated gold medallists Great Britain and Northern Ireland from silver medallists Ireland in the men’s U20 6000m. Abdel Laadjel was the highest Irish finisher in sixth, with Ennis’ Dean Casey and Nick Griggs in 13th and 16th respectively. Scott Fagan crossed in 21st, Sean Kay was 5oth and Cathal O’Reilly 77th.

*Dean Casey (far right) was part of the Irish U20 team.

Speaking following the race, Dean explained, “The plan was to be in the front group but not to lead it, to sit there until the last lap and try go for gold”.

Eighteen year old Dean currently has a world ranking of 642 in the Men’s 5000m. Also a member of Ennis Track, he is coached by Pat Hogan. Earlier this year, he recorded a sixth place finish in the men’s 5000m final at the U20 European Championships.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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