Mulhares head for Slovenia as Quinn returns with silver

Laois siblings Michael and Mary Mulhare of North Laois AC have been named in the Athletics Ireland team for the forthcoming SPAR European Cross Country Championships to be held in Velenje, Slovenia.

Laois siblings Michael and Mary Mulhare of North Laois AC have been named in the Athletics Ireland team for the forthcoming SPAR European Cross Country Championships to be held in Velenje, Slovenia.

Michael will be hoping to enjoy the same level of success he experienced last year, when he was part of the U-23 squad which claimed team gold in Portugal. He is the only remaining member of that team, and he was first U-23 athlete home at the recent All-Ireland Championships held in Sligo.

In the Junior women’s equivalent, Michael’s sister Mary finished fourth and this was good enough to secure her spot on the Irish team. This will be her second appearance at these championships, having also competed in 2009. It is also the third year in a row that two members of the Mulhare family will compete at the European championships, with older brother Dan joining Michael in Portugal last year.

Elsewhere in Portlaoise AC, Niamh Quinn, a talented 14 year old athlete from Scoil Chriost Rí, made her international debut for Ireland in the Schools International Combined Events in Kelvin Hall, Glasgow on Saturday.

Niamh and her teammates did their country proud by bringing home cherished silver medals. Highlights from Niamh’s international debut included achieving a personal best of 1.53m in the high jump and running a blistering 800m in 2 mins 30 secs, taking an individual second place in that event.

Niamh also competed in the hurdles, shot putt and long jump in which she secured a credible 4.57m. Speaking afterwards, Niamh said. “It was a great experience. I felt so proud to wear the Irish tracksuit. It was lovely to be part of the same team with the girls who I had competed against in Leinster and All-Ireland competitions.”

“I got loads of good luck cards and messages of support and I’d like to thank everyone for that. My dream is to wear the Irish singlet again but I know I will have to work hard for it.”