Locals shine as UKF scoops 23 medals at 2022 at Irish Karate Championships

The Ulster Karate-Do Federation squad rounded off a very impressive 2022 by winning 23 medals in the Karate Ireland Open National Championships.

ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONS: Pictured, from left to right, Martin McCole (Head Kumite Coach), Seamus Gillespie (Instructor), Daniel Moynihan, Caolan Caulfield (Coach), Bebhinn McCole, Patrick Gillespie, Patrick Moynihan, Vanessa Cuffe, Jamie Cuffe, Catriona McKinney, Jack Walker, Lara Walker, Michael Gillespie, Damica Dowds, Harry McDaid Joe McDaid, Aine McCole (Coach), Erin McCole (Coach) and Denis Donaghey (Instructor and WUKF Referee).
ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONS: Pictured, from left to right, Martin McCole (Head Kumite Coach), Seamus Gillespie (Instructor), Daniel Moynihan, Caolan Caulfield (Coach), Bebhinn McCole, Patrick Gillespie, Patrick Moynihan, Vanessa Cuffe, Jamie Cuffe, Catriona McKinney, Jack Walker, Lara Walker, Michael Gillespie, Damica Dowds, Harry McDaid Joe McDaid, Aine McCole (Coach), Erin McCole (Coach) and Denis Donaghey (Instructor and WUKF Referee).

The Inishowen karate team took home a total of 13 gold, four silver and six bronze medals after some very fine performances in both kumite and kata at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena in Blanchardstown.

The UKF gold medal winners in their respective sections were: Caolan Caulfield (kata), Jamie Cuffe (kata), Damica Dowds (kata), Faby D’Almeida (kata), Bebhinn McCole (kata), Harry McDaid (kata), Micheal Gillespie (kumite), Aine McCole (kumite), Bebhinn McCole (kumite), Harry McDaid (kumite), Catriona McKinney (kumite), PJ Moynihan (kumite), Jack Walker. (kumite)

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The silver medal winners were: Lara Walker (kata), Daniel Moynihan (kata), Jamie Cuffe (kumite), Damica Dowds (kumite).

Taking home bronze medals were: Ethan Whelan (kata), PJ Moynihan (kata), Lara Walker (kumite), Vanessa Cuffe (kumite), Caolan Caulfield (kumite), Harry and Joe McDaid (family kata).

Sensei Denis Donaghey (5th Dan) from Aileach Karate Club, Burnfoot, which along with Quigley’s Point and Culmore karate clubs, make up the UKF, said it was a tremendous overall performance.

“The UKF squad members proved once again on the national stage that the karate talent in the North West is the highest standard to be found anywhere in the country,” he explained, “Winning 23 medals in a competition with almost 1,000 entries is a great tribute to the hard effort put in by all of the UKF squad members, instructors and coaches.

"Achieving such success has been a great way to round off a very impressive 2022 for the UKF.”

Sensei Donaghey and UKF President, Columba McLaughlin (6th Dan), both World Union of Karate Federation referees, also officiated at the Dublin event.

Head kumite coach, Martin McCole (3rd Dan), added: “The achievements of the last 12 months have set the squad in good stead for the packed calendar of events planned for 2023.

"Among next year’s key tournaments is the World Union of Karate Federation’s World Championships to be held in Dundee in June - the squad will be back in full training for that and other competitions from early January. I also look forward to the newer members of the squad making big names for themselves, both nationally and internationally, in 2023.”