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European Police Championships


European Police Championships, Lohr A Main, Frankfurt, Germany.
28 / 29th September 2007.

On Sunday the 23 Sept 2007 the first Irish police team representing the nation, travelled to Frankfurt, Germany, to represent our country in the European Police Angling championships. This was a truly historic event, as the team comprised members of An Garda Siochana, and The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), together, representing the nation under the joint badges of the Garda, and the P.S. N.I. The team of Peter O Connor, Garda, and Mark Mc Garrity P.S.N.I travelled by van through the U.K with the equipment to Frankfurt, where they joined fellow team members Dave Gibson and Pete Kime of the P.S.N.I and Donnacha Maguire and Richard Caplice team manager from An Garda Siochana arriving by air. The squad was completed on Wed 26th Sept with the arrival of Eamonn Bracken and Keith Coleman both of An Garda Siochana. A very exhausting and committed three days of practice and planning followed, during which the expertise of the experienced members of the Browning team from the P.S.N.I and An Garda Siochana pooled their collective guile, and skill to a point, where confidence was high that we had come to grips with this most difficult of venues.

A large supply of superb ground bait was supplied, and delivered to the venue by Browning, and during practice this was found to be top class, outperforming all others. All team members coped well with the fast flowing deep river Main, especially the experienced Dave Gibson and Pete Kime from the Browning team, accustomed to the similar waters of the Bann. Youth international Donnacha Maguire, and circuit hardened Peter O Connor got to grips with the venue, but it was the debutante Mark McGarrity who promised to upset the odds, out performing everyone. On the evening of the 27th Sept team manager Richard Caplice attended the draw for section and pegs, for both match days, and certainly returned a mixed bag of good and impossible draws. The stage was set however, and it was with every confidence that on the 28th, each of our team of Kime, O’Connor, Gibson, Maguire, and McGarrity approached their task. Five hours of fishing produced fish for all of our anglers, but the indifferent draw saw two of our anglers suffer badly in dour locations, where to their credit they overcame the anglers surrounding them. Three good points results of 4th 5th and 8th saw our team placed fifth of ten nations after day one. This resilient group worked well together in preparation, and faced into day two with renewed determination, despite the same two most experienced members again being the victims of the draw drum.

 Results on day two while producing two dry nets from impossible positions, saw equally three very good results from Pete Kime 15th Donnacha Maguire 8th and a wonderful first in section to the promising debutante, Mark McGarrity. While this result was not representative of the input or skill of all our team members it proved, on a very difficult day, which produced twenty-five blanks, to be good enough to move our team into fourth place amongst the nations. In the post mortems that followed our team justifiably felt that a bronze medal was a realistic target, and the bitter disappointment of a narrow defeat by the old enemy the United Kingdom (UK) who were third, was sweetened somewhat by the super top ten finish, by the young man of the squad Mark Mc Garrity. The German team followed by Netherlands and the U.K made up the top three nations, followed by Ireland in a very credible if profoundly disappointing, fourth. This is the first experience of outright international competition, for most of our squad, and to overcome such strong teams as the Belgians and the Italians is hugely to the teams credit and augers well for the future. The Ireland squad showed serious determination comradeship, esprit de corp and discipline. They conducted themselves impeccably on and off the match stretch, and as first time entrants to this huge event, were much lauded, by the European organisation, and all the other participating nations.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank on behalf of the combined squad, a number of people without whose help our participation in this event would not have been possible.
The Assistant Commissioner of An Garda Siochana, Mr  Peter Fitzgerald and An Coiste Siamsa or Garda sports body.
The deputy chief constable of The P.S.N.I, and the P.S.N.I Athletic Association.
St Pauls Garda Credit Union.
Irish Bait And Tackle Company, and Mr Peter Nicholson.
Tubertini  U.K and Mr Mark Theedom.
Mr Frerk Petersen from Browning, sponsors of the squad’s large supply of brilliant Browning ground bait, used throughout the practice and match days.

Yours in Sport.

Richard Caplice
Team Manager.  

Report by 'SligoPost' in PDF format here (0.5 MB).