SHI 2015 – Expression of Interest

See details below regarding expressing your interest in taking part in SHI 2015.

Darren Burke

Director of High Performance Orienteering





Hi all,

It is that time of the year again when I start seeing who is interested in competing in the SHI’s.
This year’s event will be in Settle, Yorkshire on the 19th-20th September.
I am sending out this email to ask athletes to declare themselves available for selection. 
The team will consist of:
  • 3 x M20
  • 3 x W20
  • 6 x M21
  • 6 x W21
Selection will be based on JK, Irish Champs, Shamrock (plus all known form). For those that run M/W35+ I will try to work out a fair way of considering your results (maybe something like a Top 10 in MW35 = top 20 in MW21E & Top 10 in MW40= top 40 in MW21). MW16-18 may be considered for spots on the MW20 squad if we struggle with numbers. If I am unable to fill teams using results from selection races athletes may be selected for experience. As the Relays are on the Sunday this year the teams will be selected from the individual results.
Please click on this link and fill in the relevant details if you are interested in being considered for selection GOOGLE DOC- SHI 2015 INTEREST – Just fill in your details and then close the tab. It might be worth going back into the form to check that your details have up loaded.
Please feel free to forward this to anyone that I may have missed off the mailing list.
Allan Bogle

Orienteering for the June Bank Holiday Weekend

The major event this weekend is the Shamrock O-Ringen in Glengarriff, West Cork. We are expecting 3 days of great orienteering, but if you are  trying orienteering for the first time there are suitable events in Rochestown Wood, Cork or Rinn na gCros, Kenmare.

Fri 29 May: Rinn na gCros Kerry ‘Come-and-try-it’ Event
Sat 30 May: Glengarriff Area Cork Shamrock O-Ringen
Sun 31 May: Glengarriff Area Cork Shamrock O-Ringen
Sun 31 May: Rochestown Woods Cork Family Day
Mon 1 Jun: Glengarriff Area Cork Shamrock O-Ringen
Tue 2 Jun: Ballincollig Regional Park Cork CorkO Summer League


Fri 29 May, Rinn na gCros
Venue: Rinn na gCros, Kenmare, Kerry
Club: KerryO
Event: ‘Come-and-try-it’ Event
Start Times: 18:30-20:00
Grid Ref.: V 916 710
Follow Signs From: Access via Kenmare Golf Club on R569 Kilgarvan Road
Contact 087 7628312 /
Sat 30 May, Glengarriff Area
Venue: Glengarriff Area, , Cork
Club: CorkO
Event: Shamrock O-Ringen
Contact 086 3062054 /
Sun 31 May, Glengarriff Area
Venue: Glengarriff Area, , Cork
Club: CorkO
Event: Shamrock O-Ringen
Contact 086 3062054 /
Sun 31 May, Rochestown Woods
Venue: Rochestown Woods, Clarke’s Hill; Rochestown, Cork
Club: BOC
Event: Family Day
Start Times: 10:00-13:00
Grid Ref.: W 720 687
Follow Signs From: Clarke’s Hill; Rochestown
Contact 021 4546194 /
Mon 1 Jun, Glengarriff Area
Venue: Glengarriff Area, , Cork
Club: CorkO
Event: Shamrock O-Ringen
Contact 086 3062054 /
Tue 2 Jun, Ballincollig Regional Park
Venue: Ballincollig Regional Park, Ballincollig, Cork
Club: CorkO
Event: CorkO Summer League
Start Times: 17:30-19:00
Grid Ref.: W 582 711
Follow Signs From: Iniscarra Road Roundabout / Iniscarra Bridge
Contact 086 3062054 /



Who won the IOA Annual Awards ?

The winners of the 2014 IOA Annual awards were as follows;

Mac Tire Award for the development of the Sport was won by George Taylor of Sligo Orienteering Club.


There were two Spirit of Orienteering Awards,  Brian Power RIP and Mick Kellett RIP. The awards were accepted by members of their clubs.


Performance Excellence Awards were received by

Nicolas Simonin (BOC), for performance in WOC 2014.

Eoin McCullough (3ROC), for performance in JWOC 2014.

Colm Rothery (Ajax), for performance in World Masters Long Distance M40, 2000.

Bill Edwards (CorkO),  for performance in World Masters Sprint M40, 2009.

Marcus Pinker (CorkO), for performance in World Masters 2014 .


Congratulations to all.

Orienteering for the next 7 Days, till 26th May


Sun 24 May: Gougane Barra Forest Park Cork Cork Summer League / Family Day/No. 4
Tue 26 May: Doneraile Forest Park Cork CorkO Summer League/No. 3
Tue 26 May: Curragh Kildare CNOC Summer Evening Series/No. 2




Sun 24 May, Gougane Barra Forest Park
Venue: Gougane Barra Forest Park, Ballingeary, Cork
Club: BOC
Event: Cork Summer League / Family Day/No. 4
Start Times: 10:00-13:00
Grid Ref.: W 082 650
Follow Signs From: Ballingeary
Contact 021 4546194 /
Tue 26 May, Doneraile Forest Park
Venue: Doneraile Forest Park, Doneraile, Cork
Club: CSOA
Event: CorkO Summer League/No. 3
Start Times: 17:00-18:45
Grid Ref.: R 603 076
Follow Signs From: Doneraile Village
Contact 086 0851128 /
Tue 26 May, Curragh
Venue: Curragh, , Kildare
Club: CNOC
Event: CNOC Summer Evening Series/No. 2
Start Times: 18:30-19:30
Grid Ref.: N 786 111
Follow Signs From: M7 Junction 12 (Curragh Exit)
Contact 045 867183 /


The Irish Orienteer: May 2015

Irish Championships 2015

Nick classic

Where to start? The terrain? The weather? The range of events? The fact the LVO took it all on themselves? Or that they effectively had to produce seven maps for the event? The first Relay win for Bishopstown? All of the above?

These were all features of a great Irish Championships on the May bank holiday weekend, where LVO treated us to urban sprint orienteering, followed by exposed complex mountain, followed by forest, topped off by trail orienteering on a golf course and followed by a day on non-Championships urban orienteering in Lisburn with a sprint relay mimicking the World Championships conditions and a full-length urban race around the city.

At the Elite end, honours went to Niamh O’Boyle (CNOC) and Nick Simonin (BOC) in the Classic race at Slieve Croob, in weather conditions which were, if anything, worse than last year: cold, wet and stormy, with cloud on the upper slopes. Was it worse than the Leinster Championships at Carnawaddy in 2005? Yes – it was colder. Lots of non-finishers and several cases of mild hypothermia, but the organisers had wisely insisted on weatherproof gear for all runners (does anyone but orienteers refer to them as “cagoules”?). Nick was followed home by Nick Barrable with Eoin McCullough (DUO/3ROC) 3rd, while in a close-fought ladies race Ciara Largey (FermO) finished 56 seconds adrift and Toni O’Donovan (CorkO) a further 52 seconds down on Niamh.

Areas like Slieve Croob are difficult to plan on: difficult to plan short and easy courses and short, technical courses: an anomaly was that some “Classic” courses on Slieve Croob were shorter than the same classes’ “Sprint” courses the evening before. That’s what make orienteering what it is!

Eoin sprint

The previous evening, planner Igor Stefko treated us to a run around a fast and fairly tricky small housing estate at Lisburn, with lots of alleyways and hedges. Niamh again showed her versatility, winning the Women’s Elite sprint by 4 seconds from Scotland’s Kirsten Maxwell, while top Irish runner in the Men’s race was 2nd placed Darren Burke (CorkO) bracketed by sprint specialists Murray Strain (Scotland) and Nick Barrable (England). The sprint event and Monday’s Sprint Relay used “SI Air” electronic timing chips, where you just need to pass close to the control rather than actually punch, which improves the runners’ flow in the race and was a popular feature for the Elites.

Drumard map

Runners were advised to look to the east from the Sprint finish arena to see the distant hill surmounted by radio masts: this was to be our last look at Slieve Croob, since the forecast for the next day was bad and we were unlikely to see it, even though we’d be running on the area!

Sprint orienteering (with winning times in the 12-15 minute range) isn’t to everyone’s taste but you just have to try it – it’s such fun! Lots of controls, lots of route choice and quick decision making. There must be urban areas all over the country which could give the same challenge, but there’s a lot of work involved in producing the maps and the numbers may not be there to make such an event financially viable.

Caoimhe Susan sprint

After the rain and wind of Slieve Croob, the relays in the sheltered environs of Hillsborough Castle were a welcome relief. Initially the organisers opted for a novel and safe arrangement where all first leg runners would go in a mass start, then all second leg, then all third legs, with some mathematical reconstruction at the end to add the times together and find the winners – this was on the basis of expected bad weather. However, the rain stopped, the sun shone, and the event went back to a normal relay format with leg 1 handing over to leg 2 and so on.

relay start

The forest, mostly flat with some detailed patches, surrounded a lake and the start, finish and changeover area was in Hillsborough Fort, a great arena with good views of incoming runners from the battlements. Some green patches (i.e. thick vegetation) with drains, early on some legs and late on others, weren’t the favourite part of the courses, and the recent growth of vegetation in the forest reduced visibility significantly in places, so it made things a bit more difficult.

Piper and team

Bishopstown, with a team of Josh O’Sullivan-Hourihan, Niall McCarthy and Nick Simonin, took their first Irish Relay win, with sisters Caoimhe and Niamh O’Boyle running with Regina Kelly taking the Women’s Trophy for CNOC: quite a weekend for Niamh!

Back to Lisburn for Monday, with IOC officially over but plenty of orienteering still to be done. The venue was Lagan Island, where the runners for the Sprint Relay were marched down from the quarantine boxing club (President – Barry McGuigan) with a kilt and a skirl of the pipes – probably not endearing themselves to the local residents expecting a quiet lie-in on a Bank Holiday morning!

Caoimhe sprint

The Sprint Relay format, seen in torrential rain at Trento in Italy at last year’s World Championships, has man-woman-woman-man running in that order. Ten teams took part, fewer than had been hoped for, but featuring runners from Ireland, Scotland, Finland, Sweden. The arena was right beside the Lagan Canal, but there the similarity to WOC 2014 sprint in Venice ended. Lisburn turned out to be surprisingly hilly, with some nice route choices and tricky map reading.

James Millar sprint day 1James Millar (LVO) at the Sprint

The event was won by the Ireland 2 team of Susan Lambe, Eoin McCullough, Marcus Pinker and Olivia Baxter, after the sensational disqualification of the Ireland 1 team following Darren Burke’s mispunch on leg 2, denying Niamh O’Boyle a first place in each of her four races. The relay was followed by the City Race, with the M21 course being won by Murray Strain, followed by Shane Lynch and Hugh Cashell, with Kirsten Maxwell, Sarah Jane Barrable and Olivia Baxter the top three women.

While all this was going on, Alan Gartside was working away quietly on the Aberdelghy Golf course, running the Irish Trail Orienteering Championships. First place went to visitor John Kewley with top Irish finisher LVO’s Lyle Fleming retaining his title from last year.

You can see all the results, split times and routes on the LVO IOC 2015 web page

The IOA again arranged for John Sheils to photograph the Championships and his “Action Photography” photos can be seen here.

Well done again to LVO for doing a great job in very difficult conditions.

Book Review

The_Way_That_We_ClimbedThe Way that We Climbed is a new book by Paddy O’Leary, one of the founding fathers of Irish orienteering. Paddy was Director of Tiglin in Co. Wicklow, which at the time was the National Adventure Centre, an institution which sadly no longer exists. Before that, however, he was a keen mountaineer and rock climber, activities which he continued during and after his years in Tiglin. His book charts the history of Irish mountaineering from the 1870’s to the present and the index is a “who’s who” of the Irish outdoors. Many familiar orienteering names appear – Lynam, Rothery, Lunt, Finlay, Rice, Convery, Kellett, Long, and even some current names like Philip Brennan and Joan Flanagan. Did you know that one time IOA Secretary Pat Redmond had a history as a mountaineer before that?

Rather like orienteering, Irish mountaineering lacks the challenging terrain of some other countries where mountaineers need to go to broaden their experience and test themselves, but the challenge and the enjoyment that those who opt for the home-grown sport has to be acknowledged.

It’s fascinating to see the careers many of these had before coming to orienteering. and a great work of persistence and scholarship. Probably not a book to read from vover to cover but to dip into, the index at the back is a good place to work from.

Anyone interested in the history of the outdoors in Ireland will enjoy it. The book runs to more than 300 pages and is well illustrated from the photographic collections of many of the featured climbers.

The Way that We Climbed” is published by The Collins Press at €15.99 – those of us at the launch were lucky to snap it up at the special price of €20!

shamrockO-Bits … What have we to look forward to this summer? Obviously the Shamrock O-Ringen, now in its 19th staging, in Glengarriff on the June Bank Holiday weekend. Entries are at the 200 mark, with the usual large proportion of visitors from abroad and comparatively small number of Irish orienteers. See  here for details.

tollymoreThe LVO “Tollymore Festival of Orienteering” is on June 19-21, starting with an urban sprint in Newcastle followed by two events in the Mournes, with camping and a barbecue at Tollymore – a great weekend, if previous years are anything to go by. See here for details.

We also have the 18th Setanta Rogaine, overnight mountain marathon, in Wicklow on June 27/27 (see here

Local midweek evening events continue in the Belfast area, in Dublin/Kildare and Cork, with details on the IOA Fixtures page. Some novel events this year include CNOC’s urban race in Naas on June 9th and Fingal’s urban event at Tyrellstown on July 7th.

August of course sees the World Championships combined with the Scottish 6-Day at Inverness (August 2-8) and entries are still open. Expect more than 3000 running, in all age classes from under 10 to over 90, from all over the world – it’s a great opportunity to see top class orienteers in action and get some of the action yourself. See here for details.

Later in the year we’ll have the Northern Ireland Championships and Junior Home Internationals at the end of October at Magilligan sand dunes, Co. Derry, on 24th/25th October.

What did we miss? The Irish Championships isn’t the only championship we had this spring: Leinster Championships on April 19th promised to bring us back to the Lough Firrib area of Co. Wicklow, scene of last year’s Irish Championships which were characterised by rain, mist and low visibility. However, most courses were run on a mixture of tricky forest with lots of clearings and boulders, very like part of Kanturk Mountsin, with only the longest courses venturing up onto the peat hags and contours around Lough Firrib itself.

LOC map

Organisers Setanta also ran the shortest courses on a small section of map, Oakwood, where the Juniors ran last year.

Once again, a difficult area top plan on, resulting in some bit leaps in distance from one course to the next. The mid-length courses had a “Grand Old Duke of York” feel to them, where the competitors were brought up the rather unremarkable mountainside only to be brought straight back down again. The forest was surprisingly interesting, with few tracks and lots of vegetation changes, and you certainly had to keep your wits about you there.

Multiple Munster Champion Darren Burke (CorkO) won the M21 E course, 28 seconds clear of DUO/CNOC’s Conor Shoprt, and Niamh O’Boyle (CNOC) took the W21 trophy with a bigger margin on Róisín Long (Ajax).

You can see the results and routes here.

swallows and amazons


Another so-far unreported event was the Jan Kjellstrom O-Festival in the English Lake District at Easter, with about 3000 runners. Nobody was beating down my door with reports of the event, so here’s a brief summary:

I was there and so were about 130 other Irish orienteers from North and South, a great turnout. The Lake District provides some of the best orienteering in Britain, with craggy, contoured runnable natural forest and open fells, the home of fell-running. This year’s event saw orienteering returning to some areas used for JK many tears ago: Bigland, Ulpha and Greythwaite, with the addition of a sprint race at Lancaster University on Good Friday.

Best Irish performances were ex-NWOC James Logue, winning M45 Long after winning the M40 Long course for the past five years or so, and Zoe Tyner, 2nd W14A, who was presented with her prize by none other than international star Thierry Gueorgiou of France. Ruth Lynam was unable to defend her W60 title due to injury.

The weekend included three WRE (World Ranking Events): the Lancaster University sprint, Ulpha middle-diatance and Bigland classic race. There was a large international contingent, including Danish, Swiss and Czech teams using the event to prepare for the August World Championships in Scotland.


Best Irish performances in M21E were Eoin McCullough, 44th in the Sprint, Nick Simonin 40th in the Middle Distance and 22nd in the Classic race. In W21E Niamh O’Boyle finished fastest of the Irish in the Sprint in 51st (won by Emma Klingenberg of Denmark (and Ireland!)), with Toni O’Donovan 37th in the Middle and 40th in the Classic.

Nick was 24th overall, Eoin 45th and Marcus Pinker 49th. Toni was 37th, Ciara Largey 70th and her sister Eibhlin 82nd.

Other notable Irish results included Róisín Long (7th) and Aoife McCavana (9th) in W20 Elite, Cuan Riordan and Luke Collins were 1st and 2nd in M12B, and Ronan Cleary 3rd M55S.

At one time we used to start looking for the irish results at the bottom – now we start looking at the top.

Full results, photos etc here.

A new home for TIO

JK cotter
Bishopstown in front at the JK

After a break since late last year, The Irish Orienteer is on the way back, with a new look which should allow easier access from the Irish Orienteering Association web site. To read anything published in TIO up to October 2014, follow the link here.

It may take a few attempts to overcome some teething problems with TIO’s new home on the IOA web site but hopefully it will work.

After a super JK last weekend in the English Lake District where several people mentioned to me that they really miss The Irish Orienteer, we’re back to report on what’s been happening and what’s coming in the near future.

The Leinster Championships at Lough Firrib, near the Wicklow gap (scene of last year’s Irish Championships) on Sunday 19th April, followed by the Irish Championships at Lisburn, Slieve Croob and Hillsborough, and the Shamrock O-Ringen at Glengarriff are all imminent. Another unique event coming up is Setanta’s Wicklow Rogaine on 27th/28th June, so get started entering! The Leinsters entry date has been extended to Wednesday 15th April so you may still get an entry if maps are available. Just announced is UCDO’s plan to host a sprint race at the Belfield campus on the afternoon of Saturday 18th April, the day before the Leinsters – good preparation for the Irish Sprint Championships at Lisburn two weeks later. This event is not yet on the IOA Fixtures list but more details should be available soon.

The map, the whole map, and nothing but the map

I have to say that I am very concerned about one aspect of orienteering (several interlinked aspects, actually), but the one that bothers me in particular is mapping. The death of Setanta’s Brian Power, until recently the IOA Mapping Officer, brought home how few mappers we have and how much we depend on them.

We have a lot of maps, produced over the years, which now need to be revised to meet the expectations of 21st Century orienteers: they want accurate, up-to-date maps, beautifully drawn with OCAD, geo-referenced so they can reconstruct their routes using GPS, printed on waterproof paper with overprinted courses. They want new areas surveyed, and old areas revised to the same standard.

In the part, maps were produced by dedicated volunteers like Brian Power, Pat Healy, Pat Flanagan, Padraig Higgins, Seán Cotter, and they spend a lot of time on these projects. Nowadays we don’t seem to have so much time and we rely on a small group of people to survey and produce maps. Admittedly the technology has moved on, to provide us with LIDAR basemaps, GPS surveying and computer aided drawing, but these technologies are expensive and specialised, and not everyone is interested or able to use them. So where do we go from here?

We have some mappers who excel at urban maps, where the need to go into uncharted terrain is minimal, and we need to develop these kinds of map. We can attract new people to orienteering if we bring the sport to them, rather than force them to travel to us in the wilds of Wicklow or West Cork.

Orienteering Participation Statistics

I have uploaded some interesting statistics on participation in orienteering to;


World MTB Orienteering Championships 2015

The World Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships 2015 are being held in Liberec, Czech Republic this August.

If there any MTBO riders interested in taking part please email

Event Website


Darren Burke

Director of High Performance Orienteering

Irish Orienteering Association



Orienteering Events for Next Week, 17 – 23 May

There are orienteering events on this Sunday and on Tuesday Evening this week. Beginners are always welcome.




Sun 17 May: Derrycarne Wood, Dromod Leitrim Come and Try It
Sun 17 May: Tramore Sand Dunes Waterford League Event
Sun 17 May: Ballyannon Wood Cork  Family Day
Tue 19 May: Donadea Kildare Summer Evening Series
Tue 19 May: Currabinny Wood Cork CorkO Summer League




Sun 17 May, Derrycarne Wood
Venue: Derrycarne Wood, Dromod, Leitrim
Club: Sligo Orienteering Club
Event: Come and Try It
Start Times: 11:00-12:00
Grid Ref.: S 594 010
Sun 17 May, Tramore Sand Dunes
Venue: Tramore Sand Dunes, Tramore, Waterford
Club: WatO
Event: Munster League &  Southeast League – Beginners Welcome
Start Times: 11:00-13:00
Grid Ref.: S 594 010
Follow Signs From: Tramore
Contact 087 2229677 /
Sun 17 May, Ballyannon Wood
Venue: Ballyannon Wood, Midleton, Cork
Club: BOC
Event: Cork Summer League / Family Day/No. 3
Start Times: 10:30-13:00
Grid Ref.: W 873 729
Follow Signs From: Midleton Park Hotel
Contact 021 4546194 /
Tue 19 May, Donadea
Venue: Donadea, Clane, Kildare
Club: CNOC
Event: CNOC Summer Evening Series
Start Times: 18:30-19:30
Grid Ref.: N 835 331
Follow Signs From: R407 Clane / Kilcock Road
Contact 045 867183 /
Tue 19 May, Currabinny Wood
Venue: Currabinny Wood, Carrigaline, Cork
Club: CorkO
Event: CorkO Summer League/No. 2
Start Times: 17:30-19:00
Grid Ref.: W 791 622
Follow Signs From: R613 Carrigaline / Ringaskiddy Road
Contact 086 3062054 /

Orienteering this weekend, 10th May 2015

Beginners are welcome at the three events this weekend. Explain at registration and guidance will be provided.

Sun 10 May: Derrycarne Wood, Dromod Leitrim ‘Come-and-try-it’ Event
Sun 10 May: Kilcoran Wood & Galty Mountains East Tipperary Family Day
Tue 12 May: Fota House & Gardens Cork CorkO Summer League


Sun 10 May, Derrycarne Wood, Dromod, Co. Leitrim

(changed from Knock Village)

Venue: Derrycarne Wood, Dromod, Co. Leitrim
Club: SligO
Event: ‘Come-and-try-it’ Event
Start Times: 11:00-12:30
Contact 086 3950582 /
Sun 10 May, Kilcoran Wood & Galty Mountains East
Venue: Kilcoran Wood & Galty Mountains East, Cahir, Tipperary
Club: BOC
Event: Family Day
Start Times: 10:00-13:00
Grid Ref.: R 980 214
Follow Signs From: Kilcoran Lodge Hotel
Contact 021 4546194 /
Tue 12 May, Fota House & Gardens
Venue: Fota House & Gardens, Carrigtwohill, Cork
Club: CorkO
Event: CorkO Summer League
Start Times: 17:30-19:00
Grid Ref.: W 791 708
Follow Signs From: N25 Cobh Exit
Contact 086 3062054 /
Orienteering in Ireland
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