AmateurHeadline News

THIRD Irish boxer secures shock Youth Olympic qualification

Ireland will send three boxers to the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires next month following the unexpected qualification of Leitrim featherweight Dearbhla Rooney.

With the 2017 Women’s World Youths and the 2018 Men’s and Women’s Europeans being the sole qualification events, it initially looked as though Ireland would not be sending any boxers to Argentina.

However, last month, Edenderry middleweight Lauren Kelly and Ballinacarrow flyweight Dean Clancy were both confirmed for the championships.

Now Rooney will join the party.

The Sean McDermott’s fighter won silver at the Europeans in April and, following a reallocation of places, this has proved enough to make it to the Youth Olympics.

Rooney is just back from the World Youth Championships in Budapest where she was eliminated in the opening round by Thailand’s Somnuek Panpatchara

Following the Olympic announcement, the teenager said that she is “absolutely over the moon.”

“When God closes one door he opens another.”

This will be the third edition of the Youth Olympics and Ireland has a strong tradition in the compact, new championships.

At the inaugural Games in Singapore in 2010, current WBA bantamweight champ Ryan Burnett won light flyweight gold while an injured Joe Ward lost in the quarters in his last tournament before storming the adult ranks.

In 2014, in Nanjing, Mayo’s Ciara Ginty won lightweight silver and Donegal’s Michael Gallagher finished third to claim heavyweight bronze while Cork middleweight Christine Desmond finished fourth (unlike other major tournaments only one bronze medal is awarded).


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: