Shooting stars

Teenagers Adam Howard, Newtownforbes, Darren Kenny from Longford and Blaine Carberry of Newtowncashel have all been called into the Irish National Shooting Panel. This is the first time that three junior shooters in this county have qualified for the national panel. All three will be participating in the Co. Longford Shooting Championship on the last weekend in July but now as members of the elite squad.

Teenagers Adam Howard, Newtownforbes, Darren Kenny from Longford and Blaine Carberry of Newtowncashel have all been called into the Irish National Shooting Panel. This is the first time that three junior shooters in this county have qualified for the national panel. All three will be participating in the Co. Longford Shooting Championship on the last weekend in July but now as members of the elite squad.

“Myself and Blaine were on it last year but this is the first time that three juniors made the panel. It was clarified two weekends ago on the internet and we’re really happy with the news,” said a pleased Darren Kenny who is also the Irish captain.

Now that they have the credentials to shoot on the Irish team, they will be competing against the English, Scottish and Northern Ireland teams in the Home Countries International Tournament. This year, Ireland will host the competition meaning that they won’t have to travel far to take part. The boys represent the second generation of clay pigeon shooting in their families and have been participating in this hobby since they were young.

“We all picked it up from our fathers and we’ve been shooting for a good few years. When we go shooting, it could go on for about three hours. It can be mentally draining, you have to be on your toes but it’s a great sport all the same,” said Adam, who is the son of Pauline and William Howard.

Over the past month, the three clay pigeon shooters have been out pulling the trigger on almost a daily basis, practising in all manners of climate and in any location that is available.

“We’ve been flat out for the past month. I was in Mullingar, ‘Cashel the last few days and the All-Irelands and European championships are coming up soon so it’s fairly busy,” Darren, son of Barry and Margaret Kenny added.

Blaine, whose parents are Rosie and Tom Carberry, revealed that since they were granted their place on the panel, they have received much-appreciated sponsorship of gear.

“We got an O’Neills tracksuit, a cap, these special gun vests, polo shirt and towel but the only thing that’s important while you’re competing is that you wear head and ear protection.

“I’m really grateful to my main sponsor Brian Egan tyres in Ballymahon and also to John Nally who is also sponsoring me. The Cashel gun club have kindly offered to sponsorship to myself and Darren also.”

The trio will also be receiving partial sponsorship from Irish senior team captain Jim Doherty and Liam Walsh from the Knocknagoshel Shooting Grounds in Castleisland Co. Kerry.