Fionnuala McCormack will carry the medal hopes for the Irish at the European Cross Country on Sunday, December 8, the 35-year-old announced on an Irish team of 40 for the event in Lisbon.
The Kilcoole athlete will earn her 38th international cap at the championships where she has twice won individual gold, taking the senior women’s title in 2011 and 2012.
McCormack routed her domestic rivals in Sunday’s national championships, coming home close to two minutes clear in the 8,000m contest, igniting hopes that she can claim another medal at an event in which she has best exhibited her brilliance.
Joining her on the senior women’s team is younger sister Una, who finished third in Sunday’s race, along with Ciara Mageean, the 2018 national cross country champion who bypassed Sunday’s event. The 1500m specialist will provide an undoubted injection of class for the senior women’s team.
Liam Brady will lead the senior men’s team after his surprise victory on Sunday, the Tullamore Harrier joined by the five seniors who were closest to him on Sunday. The runner-up in the senior race, Raheny’s Brian Fay, will head the men’s U-23 team.
There will also be full Irish teams of six in the U-20 races, although only five have so far been named on the men’s team as the eligibility of Efrem Gidey remains unsure. The Eritrean-born teenager came to Ireland as a refugee in 2017 and officials from Athletics Ireland are hopeful the necessary paperwork will be completed in time for the Clonliffe Harrier to represent his adopted country.
Ireland team for European Cross Country Championships, Lisbon, December 8
Conor Bradley, City of Derry Spartans AC
Damien Landers, Ennis Track AC
Eoin Everard, Kilkenny City Harriers AC
Kevin Maunsell, Clonmel AC
Liam Brady, Tullamore Harriers AC
Sean Tobin, Clonmel AC
Aoibhe Richardson, Kilkenny City Harriers AC
Ciara Mageean, City of Lisburn AC
Fionnuala McCormack, Kilcoole AC
Fionnuala Ross, Armagh AC
Mary Mulhare, Portlaoise AC
Una Britton, Kilcoole AC
Brian Fay, Raheny Shamrock AC
Cathal Doyle, Clonliffe Harriers AC
Cormac Dalton, Mullingar Harriers AC
David McGlynn, Waterford AC
Jack O’Leary, Mullingar Harriers AC
Peter Lynch, Kilkenny City Harriers AC
Claire Fagan, Mullingar Harriers AC
Eilish Flanagan, Carmen runners
Fian Sweeney, Dublin City Harriers AC
Roisin Flanagan, Carmen runners
Sorcha McAlister, Westport AC
Stephanie Cotter, West Muskerry AC
Daragh McElhinney, Bantry AC
Jamie Battle, Mullingar Harriers AC
Keelan Kilrehill, Moy Valley AC
Shay McEvoy, Kilkenny City Harriers AC
Thomas McStay, Galway City Harriers AC
Plus one more TBC
Aoife O’Cuill, St. Coca’s AC
Danielle Donegan, Tullamore Harriers AC
Eimear Maher, Dundrum South Dublin AC
Jodie McCann, Dublin City Harriers AC
Maeve Gallagher, Swinford AC
Sarah Kelly, Inisowen AC
Amy O’Donoghue, Emerald AC
John Travers, Donore Harriers AC
Luke McCann, Dublin City Harriers AC
Nadia Power, Templeogue AC