Irish boxers take one step closer to Olympic qualification at European Games

Daina Moorehouse, Michaela Walsh, and Aoife O’Rourke all progress to next round

Daina Moorehouse, Michaela Walsh, and Aoife O’Rourke all took one step closer to Paris 2024 on Tuesday, winning their round of 16 bouts to progress to the quarter finals. For Moorehouse and Walsh, a quarter-final win will see them secure Olympic berths, while O’Rourke needs to secure a semi-final win to do the same.

Bray’s Moorehouse was first up, taking on Ukraine’s Tetiana Kob; an experienced two-time European champion, who had beaten the Irish flyweight just a matter weeks ago. A clinical three rounds from Moorehouse saw the Wicklow boxer win on split decision 4-1.

Speaking after the fight she said; “I feel amazing, I’m still trying to catch my breath, it was great. I knew myself after coming up against Tetiana a few weeks ago, where she beat me on a 3-2 split decision, that I had to dig deep because she’s one of the toughest in this competition. The first two rounds I had to dig deep and the last round I had to give it my all, it was a split decision but I’m absolutely over the moon.”

Straight afterwards Michaela Walsh secured a unanimous win over Turkey’s Aysen Taskin 5-0. The 30-year-old Belfast fighter now has her gaze firmly set on a second Olympic Games.


She spoke of her long-held ambition afterwards; “It’s something I’ve been dreaming of; Aidan [Walsh] laid the way at the last Olympics, and Brendan Irvine shows it can be done. He had a fantastic mindset; something that I’ve looked to and he’s achieved a lot and it shows that it’s possible to be done. For right now, I’m just enjoying this moment and I’ll worry about that tomorrow night when I’m in the ring’.

Last out for the Irish was Aoife O’Rourke who showed incredible power and endurance to beat EOC Refugee Team’s Cindy Winner Djankeu Ngamba on a split decision (3-2).

“I really had to dig deep, I knew I was down in the first round, and it was a matter of who wanted it more, every boxer here wants to win, there’s no easy fights and it’s just who can go that extra bit to push forward and get the hand raised.

All three boxers are back in the ring tomorrow for quarter-final action along with Jennifer Lehane (54kg), Kellie Harrington (60kg), Amy Broadhurst (66kg), Dean Clancy (63.5kg), Kelyn Cassidy (80kg) and Jack Marley (92kg). Olympic qualification can be secured tomorrow by all except O’Rourke and Marley.