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2007 has proven to be a fantastic year for the ITF in Ireland. The senior Irish men’s team and the senior Irish women’s team both won their respective team sparring sections in the 2007 ITF World Championships. ITF Ireland, INO 47, was an instrumental ingredient in this success with nine of the team members coming from the IUTF. Since that time the INO has grown from two member organisations (the “Irish United Taekwon-Do Federation” and “Taekwon-Do Ireland”) to an impressive eight. Focus Martial Arts under the instruction of Mr. Darragh Bolton (4th Dan) were the first to join and were shortly followed by National Irish Taekwon-Do Association (NITA) under Mr. Jim Faulkner (4th Dan) and Mr.William Owers (5th Dan), and Elite Taekwon-Do Acadamies Ireland under Mr. Terry Donnelly (5th Dan) and Mr. Tim Forde (5th Dan). November saw ITF Ireland grow even further with the news that Master Norman Creedon (7th Dan) and the Taekwon-Do Federation of Ireland and  Cork Taekwon-Do Schools  under Mr. Cyril McSweeney (6th Dan) had joined. Now the Pulse Taekwon-Do Association under Mr. Ambrose Murphy (5th Dan) have also added to the strength of the organisation and there are further schools in discussion!
ITF Ireland members travelled last year to seven international competitions including events in Ghana, England (twice), Germany (twice), Argentina and Bulgaria. They also attended seminars under President Choi in England, Bulgaria and the Netherlands. The IUTF alone hosted a total of seven regional competitions and the International Irish Championships. In addition there were national Instructor, Referee workshops, as well as a number of workshops from foreign Masters and instructors such as Master Ogbourne. According to ITF Ireland President Mr. Don Dalton “We are over the moon with the quality of our new members. For example Master Norman Creedon is one of the pioneers of Irish Taekwon-Do. People like Mr. Dermot Walsh, Mr. Tim Forde, Mr. Ambrose Murphy, Mr. Cryil McSweeney, Mr. Willie Oars and Mr. Terry Donnelly were well known Irish Internationals and they have chosen to all work together for the betterment of Irish Taekwon-Do. There will be more to follow in 2008!”
2008 will be equally exciting. There will be a National Referee and Instructor training workshop on February 9 and 10. One of the world’s great ITF exponents and instructors Master Jose Maidana of Argentina will travel around Ireland conducting nine workshops at the end of February. March 28-30 will feature one of the highlights of the European calendar when President Choi Jung Hwa will conduct the only European International Instructor Course for 2008 in Ballincollig, Cork (www.iutf-tkd,com). ITF Ireland has already committed to foreign competitions in 2008 in England (twice), USA (Florida), Uruguay, Korea, Italy and Spain. The International Irish Championships are scheduled for November 1st and 2nd. We are also working on a date to bring Master Galarraga to Ireland again in October.
According to Mr. Terry Donnelly (5h Dan) “as a new member of ITF Ireland I can already see how egalitarian and mature the organisation is. Everyone is working together for the betterment of our students and the INO has the basic principle of serving the students and instructors first. We are all very excited about this new phenomenon in Ireland. 2008 should prove to be a special year for us all.
Written by: Mr. John Riordan - 10th January 2008
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