European Air Gun Championships.




The European Air Gun Championships will be held this year in Tallinn, Estonia from 1st to 6th March.


Ireland will be represented this year by Mr. Declan Kelly.


The NTSA would like to wish Declan every success in Tallinn and would also like to congratulate Declan on his recent performance in The Netherlands at Inter-Shoot 2005, where he also represented Ireland and set the highest score of an Irish competitor so far this year at an International competition.


Declan a member of Dublin Rifle Club, is setting out on his campaign of qualifying for Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, is currently our top Air Rifle, small bore prone & 3 positions Athlete. Declan’s form over the past 8 months has shown great progress, while under the watchful eye, of the Irish International Coach Mr. Barry Dagger.


Declan while an experienced international athlete will be joined in Estonia by Mr. Dagger, who has been working with Declan almost daily. This will be Declan’s 9th European Air Gun Championships in the Air rifle event.


Declan has also represented Ireland at many other International, World Cup and World Championship event’s, at the most recent World Championships in Finland 2002, Declan recorded a perfect 100 out of 100 on the last string of his Air rifle match. Declan currently holds the highest recorded international results in both Air rifle & 3 positions for the Men’s disciplines for an Irish Athlete. Declan’s personal best score in this event is a 592 ex 600, while in small bore prone he has shot a 599 ex 600 only last November in training.


But we have to go back to the European Championships of 1995 for the small-bore 3-position competition in Zurich, Switzerland, where Declan shot a very credible 396 ex 400 standing at 50m. This Declan says has been his finest hour to date. With this type of shooting, we can only expect to see good results from this seasoned athlete over the next year or two. Declan whom is now in his 21st year as a shooter has represented Ireland over a 9 year period, and appears to be maturing like good wine. We wish him every success in the future.


Patrick O'Brien


National Target Shooting

Association of Ireland.