A plumber from Drimarone has been appointed by the European Athletics Association to be an International Technical Official for the European Olympic Youth Trials in Baku, Azerbaijan in June 2014.
Shaun Gallagher, a 33-year-old member of Finn Valley Athletics Club received the welcome news in an e-mail from the European Athletics Association last week.
Previously qualified as a member of the Athletics Ireland National Panel for Race Walking Judges, Gallagher was subsequently selected by the national association to take part in the European Athletics exams which took place in early October.
After undergoing two full days of intense lectures he was then tested in a three-hour written exam, followed by a 20 minute oral exam and then a further 20 minutes of a video exam before being named a member of the European panel for the next four years.
When one considers that 55 candidates from 35 countries took part in the exams and only 24 were ultimately named on the panel, it is a great tribute to the Donegal man and he has now been rewarded by the plum Olympic appointment in Azerbaijan next June.
“I’m still in shock to have made the European panel in the first place” said a delighted Gallagher over the weekend. “And then to get such a high level appointment so soon is a huge bonus and something I am greatly looking forward to” he added.
The Drimarone man who is employed by his brother in law and Chairman of the St Nauls club Frankie Greene Plumbing is a sports fanatic and will look forward with great enthusiasm to 2014 as he will marry his long time fiancé Amanda Scott in February.
He has invested plenty of time and effort in his chosen path as he previously paid his own way to Birmingham in 2007 to gain his UK Athletics Technical Official qualification and last year attended to European Cup in Slovakia in May and the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow in August both of who were managed by well-known freeman of Donegal Patsy McGonagle.
“The Finn Valley club is the top athletics club in the country and I am a very proud and active member of the club” said Gallagher. “I’ve seen at close quarters the hard work undertaken by Patsy McGonagle at both local and international level and I love being part of such a proud and vibrant club.”
The European Youth Olympic Trials take place from June 6-8 2014 in Baku, Azerbaijan and all in Donegal Sport wish the modest Drimarone man the best of success in his golden opportunity.