Fencing Ireland is the governing body of the sport of fencing in Ireland. It is recognised as such by the Federation d’Escrime Internationale (FIE), the governing body of the sport worldwide, of which it is a member, and by the Irish Sports Council and the Olympic Council of Ireland.

It is also affiliated to the European Fencing Confederation (CEE), and to the European Veterans Fencing Committee (EVFC) through its sub-committee, the Irish Veterans Fencing Committee (IVFC).


Fencing Ireland is structured as a limited company with articles of association and a constitution. Its activities are managed by a committee elected by members at an Annual General Meeting. Sub-committees deal with selection for international competitions, with veterans fencing, with youth fencing, and with marketing.

  • 1906: Irish Fencing Club set up in Dublin, running until 1917 as the first sword club in Ireland with a focus on sport and fitness.
  • 1933: Irish Fencing Club revived, swiftly followed by four more clubs in Dublin and Cork.
  • 1936: The Irish Amateur Fencing Federation (IAFF) formally established as an umbrella body for the sport. The first President was Dr (later Sir) John Lumsden, founder of the Irish Red Cross and St John Ambulance Ireland.
  • 1952: Ireland sends its first fencers to the Olympic Games. Epeeists Tom Kearney and George Carpenter were joined by Harry Thuillier at foil and Patrick Duffy in both weapons.
  • 1960: Two ‘firsts’ in Rome as Shirley Armstrong becomes the first Irish women to fence at the Olympic Games, while Ireland makes its debut in the team events, contesting Men’s Epee.
  • 1964: Michael Ryan and John Bouchier-Hayes compete in all three weapons and reach the quarter-finals at epee and foil respectively.
  • 1968: Ireland fields a team in all three men’s weapons at the Mexico Olympics.
  • 1992: The tricolour appears at the Barcelona Olympics after a 20-year absence, as Michael O’Brien becomes the first Irishman since John Bouchier-Hayes to compete in the epee.
  • 2008: The IAFF changes its name to the Irish Fencing Federation (IFF).
  • 2008: At Beijing, Siobhan Byrne becomes the first Irish Olympian in Women’s Sabre.
  • 2016: New branding and logo as the IFF becomes Fencing Ireland.


The object for which the federation is established is to promote, foster and develop the sport and art of fencing.

Core Values and Principles

As the recognised National Governing Body (NGB) of fencing in Ireland, Fencing Ireland is established to make rules and regulations for the proper conduct of competitive fencing in Ireland and by Irish athletes abroad.

Fencing Ireland Committee 2016/17


Our new chair, Philip Lee, was elected at the 2015 AGM. Philip steps into the role after nearly a decade leading the Juniors subcommittee. He remains an active foilist, representing Ireland on the international veterans circuit.


Honorary Secretarysecretary@irishfencing.net

Nuala McGarrity, our Honorary Secretary, has been a driving force in Irish fencing for many years. At the 2013 Congress of the European Fencing Confederation, Nuala was once again elected to the Executive Committee and was appointed Treasurer. She is convener of the Fencing Ireland selection committee and is a member of the Women’s Commission of the European Fencing Confederation.


Honorary Treasurertreasurer@irishfencing.net

Julian Smith is our Honorary Treasurer, has been involved in fencing for many years, and is responsible for Fencing Ireland Strategy Document.


Board of Directors

Head Junior Officer: Ms Kathrin Chambers

Additional Personnel

  • Children’s Officer:
  • Anti-Doping Officer: Dr Lorraine McGill
  • Medical Adviser: Dr Pauline Fleming


Selection Committee

  • Convenor: Nuala McGarrity
  • Chair: Owen McNamee
  • Laura Donaghy
  • Eamonn McGrattan
  • Duncan Salter


Marketing Committee

  • Kathrin Chambers
  • Owen McNamee
  • Ciara O’Connor


Junior Development Committee

  • Kathrin Chambers
  • Patrick Dight
  • Philip Lee
  • Nuala McGarrity
  • Julian Smith
  • Olga Velma
  • John Wyatt


Veterans Committee

  • Tom Rafter
  • Michael Ryan
  • Eric Kemp
  • Yvonne Murphy