The Celtic Challenge is a biennial event for veteran (over 40s) fencers, contesting all six weapons in an individual open tournament. There are competitions for both men and women, with one single age class: above 40 years of age.

Celtic Challenge

Founded by the Welsh Veterans’ Fencing Association in 2004, the Celtic Challenge is a friendly and sociable event bringing together fencers of all ages from across Europe. 2014 was Ireland’s most successful year to date, placing 4th overall and taking home three medals: golds for Philip Lee in foil and Shane Whelan in épée, and bronze for sabreuse Caroline Clancy.

Ireland is delighted to act as host for the seventh edition of the tournament, which will take place on 23-24 July 2016 at Dublin City University.

Update 28/06/16: Due to a late surge of entries, the original entry deadline of June 24 has been extended indefinitely!

Tournament History

  • 2004: Wrexham, Wales
  • 2006: Wrexham, Wales
  • 2008: Wrexham, Wales
  • 2010: Truro, Cornwall – full results
  • 2012: Santiago de Compostela, Galicia
  • 2014: Edinburgh, Scotland – full results
  • 2016: Dublin, Ireland

Participants and Eligibility

All fencers who are a minimum of 40 years of age at December 31st in the year of the current Celtic Challenge; and in possession of a valid current fencing licence; and eligible to fence for one of the Celtic nations (listed below) are invited to compete. Nations may enter as many fencers as they wish at each weapon.

The Celtic nations that contest the Challenge are Asturias, Brittany, the Channel Islands, Cornwall, Galicia, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland, and Wales. A fencer is considered eligible to compete for a nation if he or she meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • was born in one of the Celtic nations named above
  • has a parent or grandparent who was born in one of the Celtic nations
  • is permanently resident in one of the Celtic nations, and has lived there for a minimum of four years.

Please note that fencers must meet the criteria in their own right i.e. they may not claim eligibility through a partner or spouse.


All six weapons are fenced as individual events, taking the form of an individual open: two rounds of pools, leading to direct elimination to determine a single victor. Prizes will be awarded at first, second, and joint-third place.
There is also a team prize, which is calculated based on the standings from the individual events. Team managers/captains will be asked to nominate their regional squad (in writing) at the beginning of each individual competition, choosing three fencers to represent their nation. At the end of the discipline, the positions of the named fencers will be added together to give a team result. The team with the lowest number will be named team champion for that weapon.

Mixed teams, comprising fencers from more than one nation, are permitted. A mixed team may win the team prize in their weapon, but their result can not be counted towards their nation’s overall position at the end of the Celtic Challenge.

The nation with the best overall performance across the six weapons wins the coveted Celtic Dragon Trophy.


Saturday, 23rd July 2016

  • Men’s Épée: check-in closes 09.30, event start 10.00
  • Women’s Foil: check-in closes 11.00, event start 11.30
  • Men’s Sabre: check-in closes 12.00, event start 12.30

The Celtic Challenge Gala Dinner and entertainment will be held on-site at DCU’s fabulous 1838 Club, from 19:30. Tickets €50 (not included in entry fee.)

Sunday, 24th July

  • Women’s Épée: check-in closes 09.30, event start 10.00
  • Men’s Foil: check-in closes 10.00, event start 10.30
  • Women’s Sabre: check-in closes 11.00, event start 11.30

The Medal Ceremony will take place at 15.00, with presentation of the Dragon Trophy for 2016.


Online entry is now available via our webform. You may also view current entries here!

  • Entry fee – one weapon: €40
  • Entry fee – two weapons: €65
  • Entry fee – three weapons: €90
  • Ticket to gala dinner: €50

Fees can be paid via cheque or bank transfer. See forms for details. A downloadable form for postal entries is also available here.

Venue and Accommodation


Dublin City University’s main campus (the Glasnevin Campus) is located about 7 km north of the city centre, roughly half way between the city centre and Dublin International Airport. Travel directions can be found at The main Sports Complex and 1838 Club are both located on the Glasnevin Campus.

Hotels close to DCU

The following hotels are located near to DCU Glasnevin Campus. Special rates have been negotiated for the Crowne Plaza and Travelodge, as follows.

  • Crowne Plaza: Dublin Airport (4 Star) – website or tel +353 (0)1 862 8888

    The Crowne Plaza is located halfway between DCU and the airport (3.4 km / 10 minutes’ drive from each).

    Twenty rooms have been reserved for Celtic Challenge guests, at a special room rate of €159 per night for one or two people sharing, including breakfast. This rate will be available for up to two months prior to arrival and subject to availability after this. Please use the Celtic Challenge booking link to avail of this offer.

  • Travelodge: Dublin Airport South (3 star) – website or tel +353 (0)1 842 2000

    The closest hotel to the venue, 1.5 km from DCU.

    Travelodge have kindly offered a 10% discount to all Celtic Challenge guests. Quote ‘Celtic Challenge at DCU‘ when booking to avail of this offer.

  • Metro Hotel (3 star) – website or tel +353 (0)1 866 9500

    1.8 km from DCU.

  • Regency Hotel (3 star) – website or tel +353 (0)1 837 3544

    2 km from DCU.

Accommodation in DCU

DCU has residential accommodation for 1100 students. This is used as a hotel during the Summer, but heavily pre-booked for language students and other groups who return annually. Depending on the actual take-up by these groups some rooms may be available, but this will not be known until late May. We have asked that any such rooms be reserved for the Celtic Challenge, and will place information about them on this webpage.

Táimid ag súil go mór fáilte a chur romhat go Baile Átha Cliath!