European champions Sarah and Sean welcomed home

Sarah Morrison and Sean Slattery.

Sarah Morrison from Castlelyons and Sean Slattery from Fermoy have had a chance to rest and recuperate this week after an amazing few days at the European Junior Surf-Lifesaving Championships which were held in Limerick and Clare last week. 

Sarah and Sean were selected to represent Ireland at the event and came home laden down with medals.

Sarah won gold with her team in the Beach Relay, Mixed Taplin Relay and the Lifesaver Relay and she also won an individual silver medal for Beach Sprints.

Sean won gold with his team in the Simulated Emergency Response Competition (SERC) and in the Beach Relay. He won a silver medal also with his team in the Rescue Tube Relay.

This is an outstanding achievement for Sarah, Sean and all their other Irish team-mates who represented Ireland so well throughout the competition.

Sarah’s dad, Pat Morrison, said that the excitement has been unreal and that everyone is so proud of Sarah, Sean and her team-mates.

“She’s wrecked tired now but she’s absolutely delighted. She’s over the moon! This was her first time competing at the European Junior Championships and she got on great,” he said.

Not only did Sean and Sarah have a brilliant time at the championships, they made friends from all over Ireland and indeed from all over Europe.

“We all worked really well together as a team and we’re so happy that we did so well on home turf. The atmosphere was amazing!”, said Sean Slattery.

“I’m delighted to be going home with 3 medals along with Sarah going home with 4 medals,” he added.


Overall, the Irish team came home with a record breaking 44 medals between them. They were placed second overall in the beach competition which was held in Kilkee and they came in fifth place in the overall event which included the pool, the beach and SERC.

Justin Crowley, Cork Surf Lifesaving Coach, said it was ‘the best performance ever by an Irish team at an international competition.’

“The athletes train so hard all year round and it was so great to have the competition on home ground this year and topping it off with 44 medals is amazing. We are so proud of them here in Cork,” he said.

The championships simulate real-life rescue situations that lifeguards can expect to encounter and pits the best junior lifesavers from around Europe against each other in a series of grueling water rescue scenarios in both pool and beach environments.

The European Junior Lifesaving Championships is an annual event open to those aged 18 and under and it’s organised under the aegis of International Lifesaving Europe (ILSE) which controls the sport worldwide.

The sport of lifesaving exists to encourage lifesavers to maintain the skills, drills and physical fitness required for performing their lifesaving duties. The sport is truly multi-disciplined and takes place in the pool, on the beach and in the ocean.

It has close ties to swimming, athletics, kayaking, rowing, surfing and power boating and is based on the equipment and skills that lifeguards use to perform lifesaving rescues.

Well done to Sarah and Sean on their achievements!