A local secondary school student has made history by becoming the first female to represent the Ireland U-18 team at fly-fishing.
Rebecca Moffitt McGinn, from Ravensdale, will compete in an international tournament in Wales at the beginning of August after coming through two qualifiers to earn her place on the team.
It is not only a proud achievement for Rebecca, but also for her club, the Dundalk & District Brown Trout and Salmon Anglers Association, who will also be represented by two other competitors on the team. Both Rory Govan and Almha McDonnell, are from Dublin but compete for the Dundalk club, have also been selected to travel toe the competition.
Naturally, Rebecca, a Transition Year student at Dundalk Grammar School, was delighted at being selected on her first attempt at trying out for an Irish team.
“We had two qualifiers, the first back in September in Lough Bane, Westmeath, and the second in April in Lough Lene, also Westmeath. The first qualifier was on a rough day and I only caught one fish, but the second day I caught five. It wasn’t going that well for me as I had only two fish but in the last half hour I caught three more to secure my place”, stated the 16-year-old.
“I thought I had missed my chance but it was great to come through and a real honour for myself and Almha to be the first girls selected on the Irish team.
“I was delighted as I only started fly fishing two years ago thanks to my dad, Pat. It is mostly bait fishing over here but my dad is from America and when we go over to visit we got into fly fishing”, explained Rebecca who is planning a lot of practice over the coming months.
No doubt she will get plenty of help from her family as younger brothers Ethan and Josh are both in the club, and while mother, Pearl, doesn’t fish, she offers great support to all.
Rebecca will be competing on the Irish team against England, Scotland and Wales, and paid tribute to all in the local club who helped her along the way, including Matt Campbell, Fred O’Hagan, Hubert Smith and Barney Mulholland.