Sharkey captains Ireland to European glory

Dungloe’s Shaun Sharkey led by example as he captained the Irish men’s team to the European 8-ball pool title in the INEC, Killarney today (Thursday). In fact, there was double joy for Donegal as the team was managed by Culdaff native, Charlie Ruddy.

Shaun has captained the national team for the past few years, a testament not only to his talents with a cue, but also to his passion and ability to foster a never-say-die attitude in a team. Indeed, he led an unfancied Donegal team to All-Ireland glory in 2021.

However, this time his team were faced with even more daunting odds. Some poor results in the round-robin stages meant that Ireland had to win their last two group matches to even make the knockout stages.


A hard fought victory over defending champions, France, kept their hopes alive. That was followed by an all-or-nothing clash with Wales, where a tense 8-7 victory pipped the Red Dragons to the last remaining semi-final spot.

Ireland beat table-toppers and heavy favourites, England, in the semi final with some imperious pool. Most followers would’ve given Ireland only a small chance of victory, but almost no one could’ve foretold an 8-2 demolition of one of the strongest teams ever assembled on paper.

In the final against Malta, Ireland continued to go from strength to strength, recording a comprehensive 8-4 victory. And it was fitting that it was their talismanic Rosses captain – Shaun didn’t lose a point in the knockout stages – who sealed the final frame with a nerveless clearance, sparking great scenes of euphoria amongst the team and supporters.

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