Grand Master Robert J Howard

Grand Master Robert Howard
9th Degree Black Belt
President RITA
President of the
National Governing Body
for the ITF in Ireland

Welcome to the Republic of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association web site. The RITA was Established in 1972 to spread Taekwon-Do throughout Ireland. We are the National Governing Body for the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) in Ireland.

Contained within our site is all the latest news from Ireland and the ITF, Information for beginners, all relevant member forms to download and helpful reference material for Instructors and Students.

If you require further Information contact the National Secretary or visit your local Taekwon-Do School.

Recent News
National Coaches Selected

Congratulations to Master Doyle who was selected by the RITA Masters Council as National Adult & Veteran Coach. Squad training will commence 21st October in St Laurence O'Toole AC, Carlow at 13.30 for the 4 Nations Championships on the 12th November, in Guildford UK. (for more information please contact Master Doyle)

Big news on the Junior Black Belt National Coach, Master Howard was appointed by the RITA Masters Council for this position, Congrats Master Howard. The first development programme will take place on Sunday 29th October in Carrick-On-Suir from 11am-2pm.

Wishing the RITA National Coaches every success in the future and looking forward to all the support from our Veterans, Adult, & Junior Black Belts.

Black Belt Grading

Congratulations to everyone who successfully passed the recent Black Belt grading. The panel of examiners were Grandmaster Robert Howard, Grandmaster Anthony Phelan, Master Valerie Keane and Master Mark O'Donnell. Before the grading everyone got a last chance at correcting their techniques during a two hour class overseen by the examiners. After a short lunch break and a final chance at some revision the exam began. Everyone was tested on all aspects of Taekwon-Do including Patterns, Sparring, Self Defence and Breaking before then having to answer questions at the table. The most senior promotion of the day was Mr. Martin Roe from St. Marks who achieved the rank of IV Dan (사단 / Sa-Dan / 4th degree) Black Belt followed by Ms. Caoimhe Keogh from Galway who was promoted to III Dan (삼단 / Sam-Dan / 3rd degree) Black Belt. Well done to everyone on their amazing performances.

Full list of promotions
Mr. Martin Roe - St. Marks - 4th Degree (사단 / Sa-Dan)
Ms. Caoimhe Keogh - Galway - 3rd Degree (삼단 / Sam-Dan)
Ms. Laura Cunningham - Galway - 2nd Dan (이단 / i Dan)
Ms. Jennifer McCormack - Dublin NE - 2nd Dan (이단 / i Dan)
Alex Byrne - Stillorgan - 2nd Dan (이단 / i Dan)
Mr. Tom Murray - Tuam - 1st Dan (일단 / il Dan)
Mr. Jonathan Coleman - Tuam - 1st Dan (일단 / il Dan)
Mr. Matthew Kearns - St. Marks - 1st Dan (일단 / il Dan)
Ms. Linda Dalton - Carrick-on-Suir - 1st Dan (일단 / il Dan)
Andrew Loo - Carrick-on-Suir - 1st Dan (일단 / il Dan)
Trivo Tijanic - Carrick-on-Suir - 1st Dan (일단 / il Dan)
Wayne Gill O'Loughlin - Carrick-on-Suir - 1st Dan (일단 / il Dan)
Darragh Power - Carrick-on-Suir - 1st Dan (일단 / il Dan)
Abbie O'Neil - Carrick-on-Suir - 1st Dan (일단 / il Dan)
David Sietko - Old Bawn - 1st Dan (일단 / il Dan)

So you've just passed your Black Belt exam and you're wondering what's next? Click here to see some suggestions on taking the next step in your Taekwon-Do journey.

New Grandmaster!
Some great news coming from the ITF World Championships in Pyongyang as the RITA has a new Grandmaster! It was announced at the ITF congress that now Grandmaster Francis Barrett was promoted to 9th Degree Black Belt. This is a fantastic achievement for our Association which is celebrating 45 years since its foundation in 1972 and brings the number of Grandmasters to three. There was also more good news for Waterford Taekwon-Do School as their Senior Instructor Master John Jacob was promoted to 8th Degree Black Belt. Both are representing Ireland as umpires at the ITF World Championships which are underway in Pyongyang, DPR Korea. A huge congratulations to both!
RITA Black Belt Class
European Championships


Congratulations to the Irish Team who came back from the EITF European Championships in Liverpool with 1 Silver and 4 Bronze medals! With over 800 competitors from 32 countries competiting it was a great achievment. The Team was made up of 12 Black Belts and 5 Red Belts accompnied by National Coach Master Doyle, Development Coaches Mr Fox and Mr Tobin plus Umpires Master Barrett, Master Howard, Master Jacob and Master Keane. For many it was their first experience of high class European competition and some had moved into new divisions so it was an excellent opportuntity to test their skills.

Our first medal came in the 5th Dan patterns division with Mr Leon McSherry from Grandmaster Hoowards Dojang getting into the final for the second year in a row. He beat competitors from Russia and Greenland to set up a great final against France. It was the final that everyone had hoped for as both had the best technique in the division with the Frenchman edging out Mr McSherry on the judges scorecards to take Gold.

Next came 3 Bronzes in quick succession with Abbie O'Neill, Trivo Tijanic and Andrew Loo all from Carrick-on-Suir picking up medals in their Sparring sections. The final medal came on the last day with Mr John Egan from Old Bawn winning Bronze in the veteran sparring division after wins over Spain and England he just lost out to Scotland in the Semi final.

There were some great perfomances with many making it to quarter finals and just missing out on medals. With a very young team the future looks bright! Well done to everyone on their hard work and dedication.

Results of RITA Umpire Course 2017

Congratulations to the RITA black belts who passed the recent national umpire course which was held in Galway. Looking forward to seeing you all putting your new qualifications to use at the ITF-Ireland Cup next weekend. Results below.
Master Howard
Chair Umpire Committee



National Umpire level

Certificate Number

Fergal Hennigan




John Coe




Nigel Burke




Alison Connolly




Laura Cunningham




Andrew Johnson




Derek Brady

Grandmaster Howard's



Bróna Kelly

Grandmaster Howard's



Breda O'Donoghue

Grandmaster Howard's



Tony Wann-Pierce




* Passed theory, must pass practical

Happy Birthday to the ITF
Colour Belt Squad Success at English Open 2017

The RITA’s Colour Belt Squad travelled to English Open 2017 last weekend, as part of the association’s development programme. The tournament was held in Guilford and run by our good friends in the UKTA. Some of the national squad black belts also attended as part of their preparation for the European Championships held in Liverpool in April of this year. 
The squad consisted of 14 colour belts and 5 black belts and their hard work and preparation was evident as they gave some great performances across patterns, sparring and special technique. Their hard work returned a total of 31 medals (13 Gold, 9 Silver, 9 Bronze).
Master Robert Howard, Mr Leon McSherry and Mr Adam Fox travelled with the squad and coached them over the weekend. We would like to thank the Grandmasters, Masters, Umpires and Mr David Norris of the UKTA for their warm welcome and for running another great event.  A special thanks to the parents who travelled too and supported the whole squad trough out the trip.

Yellow Belt:
Oliwia Swizdor - Gold
Adam Hu - Bronze
Chris Yu – Bronze

Yellow Belt:
Ciara Fitzgerald - Gold

Green Belt:
Emily Harold - Silver

Yellow Belt:
Joyce Yu - Gold
Shane Rice - Silver
Wayne Gill O'Loughlin – Bronze

Black Belt:
Mr Leon McSherry -Bronze
Ms Sofia Hu- Silver
Mr Max Cleary - Bronze
Mr Finn Howard- Bronze
Sparring results 
Adam Hu - Bronze
Luca Mesolella - Gold
Daragh OShea - Gold
Chris Yu - Silver
Oliwia Swizdor - Silver
Niamh Davis - Gold
Emily Harold - Gold
Eoin McLoughlin Gold
Wayne O'Loughlin - Silver 
Joyce Yu - Bronze
Shane Rice - Silver 
Ciara Fitzgerald – Gold
Mr Emmet O'Rourke - Gold
Mr Finn Howard-Gold
Ms Sofia Hu - Bronze
Kate Harold - Gold
Special Technique
Chris Yu Silver
Eoin McLoughlin Gold
Ciara Fitzgerald Silver

RITA Squads at INTA Open

It was a good weekend for the RITA Colour Belt Squad and National Black Belt squad at the INTA Open International in Co Meath.

The two squads competed well and gain a lot of experience for the upcoming English open and European Championships. The event was a good opportunity to see were the competitors training plans were at and to see how they perform in the pressure of a high level competition. The event had 600 competitors from both Ireland an abroad and was a good test for the RITA squad.  The students gained a lot of experience and got a chance to try out new techniques in the ring. The 40 medals overall between the two squads were a nice reward for their hard training and commitment.

Thanks to the INTA tournament director Mr Wezelman, the INTA masters and umpires who ran an excellent event with very fair judging.

The next big tournament on the RITA calendar is the ITF-Ireland Cup on the 1st of April 2017 in Galway city. Looking  forward to seeing you all there.

Republic of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association Join Forces With Hanley Energy

Left to right; Master Valerie Keane, Grandmaster Robert Howard, Hanley Energy Co-founder & Managing Director Dennis Nordon, Grandmaster Anthony Phelan, Master Francis Barrett.

The Republic of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association has partnered with global data center solution specialists and technology company Hanley Energy in a deal that will see the Irish owned company become main sponsors of the organisation with immediate effect.

The sponsorship deal was announced by the Masters Council at the 2016 National Taekwon-Do Open Championship which took place in Dublin recently.
Dennis Nordon, MD and co-founder of Hanley Energy said the company continues to recognise world-class potential and is delighted to be an advocate of the Republic of Ireland Taekwondo Association. 

Hanley Energy are very excited about forging strong links to a relatively young, evolving sport with exemplary ambition and a future that is, like ours, on an upward curve. Our aim with RITA will be to support at both an elite and grass-roots level, as the sport continues to grow across the country. We recognise a shared vision and ethos with RITA, we are delighted to be able to champion excellence and assist them in nurturing real international potential. We are looking forward to many exciting years ahead as sponsors.

Business and Taekwon-Do are akin in many ways, but the biggest similarity is the toll they can take on your mental resilience. If you want something sufficiently in both, you will have to work for it. Nothing is accomplished without sacrifice. Dedication, preparation and work ethic are all vital to progress.

In Hanley Energy, we try to embrace the discomforts, even when things seem impossible, learn from errors and we have built a strong team around us, where every member deserves credit for the business success. This ethos is closely reflected in two of Taekwon-Do’s core tenets, perseverance and indomitable spirit.

Grandmaster Anthony Phelan, Vice-President, Republic of Ireland Taekwondo Association, welcomed the partnership saying:

We are delighted to be able to announce Hanley Energy as the primary sponsor of the Republic of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association. We’ve had really positive initial meetings and I think it’s clear that we are very much on the same page. We’re looking forward to a strong and productive partnership.

Colour Belt Squad events

Konstantin Yurikov Sparring Seminar - 10am-4pm Sunday 27th November 2016 – Grandmaster Howard’s Taekwon-Do School.
Squad Training - 11am-2pm Sunday 11th December 2016 - Carrick on Suir Taekwon-Do School.
Squad Training - 11am-2pm Sunday 8th January 2017 – Oranmore, Galway.

Please fill in this form and bring it to the squad session with your valid RITA membership form.

UK Open success

The UK Open Taekwon-Do Championship took place in Guilford on the 12th November 2016. Eight students from three schools in the R.I.T.A. competed on the day. For many of these students it was an opportunity to compete at their new grades. Some had recently been awarded their Black Belt and others their red belt. Some of students were also stepping up to higher age categories for the first time.
It was a very successful outing for the students that competed, winning 12 medals in total, 1 Gold, 4 Silver and 7 Bronze.  Congratulations to all who travelled and represented the R.I.T.A. with distinction. A breakdown of the results is included below.

Student Patterns Sparring Special Technique School
Ms B O’Donogue   Silver   Grandmaster Howard
Finn Howard Silver Bronze Bronze Grandmaster Howard
Max Cleary   Silver Bronze Grandmaster Howard
Emmet O’Rourke   Bronze   Grandmaster Howard
Sofia Hu   Gold   Grandmaster Howard
Alex Byrne     Bronze Stillorgan
Abbey O’Neill Bronze Silver   Carrick on Suir
Kate Harold   Bronze   Grandmaster Howard

Congratulations to all of the competitors

Ireland has a New ITF Grandmaster!

Congratulations to Grandmaster Anthony Phelan on this promotion to 9th Degree. Grandmaster Phelan is Vice-President of the Republic of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association and is the second most senior Taekwon-Do practitioner in the Republic of Ireland.
GM Phelan travelled to DPR Korea for the 50th anniversary of the International Taekwon-Do Federation and was promoted by President of the ITF Prof Ri Yong Son and the ITF promotions committee. Also attending the celebrations from Ireland were Senior Grandmaster Howard, Master Valerie Keane and Mr Martin Roe.
GM Phelan is a student of FGM Rhee and has been instrumental in the development of Taekwon-Do in Ireland. He introduced the art he loves to Waterford and continues to teach Taekwon-Do in the Ballyfermot/Clondalkin area of Dublin. Over the years he has trained many students to black belt including Senior Master Francis Barrett and Senior Master Brendan O’Toole (INTA).

All the students of Taekwon-Do in Ireland send their best wishes to Grandmaster Phelan on his wonderful achievement.

Grandmaster Howard & Senior Master Phelan Patterns & Power Seminar

It was an amazing day in St Mark's Taekwon-Do School as the students lined up to welcome Grandmaster Howard & Senior Master Phelan for our annual Patterns & Power Seminar. To the students delight the RITA's recently promoted Master Murphy senior Instructor to Enniscorthy School was presented with his ITF 7th Degree Masters Certificate by Grandmaster Howard and a special presentation from Master Valerie Keane on behalf of all her students in St Mark's & Naas Schools. Master Murphy started by preparing the students for the days event.
Patterns were performed, corrections were made with each and every student going away with more understanding of the different techniques in their own individual Pattern.
The afternoon brought excitement especially for the children when they took on some amazing breaking challenges. As for the Adults they practised some new breaking techniques never performed before and to their delight succeeded.
On behalf of all the students who attended today a very special thanks to Grandmaster Howard & Senior Master Phelan for a wonderful day.
Finally a "Big Thanks" to all our Brothers & Sisters for their support.
Enjoy the photos (with more to follow) feel free to Tag & share to your friends & family.

Success for Ireland at the European Championships

The recent EITF European Championships, which were hosted in the Greek city of Thessaloniki from 11th to 18th April, were the largest ever with over 700 competitors from 31 Countries competing.  The RITA sent a Squad of 11 competitors accompanied by National Coach Master Stephen Doyle, Colour Belt Development Coach Ms Audrey Condon and Umpires Senior Master Robert Howard and Master Floyd Keane.
The squad consisted of 6 Black Belts and 5 Red Belts that competed in Adult, Junior and Child divisions. For most it was their first experience of a high level International event and it was great preparation for the 2017 Euros in Liverpool, which is what they are training for. The event was held in a 9,000 seat stadium and it was a big step up from what most were used to.
Day 1 of the competition was not until the Thursday so the Squad had two days to acclimatise and prepare after arriving late on the Monday night.  But once the competition began there was no rest for our coaches as we had competitors nearly in every ring at the same time. Luckily our more experienced senior competitors Mr Leon McSherry and Mr Martin Mahoney were there to help.
In the Pattern divisions the quality of the RITA training was evident with nearly all the squad winning at least one round. There was a great performance by Ms Caoimhe Keogh from Galway who after wins over Spain and Slovenia narrowly lost out 3-2 in the 2nd Dan Junior Female Patterns Semi-Final against Ukraine. Her Bronze medal was a great reward for her dedication to training, as she had to defer her Leaving Cert French Oral exam to compete.  Mr Leon McSherry finally achieved his lifelong ambition of getting to a European Patterns Final. He has lost out in the last three Europeans at the semi-final stage but this time he reached the Final of the 5th Dan Male Patterns where he faced Sweden. In a dominant display he won with a 5-0 victory to claim the coveted Gold Medal!
The level of competition was extremely high in the Sparring divisions with Russia and Ukraine dominating most sections. The Squads recent seminars with Mr Konstantin Yurikov paid off as none of them looked out of place in the ring against high level International opponents.  Alex Byrne picked up our third medal with a Bronze in the -50kg Male Child Sparring division.  After a comfortable win over Romania he faced a much taller Russian in the Semi-final. The Russians reach proved too much for Alex over the two rounds. It was a great achievement in his first Europeans to win a Medal.
The Coaches would like to congratulate all the competitors for their dedication and hard work. They represented Ireland with pride and were a pleasure to coach. We hope that everyone uses the experience gained to take the next step in their International career.

Although we have just returned from the 2016 European Championships the preparations for 2017 are underway. We must build on our success and continue our training throughout the Summer. Those who competed are expected to attend the next Open Squad Training Session on Sunday 15th May in Tymon Bawn Community Centre, Tallaght, Dublin 24, so everyone can learn from their experiences. We are looking for competitors who are enthusiastic to learn and have the dedication to commit to high-level training so we can send an even bigger Squad to Liverpool 2017.

Videos from the Europeans can be found here

Photos are available on our Facebook page

New RITA Master at Black Belt Grading

The RITA would like to congratulate Master Martin Murphy, Senior Instructor to Enniscorthy School, on his promotion to 7th Degree Master Black Belt. It was also a special day for Mr. Tim Collins from Galway School who was promoted to 4th Degree Black Belt. Well done to all our newest black belts on receiving the coveted rank. All the years of hard training and dedication has paid off.

Details of promotions
Mr Martin Murphy promoted to 7th Degree Master - Enniscorthy School
Mr. Tim Collins promoted to 4th Degree Galway Taekwon-Do School

Promoted to 1st Degree

John Coe Blessington Taekwon-Do School
Saoirse Ni Thuathail Blessington Taekwon-Do School
Alison Connolly Galway Taekwon-Do School
Alex Onofrei Galway Taekwon-Do School
Brandon Finnegan Old Bawn School
Cathal Melon Whelan Stillorgan Taekwon-Do School
Breda O'Donoghue GM Howard's Dojang
Derek Brady GM Howard's Dojang

National Umpire Seminar

Well done to all the black belts who took part in the RITA's National Umpire course.There was great participation and...

Posted by Republic of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association on Sunday, February 28, 2016
Good day for RITA Colour Belt Squad at the National Championships

Congratulations to the RITA’s colour belt squad members who performed so well at the INTA’s National Championships in the NBA, Dublin.

The squad of 20 performed well across patterns, sparring and special technique and reaped the rewards of their hard training.  It was nice to see that the squad members putting their training (with coach Mr Fox) into practice. Senior Master Howard and Mr Leon McSherry were stand-in coaches on the day and helped to steer the young competitors through many rounds and into the medal places. The message of the day was “give a good performance and the medals will follow”, and they did indeed, 24 in total.  Some won medals and some didn’t, but the overall their coaches were happy with the performances and effort showed by all the RITA competitors. Thanks to Master O’Doherty for umpiring during the event.

The event attracted 450 competitors from across Ireland and further afield and there was some good talent on display. The RITA would like to thank Senior Master O’Toole, Senior Master Douglas and Mr Jeroen  Wezelman for the warm welcome and well organised competition.

Next trip for the CBS is to The Netherlands for the Open Taekyon toernooi  on the 29th of November.
Results from the INTA National Championships

There are more photos over on our Facebook page

First Name


Belt Colour


Ciara Melay Red Gold Sparring
Maebh Keogh Green Bronze Sparring
Eilish Keogh Blue Gold Sparring
Aine Curtin Blue Gold Sparring
Queenie Loo Green Bronze Sparring
Michaela Phelan Green Bronze Sparring
Muireann Shortiss Day Green Silver Sparring
Abbie O'Neill Red Bronze Patterns
Anna Fleming Green Bronze Patterns
Shane Rice Green Gold Patterns, Bronze Sparring
Eoin McLoughlin Blue Bronze Sparring
Finn Howard Blue Silver Spatterns, Bronze Sparring
Max Cleary Blue Gold Patterns
Trivo Tijanic Blue Gold Sparring, Gold Special Technique
Wayne Gill-O'Loughlin Red Bronze Patterns
Cillian Ward Yellow Bronze Patterns, Bronze Sparring
Philip Kinsella Red Gold Sparring, Silver Patterns
Darragh Power Blue Silver Sparring, Bronze Patterns
Black Belt Grading

The RITA would like to congratulate everyone on successfully passing the Black Belt Grading today. Well done on your promotions!

Promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt

Mr Rama Block Stillorgan Taekwon-Do School
Mr Jason Zaidan Stillorgan Taekwon-Do School
Mr Andrew Johnson Galway Taekwon-Do School
Mr Grzegorz Jacak Carrick-on-Suir Taekwon-Do School

Promoted to 4th Degree Black Belt
Mr Martin Mahoney Galway Taekwon-Do School

Promoted to 5th Degree Black Belt
Mr Leon Mc Sherry GM Howard's Dojang

World Championships Report

The historic town of Plovdiv in Bulgaria was host to the 19th ITF World Championships & 25th Congress and for the Irish delegation it was a momentous occasion with awards and promotions. To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Taekwon-Do the ITF chose to honor sixty people from around the world for their contributions and loyalty to General Choi's ITF. RITA/NGB President Grandmaster Robert Howard, RITA/NGB Vice president Senior Master Anthony Phelan, Senior Master Francis Barrett and RITA National Secretary Master Valerie Keane were all presented with awards by the outgoing ITF President Prof. Chang Ung. Then it was announced that Master Robert Howard was promoted to 8th Dan Senior Master. Next Mr Donal O'Doherty was given permission by the ITF to grade for his 7th Dan Master which he successfully did under Senior Grandmaster Hwang and Senior Grandmaster Kim at a special Masters Grading after Congress. Congratulations to the new Senior Master Howard and Master O'Doherty! Also the ITF elected a new President with Master Ri Yong Son taking over from Prof. Chang Ung and it was announced that the 20th World Championships would be held in Pyongyang, DPRK in 2017 with Andria, Italy being chosen to host the Junior & Veteran Worlds in 2016.

87 Countries took part in the festival of Taekwon-Do that is the World Championships and the event was the first to be held in the brand new Velodrome arena. There was also a special treat for everyone when the Team Sparring Finals were held outside in the amazing 2000 year old ancient amphitheater with Senior Master Howard and Master Floyd Keane being selected to umpire at the live televised event. Senior Master Francis Barrett, Master Donal O'Doherty and Ms Deborah Manning also umpired throughout the Championships and were selected for many of the Finals. During the Opening Ceremony Grandmaster Howard was presented with an award by the host country.

Representing Ireland as competitors were Mr Leon McSherry from Grandmaster Howard's Dojang and Mr Martin Mahoney from Galway with Master Stephen Doyle as Coach. Mr McSherry was fulfilling a lifelong ambition to compete at the adult World Championships and after his bronze at the Euros in April there was high hopes of progressing through a few rounds in the 4th Dan Patterns Division. Unfortunately in a very talented section he was handed a tough draw of Ukraine in the first round. After a close first pattern he was just pipped in the designated pattern losing out by a few points to the Ukrainian. Mr Mahoney had a solid start to the 3rd Dan Patterns division with a win over Canada. He then lost by a narrow margin to the Czech in the next round. Mr Mahoney then was drawn against Bulgaria in the toughest quarter of a huge -71kg Sparring Division which included the European Champion, North Korea and nine Europeans! After the first round there was only a couple of points between the two but during the second round the Bulgarian cheered on by the huge home crowd scored some decisive points to take the match. Both Mr McSherry and Mr Mahoney showed good improvements from the Euros in April and their hard training and dedication was appreciated by the National coach.

Next up for the Irish Team is the 4 Nations on Saturday 28th November in Liverpool. All eligible Black Belts are encouraged to attend the next squad selection as without support there can be no Teams.



The Amazing Ancient Amphitheatre


ITF Award for RITA members

On the 11th April 1955 General Choi introduced Taekwon-Do to the World, as we continue to celebrate the 60th Anniversary, Professor Chang Ung ITF President, nominated & highly recommended by General Choi to take his place as ITF President after his death in 2002, has selected 60 Loyal, dedicated & true Martial Artists & followers of General Choi's wishes from around the world, to a very special awards ceremony at the ITF World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, in August 2015.

The RITA are honoured to be recognised by the ITF with 4 of the 60 selected members are humbled to accept this invitation, Grandmaster Robert Howard, RITA/NGB President,Senior Master Anthony Phelan, NGB Vice President/ Treasurer, Senior Master Francis Barrett & Master Valerie Keane NGB National Secretary.

Bronze Medal at the Euros

Congratulations to Mr Leon McSherry who won bronze at the European Championships in Italy. After his Bronze medal in 2014 he was seeded into the quarter-finals where he faced Sweden. In an impressive display which included the technically difficult Juche as a designated pattern he beat the Swede 5-0. Mr. McSherry then faced Greece in the Semi but just lost out in a very tight match.

The morning session at day one of the euros saw our three juniors in action in their pattern divisions. Caoimhe Keogh had a win against Spain but narrowly lost to England in the quarters of the II dan division. Hannah Eade beat Bulgaria then lost out to Russia by a point on the judges scorecards in the I Dan division. Shane Grehan had a tough start to his first Euros by losing out to the Czech in the I Dan section. The afternoon session saw the adults competing in patterns where Mr Patrick Choi lost out in the quarter finals of the II Dan patterns to the Czech after beating Latvia and Mr Martin Mahoney lost out to Wales in the III Dan section. It was the first time the patterns scores were displayed on the ring screens which showed how close international competition is.

On day two of the euros there was heartbreak for Shane Grehan in the sparring, after being awarded a win against Bulgaria in a tough fight which went 3 rounds it was then declared a draw following a protest by the Bulgarians for an incorrect warning. There was then a further 6 minutes of golden point sparring where both fighters thought they had it until the Bulgarian finally got two judges decisions to end it. Hannah Eade also had a battle with a Bulgarian in her first bout but after leading during round 1 she narrowly lost out in the end in a spar that could have gone either way. Later Caoimhe Keogh and Mr Mahoney lost tough bouts against Greece and England respectively that gave them valuable ring experience for the future.

The Juniors of Shane, Hannah and Caoimhe at their first black belt Euros showed they belong on the international stage and the future of the RITA National Team looks bright.

With ITF England's successful bid for the 2017 Euros in Liverpool it will be an exciting opportunity for us to send a large team. We hope that some of the colour belt squad will be able to travel with the Black Belt Squad to the Euros in Thessaloniki, Greece next year to compete in the Child section (10-13 years) as red belts then move in to the Junior (14-15, 16-17) division as black belts for 2017. Competing at this level requires a lot of dedication but the RITA coaches will offer all the support and training possible plus watch out for special training sessions with International coaches/competitors. Remember the Euros has Child, Junior, Adult and Veteran divisions so age is no barrier to compete. We will be looking at all the members who show potential at squad training and competitions so make sure you attend!

We would like to thank The Audi Centre ( for their kind sponsorship donation.

Irish Squad travel to the European Championships

We would like to wish the Irish Squad the best of luck at the EITF European Championships. The team head off on Monday to compete against Europe's best at the Championships in Andria, Italy. The squad will be accompanied by the National Coach Master Stephen Doyle and by the EITF selected Umpires Master Robert Howard, Master Floyd Keane and Mr. Donal O'Doherty.

Representing Ireland will be:
Mr. Leon McSherry (GM Howards Taekwon-Do​)
Mr. Martin Mahoney Galway Taekwon-Do School​
Mr. Patrick Choi Carrick-on-Suir Taekwon-Do School​)
Ms. Caoimhe Keogh (Galway Taekwon-Do School)
Ms. Hannah Eade (Carrick-on-Suir Taekwon-Do School)
Mr. Shane Grehan (Carrick-on-Suir Taekwon-Do School)

We would like to thank The Audi Centre ( for their kind sponsorship donation.

Historic agreement between ITF and WTF signed

The ITF and WTF have signed a historic argeement which is great news for our international competitors. As NGB for the ITF in Ireland we can now look forward to exciting developments including the chance of Olympic qualifying for our members and participation at WTF international competitions. With our WTF friends now being able to take part in ITF World and European events there will be even greater competition for places so start training harder! To read a copy of the agreement click HERE

Dear all ITF NGBs,
Dear friends and colleagues,

I herewith send to your address the whole integral part of Protocol of Accord in its original version bilaterally signed by WTF President and ITF President and vice-versa, in Nanjing, China on 21st August 2014 under the presence of Dr. Thomas Bach, IOC President.
Words and expressions are lacking to interpret the historical significance of this monumental achievement. As first step taken, many tasks are ahead urging all of us to be more dynamic in our commitment, incarnation of 5 tenets of Taekwon-Do.

With best regards, I remain
Sincerely yours

Professor. Kim Sung Hwan
ITF Secretary General (EB Member)
Draugasse 3
1210 Vienna, Austria
Mobile:+43 699 112 243 33
Tel:        +43 1 292 84 67
Fax:       +43 1 292 55 09

RITA YouTube Channel

RITA YouTube

Check out our YouTube channel for all the recent media appearances for the 40th Anniversary plus some vintage films from the last 40 years! Also in the playlists section you can view some International Tournaments. Videos are regularly added.

RITA 40th Anniversary featured in the National Media

The 3rd and 4th of May was a busy time for the RITA as we were featured on RTE, TV3, Today FM, 98 FM plus the Irish Times and Irish Daily Mail newspapers!

First off was the feature in the Irish Daily Mail about the Three Generations of the Howard family. Click here to view a scan on our facebook page.

Next was Grand Master Howard, Senior Master Phelan and Master Howard on Dermot & Dave, Dublin’s 98FM doing a live interview & tile breaking. Click here to view the video

Friday started with an appearance on TV3's Ireland AM with First Grand Master Rhee breaking a brick live. Click here to view it on the TV3 website. There are also a couple of photos on our Facebook page

Then it was on to RTE to record a piece for the 6.1 News news. Click here to view the video on our YouTube page.

It was a quick photshoot for the Irish Times then it was off to Today FM for an interview with Matt Cooper for the Last Word. Click here to view that video.

The RITA would like to thank the Senior members who gave up their time to help out.


RITA Celebrating 40 Years

The RITA Would like to thank Mr. Gerard Byrne for designing our 40th Anniversary logo. His hard work is very much appreciated. We would like all our Schools to use it in promotional material so if you require a high resolution copy for print please contact Mr Doyle.

Also as part of the 40th Anniversary we will be uploading Photos and Videos from the last 40 years with some special ones to come soon. In the meantime have a look at the video from our 25th Anniversary back in 1997 and see if you recognise some young faces! Apologese for the quality as its from a very well used VHS.

Check out the Youtube and Facebook pages for more

Grand Master Robert J Howard

RITA President promoted to Grandmaster

Senior Master Robert J. Howard, was promoted to Taekwon-Do Grandmaster, 9th degree black belt, at the 17th ITF World Championships in Pyongyang, North Korea. 

Grandmaster Howard received his new rank (Sasung, Korean for Grandmaster) from the president of the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF), Professor Chang Ung, at the 17th World Championships. The RITA’s president has just returned from the North Korean capital city and his family and students throughout Ireland are already celebrating the fantastic news. He is the first European to be promoted by the Professor Chang Ung and the ITF and, according to the ITF’s website (, makes him the 8th worldwide. Also promoted in North Korea to the coveted rank of Grandmaster was Senior Master Phap Lu (Canada), SM Hwang (ITF and Czech technical director), SM Kim (Technical director to Bulgaria).

On his promotion Grandmaster Howard said "I'm so honoured to be promoted to Grandmaster by the ITF. When I started in Taekwon-Do back in the sixties I never thought I’d be still training today, and still with my original instructor First Grandmaster Rhee Ki Ha. Perseverance is one of General Choi’s five tenets and I’ve always tried to live by them.’


Click here for more news


Want to learn Taekwon-Do?
To find your nearest school click here.
For more information on Taekwon-Do click here .
If you wish to contact the RITA you can do so by sending an e-mail to The National Secretary Master Valerie Keane VII Degree at
Just got your Black Belt?

So you've just passed your Black Belt exam and you're wondering what's next? Click here to see some suggestions on taking the next step in your Taekwon-Do journey.

Black Belt Dress Code 1st to 3rd Dan
Umpire Dress Code 1st to 3rd Dan

RITA Committees
All RITA members are encouraged to get involved in the Comittees by either submitting ideas or by joining them. Click here to view full contact details for all of the Committees.
Upcoming Events 2017


Click here to see full year

Squad Training
ITF Ireland Team

Senior Black Belt Squad

Training is open to all RITA adults. Everyone is invited to come along to try out for the National Squad and those who’ve never been before are encouraged to give it a go. We are also looking to find new talent with potential to represent Ireland at international competitions. So even if you want some practice before the Irish Open, to improve fitness or just want to see what training is like you are more than welcome to attend.

Senior & Veteran Coach Master Stephen Doyle

Junior Black Belt Squad

RITA National Junior Black Belt Squad will arrive in St Mark's Sunday 3rd Dec for their 3 hour Squad training under the guidance of National Junior Black Belt Coach ITF 8th Degree Master Howard.

Junior & Child Coach Master Robert Howard

Colour Belt Squad

This training is open to all RITA colour belts, male and female, junior and senior including veterans. For more information please contact Mr Adam Fox Coach on 0864172569 (

TKD Supplies

TKD Supplies

RITA Instructors and Students can now view the TKD Supplies stock online. Click here to see our latest prices and stock.

In Memoriam

Gen Choi Hong Hi
Founder of Taekwon-Do
1918 - 2002
Follow us on Twitter
Visit us on facebook
RITA YouTube Channel

© copyright 2017 Republic of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association. All information correct at time of publication