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TaeKwon-Do Ireland Examiners

Meet the panel


Master Dermot Walsh

Technical Director

Master Walsh began his TaeKwon-Do journey in 1977. Over his career he has competed at the highest levels both nationally and Internationally. 

Today he is Chief Instructor of Bishopstown TaeKwon-Do School, where he teaches alongside his wife, son and daughter.

Master Michael Burke


Master Burke started training under Master Dermot Walsh in 1985 and achieved his 1st Degree Black Belt under GrandMaster Hee Il Cho in 1989. Former Chief Instructor of Ballincollig TaeKwon-Do and now Carrigaline, Master Burke has coached the national squad to International and World Championship success.


Master Gerard Allen


A student of TaeKwon-Do for over three decades, Master Allen opened his TaeKwon-Do School with his wife, Ms. Brenda Greene 4th Degree, in 1996. His students have gone on to excel in the art; achieving World Championship medals and opening their own clubs to further the art of TaeKwon-Do in Ireland.

Master John Gannon


Master Gannon started his Taekwon-Do journey in 1984 in Sawmill Street, Cork City and has over the years been actively involved with Taekwon-Do Ireland both at a club and organizational level. Over the years has graded under Grand Master Hee Il Cho, Master Kee Cho Han, Master Karl Van Orsouw, Master Dermot Walsh and Master Michael Burke. He recently opened his new club in Douglas, St Columba’s GNS where he is now the Chief Instructor. Promoted to VII Dan by Taekwon-Do Ireland Executive Committee in 2023.

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Ms. Sandra Rooney Walsh


Ms. Walsh is one of the founding members of Taekwondo Ireland Association  (est 1994) and it's current Treasurer . Sandra received a Cork Indoor Sports Award in 1993;  Captain of Taekwondo Ireland Ladies Team; and Competed in the national stadium in 1993 Euro Team Championship as part of the  AITA Ireland National Team which included a reception with President Mary Robinson at Aras an Uachtaran.
Former AITA National Black Belt Champion Ladies Sparring, Sandra ran  Bishopstown Taekwondo School at SMA Wilton from 1991- joined later by Dermot Walsh and now also Black belt son and daughter Alex and Zara. Sandra 
Started Taekwondo in  1987 at Bishopstown Community School; Joined Douglas Taekwondo in 1988; 1st Dan Black Belt 1990 – AITA -  Master Hee Il Cho; Competed at TAGB world championships 1991, 2019 and 2023.

Ms. Catherine O'Boyle


Ms. O’Boyle VI Dan began her Taekwon Do journey at Sawmill Street Taekwon Do Club in 1981, training under Grand Master Norman Creedon IX Dan and grading for 1st Dan under Grand Master Hee Il Cho IX Dan. Ms. O’Boyle brought the Little Ninja programme for 4-6 year olds to Cork in 2002, opening Ballincollig Taekwondo Do School the same year. Her focus remains on furthering the development of our junior students in her club and TKDI. 


Mr. Pat Field


Mr. Field began Tae Kwon-Do in Mayfield TKD club in 1979.  He was awarded his 1st Degree Black Belt in 1983 by Grandmaster Rhee, Ki Ha.

Former instructor at Mayfield and UCC TKD clubs, Pat was an accomplished competitor becoming National Champion from 1985 to 1987. He also won bronze in the super-executive section of the 2018 TAGB World Championships.

Ms. Claire Abbott


Ms. Cotter has been studying TaeKwon Do for almost 35 years, having begun her journey with Douglas TKD.  She continues to train ,instruct and act as an examiner with Carrigaline TKD, helping to bring many students from white to black belt level.

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