17 Mar, 2021
Players

Ireland has produced an array of darting talent throughout the years however now more than ever are we seeing a shift in the game in Ireland with 4 players currently competing on the Pro Tour which is more than ever before. Since launching our Elite 1 training programme in 2016, Target have acquired 4 young stars from our neighbours to the west, one of these being Keane Barry who has recently graduated to Target's senior team as well as earning himself a place on the Pro Tour.

We sat down with our Irish stars to find out a little more about their background as well as how they think the game in Ireland is evolving.

KEANE BARRY

Which part of Ireland are you from?

Duleek, Meath.

What is the darts scene like in your hometown?

Darts is a big thing in my hometown. Players like myself and Mick McGowan were brought up in Duleek and darts were a big part of our lifestyle.

How do you think Irish darts is improving?

Irish darts is in a really good place right now, we have more players on the tour than ever before. There are also a lot of good young players coming through! It's really exciting to see.

Which Irish sports stars did you look up to when you were younger?

In darts, it would be Mick McGowan as I got on really well with Mick and his family. He has been really good to me and given me great advice and support. Outside of darts, it would probably be Robbie Keane as I just loved watching him play.

What is your favourite thing about being Irish?

For me it's the people, everyone is friendly and most are good craic, it makes me very proud to be from here.

Favourite place to visit in Ireland?

Achill Island would be my favourite place to visit. It has such nice scenery and a great beach, it's definitely worth a visit.

KATIE SHELDON

Which part of Ireland are you from?

Tallaght, Dublin.

What is the darts scene like in your hometown?

In my hometown, the darts scene is very good. A lot of people play darts in Dublin most of them compete at a very high standard.

How do you think Irish darts is improving?

Irish darts is in a very good place at the moment. The INDO have done a phenomenal job with running Irish events which allows people to improve their standard. I also see a lot more players in Ireland starting to really dedicate themselves and pushing for a place on the world stage which is great to see.

Which Irish sports stars did you look up to when you were younger?

I think what Katie Taylor has done for women's boxing has been a big motivator for me. She puts so much work into training every day and it proves that hard work really does pay off.

What is your favourite thing about being Irish?

An Irish tradition I like is going into Dublin city centre on St.Patrick's day and watching the parade.

Favourite place to visit in Ireland?

My favourite place to visit in Ireland is Dun Laoighre pier. I enjoy going there for a walk with my grandparents whenever I can because the view is lovely and it's very calming.

KILLIAN HEFFERNAN

Which part of Ireland are you from?

I'm from a small town in County Kildare called Coill Dubh.

What is the darts scene like in your hometown?

Darts in my hometown isn't that big, but there are a few good players from here that I play against often.

How do you think Irish darts is improving?

Irish darts is improving loads, there are a lot more opportunities in Ireland to qualify to big competitions and playing on the big stages; I believe in a few years' time there will be a lot more tour card holders from Ireland, and I want to be one them!

Which Irish sports stars did you look up to when you were younger?

When I was younger, I looked up to the likes of Katie Taylor and Conor McGregor, coming from nothing to becoming the best in the world at their craft. Their dedication, commitment and skill is something to be admired.

What is your favourite thing about being Irish?

My favourite thing about being Irish is our sense of humour. I think Irish people have a brilliant sense of humour and we can make a joke about everything and anything.

Favourite place to visit in Ireland?

My favourite place in Ireland to visit is Ennis in County Clare. A lot of big Irish ranking events are held there.

DEAN FINN

Which part of Ireland are you from?

Waterford City.

What is the darts scene like in your hometown?

When I first start playing darts there weren't many 'good' players but as the years went on it became more popular in the pubs. In the last 2 or 3 years, our county team has gone from a team that used to be laughed at to a team that I would say is a banana skin for any county team in Ireland. Right now I would say my hometown, Waterford is in one of the best places it's ever been in with darts.

How do you think Irish darts is improving?

There are just so many young lads coming through the ranks, the INDO at one stage was getting more youths entries than men entries and some of the youths were going into the men's tournament and giving some of the best men in the country a good game or even beating them.

Which Irish sports stars did you look up to when you were younger?

Roy Keane, purely down to his hunger to win everything he went for.

What is your favourite thing about being Irish?

Everything really, I wouldn't change a thing about Ireland, no matter where you go or who's on your team be it darts, football or any sport, I think the Irish have more passion for their country than any other country in the world.

Favourite place to visit in Ireland?

Home, a lot will disagree but Waterford is the best city in Ireland.

In celebration of St Patrick's Day, for 48 hours only we are giving you 20% off the Agora Verde range*.

*20% off Agora Verde darts. Offer available 09:00 AM GMT 17/03/2021 until 09:00 AM GMT 19/03/2021 at https://www.target-darts.co.uk, UK only. Offer valid on Agora Verde AV01, AV02, AV03, AV04, AV30, AV31 and AV34 only and subject to availability. Promotion can be cancelled at any time without notice. Returned items will be refunded at the discounted price paid on production of a valid receipt.

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