Irish Academy of Arms

Acadamh Armas na hÉireann

Maître David Couper has been fencing since he was at school and gained a fencing blue at St Andrew's University.  Having completed a 'stage' at the Institut National du Sport in Paris, he started teaching over thirty years ago under the plastron of Prof. PJ Duffy ADFD, AAI, AAF.  In 1991 he became a Level 5 Maître d'Armes and is a member of the Irish Academy of Arms of which he is currently Secretary.

David is a member of the International Academy of Arms, the umbrella body for Academies worldwide.  He is also a member of the US Fencing Coaches Association.

He was Maître Assistant at Salle d'Armes Duffy, Sandymount where he specialised in Épée master classes.

Maître Mike Westgate started his coaching career under the guidance of Prof A T Simmonds at the Latista Club in London.  Later worked with the junior girls foil squad at the fencing headquarters in London under the direct of the National Coach, Prof R Anderson.  


Developed epee and sabre at Salle Boston  (London) under the guidance of Prof. S Boston and Prof. R Emery.  Qualified as a Level 5 British Fencing coach in all weapons in 1990.  Developed foil coaching working with the British senior squad under the direction of Prof. Z Wojciechowski.  British Under 20 boys epee coach in 1970's.  Attended most Cadet, Junior as well as a number of Senior World and European Championships with Ireland or Great Britain since 1981.  

Mike attended the 1980 Olympics as Modern Pentathlon coach.


Inducted into the Irish Academy of Arms in May 2010,  Mike Westgate is the Performance Director for Northern Ireland Fencing and was awarded the British Fencing Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

Mike is the Northern Representative of the Academy.

You can contact Mike at mike.westgate@irishacademyofarms.org

Maître Fionbarr Farrell was a student of Prof. PJ Duffy and has had an illustrious career in RTE and an enviable record of achievement in fencing. Between 1965 and 1978, he fenced for Ireland at the World Championships and won most Irish titles several times. In 1968 he represented Ireland at the Olympic Games in Mexico City and reigned as National Foil Champion in 1992/3. In 1991 he became a Level 5 Maître d'Armes and is a member of the Irish Academy of Arms and is a Vice-President of the International Academy of Arms.

Fionbarr was fencing master to Salle d'Armes Duffy, Sandymount in 1999, St. Killian's German School and Wesley College,  St. Conleth's School & Belvedere College .  He is a former Master at Arms to the University of Dublin, Trinity College.

Fionbarr is currently Maître de Salle at Salle Dublin.  

You can contact Fionbarr at fionbarr.farrell@irishacademyofarms.org

David is a former Master at Arms to the University of Dublin, Trinity College.  He was the founding Vice President of the Modern Pentathlon Association of Ireland and is the former MPAI fencing coach.

David is currently fencing master to St Conleth's School and is Maître de Salle at Salle Dublin.

You can contact David at david.couper@irishacademyofarms.org