Irish Academy of Arms      
Acadamh Armas na hÉireann
President:  Maître David Couper
Secretary:  Maître Mike Westgate
Treasurer:  Prévôt d'Épée Shane Whelan
Leinster Representative:  Maître Fionbarr Farrell, OLY
Northern Area Representative:  Maître Mike Westgate
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.
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.
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
Maître Fionbarr Farrell, OLY,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 Treasurer 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 and is the Leinster Representative of the Academy.
You can contact Fionbarr at
Maître Mike Westgate started his coaching career under the guidance of Prof A T Simmonds at the Latista Club in London.  Later he worked with the Junior Girls Foil Squad at the fencing headquarters in London under the direct of the National Coach, Prof R Anderson.  
Mike developed épée 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, he developed foil coaching working with the British senior squad under the direction of Prof. Z Wojciechowski.  He was the British Under 20 Boys Épée coach in the 1970's.  Mike has 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 a 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 Secretary and Northern Representative of the Academy.
You can contact Mike at
Prévôt d'Épée Shane Whelan is an accredited Level 3 coach. He was classified by Fencing Ireland as a senior elite international fencer for many years, maintaining a world ranking between the years 2008 and 2018.
Shane was also member/captain of the Irish Veteran Team for a decade, competing in the Home 4 Nations and European Team Veteran Championship.
Individually, he won the Celtic Championship and competed in the individual Veteran World Championship.
He is a qualified referee in all weapons (Fencing Ireland) and remains an active fencer as well as an enthusiastic coach.
Shane is Treasurer of the Academy.
You can contact Shane at
Maître Fionbarr Farrell
Prévôt d'Épée Shane Whelan
Maître David Couper
Maître Mike Westgate