He was to an Irish mother which meant he could declare either GBR or IRL as his home country. I could have done the same (My licence(both cycling and triathlon) is IRL) but it's pretty irrelevant at amateur level. Once you're in the realm of funding and turning pro, a different federation may be able to cater slightly better for you. Gavin Noble and Aileen Reid are good examples (IRL Triathletes) both could have declared GBR as they are from NI, but the chances of funding from British Triathlon were slim given the huge mainland based talent pool. *Triathlon like cycling, is a unified body here.