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Looking Back - 25 Years of BLE in Cork - Preface

LOOKING BACK - 25 Years of BLE in Cork



Organised athletics has been recorded in Cork County for over one hundred and fifty years. Over this time specific parts of the County have been noted for particular events. Thus one finds the 56 pound throws and the triple jump in the Beara peninsula; weight throwing being a speciality in Duhallow; high and long jumping in North Cork and so on. Writing this book in Kilcorney, near Millstreet, creates a link with this athletic past; Denis Horgan lies buried just up the road; Dave Guiney and Pat O'Callaghan were born nearby and the great athletic centres of Banteer, Donoughmore, Nadd, Bweeng to name but a few are within easy reach.

Athletics in the County therefore has a long and rich tradition. Olympic and World Champions have emerged on a regular basis from the first of the major Championships at the end of the last century. No doubt that tradition of excellence will continue and as such the names of Sonia O'Sullivan and Terrie Horgan will be added to the lengthy list of those illustrious athletes of the past and not so recent past.

The twenty five years since 1967 is just a microcosm of athletics activity in the County. The hopes and aspirations that these founders of BLE had in their efforts, have in many ways been realised and there has been success both at 'home* and Internationally. This book deals specifically with BLE in Cork County, 1967/92. The book records the highlights and to an extent the opposite. It is as such not a specific history, but nonetheless relates the happenings and events that have formed the BLE structure as we know it today.

My thanks to all who assisted me in the research, in particular to Catherine, my wife who acted as secretary, researcher, telephone operator, typist, statistician and many another role. A thank you must also be extended to all those who gave of their time, their scrapbooks, their photographs and their views and recollections. It was a great thrill to meet many of the athletic 'heroes' of my youth, figures that provided an early inspiration; Fanahan McSweeney, Donie Walsh, Margaret & Paud Murphy, Dave Guiney, Marcus O'Sullivan, Sonia O'Sullivan and Joe West not only gave of their time and knowledge but also gave the necessary encouragement.

My thanks too to Tom Morgan, Owen FitzGerald, Paddy Linehan, Dick Hodgins, Ray Shanahan, John Dooley, Ted Murray, John Walshe, Liam O'Brien, Reg Hayes, Michael Sheehan, Joe O'Flynn, John Smyth, John Buckley, Pat Walsh and Paddy Hickey who assisted enormously with information and those odd elusive items of information and statistics. Special mention too of the staff at the City Library who were subjected to some rather unusual requests; the CORK EXAMINER and EVENING ECHO provided much of the statistics and Tim O'Brien and Brendan Mooney were particularly helpful when called upon.

The proceeds of this book will go to the County Board 'coaching account'; in this respect the many advertisers are to be congratulated and thanked for their valued assistance. I would ask all to support the advertisers.

Colm Murphy, August 1993



About Us

Cork Athletics County Board is a constituent member of Athletics Ireland. Cork Athletics is the governing body, administering athletics, track and field (T&F), cross-country (XC) and running in county Cork. The Board comprises elected representatives of constituent athletic clubs and running clubs. Cork County Board AAI organises Championship races and competition, including road, track & field (T&F) and Cross-country (XC), at junior, juvenile, senior and masters levels, and selects representation for the county. In addition, training and education is provided for coaches and officials. The Board also regulates the Athletics Ireland race/event permit (licence) process for county Cork.
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