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Death of Essie O'Leary - Bandon AC and Rising Sun AC

Esther (Essie) O'Leary née Kingston R.I.P. - Condolences

May 31st 2020

Essie O'Leary (née Kingston), R.I.P.

The Officers and Officials of Cork Athletics County Board extend their condolences and deepest sympathy to our esteemed colleague Neilie O'Leary (Belgooly AC and formerly Bandon AC) and his family; Catriona, Siobhan, Valerie, Margaret and Gerard on the death of is wife Esther (Essie).

Essie joined Bandon AC, following a period with Rising Sun AC, and wasa member of the victorious Cork team at the 1967 Munster Cross-Country Championships, in Moyne, Co. Tipperary

Notice on

The death has occurred of Esther (Essie) O' Leary (née Kingston), Gurteen, Bandon, Cork

On May 31st 2020, unexpectedly, in the wonderful care of the staff in the Coronary Care Unit at Cork University Hospital. Esther (Essie) (née Kingston), Gurteen, Bandon, beloved wife of Neilie and loving mother of Catriona, Siobhan, Valerie, Margaret and Gerard. Sadly missed by her loving family, their spouses and partners, sisters Margaret, Frances, Theresa, Mary and the late Philomena, grandchildren, brothers in law, sisters in law, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours and friends.

May She Rest In Peace

Due to current guidelines regarding public gatherings, Essie’s funeral took place privately. Family flowers only, donations, if desired, to Irish Heart Foundation. Messages of condolence can be left on condolences link.




Tullamore Man Won First Cork Marathon - Guest Article by John Walshe

Cork Marathon in 1982 Drew Just 700 Runners But Was Deemed a Success

This article, by John Walshe, appeared in The Echo, on Tuesday June 2nd 2020

evening echo 1982 cork city marathon report 200602
Echo Article, Tuesday June 2nd 2020


For the first time in 13 years, the streets of Cork were empty of runners this Bank Holiday Weekend, as the annual marathon and associated events were yet another victim of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When Alan O’Shea led home over 1,300 marathoners, back in 2007, it bridged a 21-year gap since the city had last hosted such an event, as during the period from 1982 to 1986, Cork followed most major cities with a mass-participation marathon.

In October 1980, the inaugural Dublin City Marathon took place, followed, in March 1981, by the London Marathon. Cork did have a marathon that year of 1981, but it was unlike what runners today are accustomed to.

On a wet June Sunday, the BLE National Marathon took place on the western side of the city. Starting near the County Hall, it headed out the Carrigrohane Straight, through Ballincollig and on to Farnanes. Here, the competitors simply turned around a petrol pump before retracing their steps.

With the County Hall like a mirage in the distance, the final two miles weren’t the most appealing. However, it didn’t deter Dick Hooper from winning his third national marathon, in a time of 2:15:37, with Carey May recording 2:42:39, to take the women’s title.

Six months later, Brendan Mooney wrote in the Cork Examiner: “Cork city will at last have its own marathon,” going on to say that the Management Committee of BLE had given the County Board the go-ahead. The event, launched at the Imperial Hotel, would be sponsored by Adidas through, Three Stripe International, who marketed the brand in Ireland.

Reg Hayes, Chairman of the Cork BLE Board, stated it would be the first of a series of such events. He added it would be a people’s marathon for the people of Cork, and would depend largely on voluntary effort.

Michael O’Connell, Manager of Three Stripe International, announced that invitations would go out to a number of countries and that runners rejected for the second London Marathon would receive an invitation.

The Examiner and Evening Echo, along with RTÉ Cork Local Radio, were to promote the marathon. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Paud Black, said the event would be of tremendous benefit to the City of Cork.

Stevie Bolger and Donna O’Sullivan, two presenters on Cork Local Radio, volunteered to train from scratch to run. Michael Joyce, the Associate Editor of Irish Runner, was given the task of compiling their training programme.

A number of courses were submitted to the Garda Authorities for consideration. Jack O’Leary, one of the country’s leading marathon runners of the 1960s and 70s, and an engineer with Cork Co Council, measured the selected route.


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The packed start of the Cork City Marathon in April in 1982.

It started on the old Mallow Road, and came through Blackpool, MacCurtain Street, Penrose Quay, North Gate Bridge and down the Mardyke to the five-mile mark. Out the Carrigrohane Straight, on to Rossa Avenue and Wilton before returning to the city centre and Patrick Street at 11 miles.

Halfway was reached on the Marina, then through Blackrock and Ballinlough, and out the Douglas Road and on to Tramore Road, and the 20-mile mark in Togher. Another two miles brought the runners through Glasheen and down Barrack Street to the finish on South Mall.

Easter Monday of April 12 finally arrived. In ideal conditions at 11am, around 700 runners started out in what for many was a step into the unknown. The thousands originally hoped for hadn’t materialised, but it was still a good entry considering - somewhat bizarrely - that another marathon had taken place in Galway the previous day.

Before a mile was covered, eight runners had broken clear. They included Michael Walsh (Leevale), John O’Toole (Tullamore), Willie Fitzgerald (Millstreet), Willie Hayes (Reenavanna), Seamus Cregan (Croom), Tom Jordan (Waterford) and John McNiff, the latter visiting Cork from New York.

At the eight mile mark, near the Regional College, Hayes and Fitzgerald were sharing the lead. Shortly after, Walsh and O’Toole started to take control, and went through 10 miles together, in 52:53.

Coming out of Blackrock and the 15-mile mark, the 23-year-old O’Toole made the move that mattered. He was now in unknown territory, having never raced beyond this distance before. But he did not falter and after running the final 11 miles on his own crossed the finish line, outside the Imperial Hotel, to a tumultuous reception.


irish runner cover vol 2 no3

Stride for Stride - Michale Walsh and John O'Toole coming down the Marina


His time was 2:20:40, while Walsh - brother of 1972 Olympian Donie - was closing again on the Tullamore man, towards the finish, but had to settle for second in 2:21:03. He was well pleased, considering it was only his second marathon.


michael walsh cork city marathon 1982 a

Michael Walsh finishes in 2:21:03


The late Tom Jordan also finished strongly, to take third in 2:24:16. Willie Hayes, the early leader, held on to sixth in 2:27:47.

The women’s race also saw a change of fortune over the final stages. Marie Buckley of Leevale, better known as a cross-country runner, was also making her marathon debut, and passed Dublin-based Catherine Sutton around 15 miles, to win decisively in 3:08:17.


marie buckley cork city marathon 1982 aMarie Buckley, Kinsale, the first woman over the finishing line.

“It was a perfect day for such a race. I was a bit nervous setting out but when the gun went I really enjoyed every stride, chatting away with other runners and getting loads of support,” Marie recalled. “I must have been good and fit then as it didn’t knock a thing out of me and I went back to work as usual the next day.”


gerard o reilly cork city marathon 1982 a

Gerard O'Reilly, the first wheelchair competitor home.


An amazing feat from that first marathon was the accomplishment of Donal Burke, from Whitechurch. A colleague of Jack O’Leary’s at the County Hall, Donal had also played a role in laying out the route.

But now he planned a double marathon weekend – to break three hours in both Galway and Cork. With a sub-2:35 best to his credit, he held back in Galway on Easter Sunday to finish in 2:52:16. After travelling to Tuam for physiotherapy that evening, he journeyed back to Cork.

Monday morning saw him lining up on the Mallow road and despite some early stiffness he ran another consistent race to clock a remarkable 2:49:18 for 37th position overall.

The Cork City Marathon had arrived, and there would be many more exciting and dramatic stories over the next four years.


Full Results Cork City Marathon 1982


Results Summary

Pos Forename Surname Time
1 John O'Toole 02:20:40
2 Michael Walsh 02:21:03
3 Thomas Jordan 02:22:41
4 Seamus Cregan 02:24:16
5 John McNiff 02:26:15
6 Willie Hayes 02:27:47
7 Roddy Burke 02:29:43
8 Michael Culligan 02:32:17
9 Pat Kerrigan 02:32:30
10 Willie Fitzgerald 02:33:37
Pos Forename Surname Time
1 Marie Buckley 03:08:17
2 Catherine Sutton 03:19:08
3 Teresa Dwane 03:31:27
4 Noreen O'Brien 03:38:53
5 Lucia O'Sullivan 03:43:25
6 Carmel Lyons 03:45:24


Other well-known names amongst the finishers included:

Liam O’Leary of the Cork Fire Brigade – whose son Cillian would go on to win the 2015 marathon - finished 18th in 2:41:51. “That was my fastest; I ran the first mile which passed Blackpool Fire Station in 5:10 as all my colleagues were out cheering!”

One place behind was Michael Joyce in 2:41:59 with Jack O’Leary finishing first veteran in 2:45:32

Army-man Willie O’Riordan, still winning prizes in Cork BHAA races, ran 2:48:44

Another regular on the local scene, Batt Kearney of Leevale, was just 34 seconds outside three hours when finishing 63rd

Michael Dunne from Blarney made the top 100 with his time of 3:10:00

Two well-known GAA referees taking part were John Motherway from Aghada (3:12:42) and Charlie McAllister from Midleton (3:15:10)

Well-known BHAA official John Mohally finished in 3:16:35 with his good friend Alex Crowley recording 3:20:34

Dick O’Brien from Castlelyons had a time of 2:58:07 while his brother Donal recorded 3:24:16

Michael O’Connell of sponsors Adidas finished in 3:18:38 with his 11-year-old son Brendan recording a remarkable 3:42:48

Eamonn McEvoy, now one of the leading masters’ in the country with St Finbarr’s, finished in 3:25:15

Other Guest Articles by John Walshe

Pioneering Women of Cross-Country - Guest Article by John Walshe


Grange International Cross-Country of 1980 Recalled 40 Years On - Guest Article by John Walshe


Youghal AC's London Emer Casey 10k Exploits


30 Years Ago - Liam O'Brien Wins Cork County Senior Cross-Country Championship


50 Years Ago - When John Buckley Beat The Olympic Champion


40 Years Ago - Jerry Murphy Wins Munster Marathon Championship


Aoife Cooke Runs 55:17 in Mallow 10 2019


Munster Cross-Country of 1989


Steeplechase Legends Meet at Antrim International


Aidan Hogan - Ultra-Athlete




Cork to Cobh 40 Years Ago


Unique National Double for McGraths


Dick Hooper Speaks at St Finbarrs AC Function



East Cork's Rising Stars - Irish Runner Feature July-August 1988


Club Profile by Dick Hooper

Irish Runner Magazine - July-August 1988, Vol 8, No 5, P36-38

Download Article (PDF File)


irish runner vol 8 no5 p36 38 july august 1988 east cork ac a

Standing left to right: J. Walsh, D. O'Mathuna G. Wallace, L. McCarthy, L O'Brien, B. Meade, Fr. L. O'Brien
Front Row Left to Right: P. Mullholland, Jim Curtin, T. Cashman, E. Meade, J. Walsh, B. Moran


In the beginning there was a man and a boy, and they were both named Liam. And God called the man Liam, and asked him to follow Him, and to be His minister for athletics in Ireland. And He gave him special responsibility for Cork.
And so the man Liam answered God’s call, and became Rev. Fr. Liam, and arrived as an enthusiastic missionary in a town called Midleton, in the eastern part of the county called Cork.

And when the young priest looked out on the congregation of youth before him, he set eyes on the boy Liam, with the severe haircut. And the man Liam blessed the boy Liam, and having looked after his spiritual needs encouraged him to run. And the two Liams became friends.

irish runner vol 8 no5 p36 38 july august 1988 two liams a

And it came to pass, in the early 1970s, that Fr. Liam (Kelleher) had built up the best juvenile athletic club in Ireland, with huge numbers competing, and winning ,under the name of Midleton A.C. And many times, Fr. Liam spoke to the boy Liam (O’Brien) of his dream and it was this ... ‘that all the clubs in Eastern Cork unite to form one strong club that could compete on an even footing with the larger clubs in Ireland.’

And the boy Liam listened and always remembered it. But he too had his dreams .. he wanted to become a great runner, and compete in the Olympic Games. And so it came to pass that his dream became reality, and he became one of Cork’s finest ever running sons, broke the Irish Steeplechase record, ran several times for his country, and competed in the Olympic Games and World Championships. But he never forgot Fr. Liam’s dream, and the passage of time gave the idea further urgency and meaning.

And, as is the way of his religion, Fr. Liam was called again by God, and asked to say goodbye to his friends in Midleton, and the base he had built there, and go to pastures new. And, as was his style, Fr. Liam put little-known places on the map by means of the twin tools of sport and persuasion. And when superstars like John Walker and Steve Ovett looked at their itinerary, they found that their next date after Oslo and Stockholm was a mile race in Tullylease. (And the people of Dromina found themselves witness to Jerry Kieman dashing 10 miles around their locality in 46 minutes odd, not once, but twice. But we digress from the East Cork story).


The emergence of East Cork Athletic Club in national athletics has been a story of inexorable progress. The basic concept of the club was for the nine senior clubs in the area to amalgamate at senior level under the one banner. The juvenile sections of the existing clubs would then act as feeders for East Cork A.C., continuing in existence. The club, by the very nature of the county, (Cork is the largest county in Ireland) draws its members from a huge radius. From Youghal, in the East perimeter, to Carrignavar, is a distance of roughly 45 miles, with a north to south range stretching from Watergrasshill to Cobh.

Liam O’Brien was not alone in holding the view which Fr. Kelleher so vehemently expounded all those years ago, that none of the clubs in East Cork would ever be strong enough, individually, to challenge for the bigger spoils. The evidence was utterly convincing. From the foundation of BLE, in 1967, until 1985, only two clubs - Leevale and St. Finbarr’s, had ever won the Cork Senior Cross Country Championship. The view from the city was that the county clubs were a soft touch.

Tony O’Leary, the enduring image of Leevale A.C., welcomes the emergence of East Cork, and the gauntlet they have thrown down. He argues that the shock defeats by East Cork in 1985 and 1986 catapulted Leevale to muster their resources, and regain ‘their’ property again in 1987. Competition is the great elixir.

O’Leary, monitoring the pulse of the county, points to East Cork as being the only growth area in Cork athletics. Certainly the decline in the once great Leevale’s fortunes is quite alarming.

The members of East Cork are sensitive to accusations that they are a club of convenience - a club devoid of identity. Where is the clubhouse? Where is the focal point? As with any club that draws from a large hinterland, identity is a problem. Midleton CBS is technically the club’s headquarters.

It is here that the athletes meet and train and the officials hold their meetings.


Barry Moran, a club official and athlete, is adamant that ‘the club do not want to be seen as an elitist club.’ He points to the range of standards in the club. Certainly the story of his first marathon - (Cork, 1981) - will strike a familiar chord with many.

Barry approached what he thought was the finish line - it was actually the 26 mile mark, and he was so disgusted to find that he was not quite finished, that he just sat down on the road for half an hour, before trudging the final 385 yards.

Without doubt, the spirit of those involved in the club is infectious, and it is on this that the club is building its future. Ironically, yet another Liam O’Brien is the club chairman - Father Liam O’Brien. If Liam O’Brien the athlete is the Pied Piper among the athletes, it is Fr. Liam O’Brien who is the driving force administratively in the club.

The club has a social outing of some sort every month, and this is viewed as vital for club spirit. Amazingly, among the 60 or so members of the club, there is only one member who takes a drink. But sure everybody knows that chairmen have to be able to hold their own in any company .. . It’s part of the job. There is also a regular club newsletter, with news items ranging from race results and fixtures, to Barry Moran’s heroic efforts to recruit athletes for the club, prior to his clobbering the wall in the Dublin City Marathon.

In deference to the wishes of the originators of the East Cork concept, the senior clubs from which they wish to draw members, Midleton, Carrignavar, St. Conans and the rest all continue to exist. A lot of athletes have opted to stay with their home parish club, rather than join East Cork, Sonia O’Sullivan’s decision to stay with Ballymore-Cobh being the most obvious. It is a soul-searching decision.



From another perspective, the fact of many athletes leaving the local Eastern clubs, and joining East Cork has further weakened them, and rendered team competition against the might of East Cork, in that area, virtually meaningless. (Hopefully any ill feeling that may exist will subside, and individuals will at least feel free to join whichever club they like).

This year, in Loughrea, an East Cork team comprising of Brian Meade, Donncha O’Mahony, Jerry Wallace, Liam O’Brien, Laurence McCarthy and Tom Walsh won the National Road Relay, an unprecedented and magnificent achievement. It marked the culmination of the clubs rise. This is good for the sport. It re-invigorates it and breaks the Donore - Clonliffe monopoly.

Liam O’Brien, the athlete, holds the view that in many areas of the country clubs should be regionalised, to promote competition, and help improve standards. He has a point and it is worthy of the most meaningful debate.

And, seemingly to improve the already good wine, the Lord has intervened again, and directed Fr. Liam Kelleher back to East Cork, to the parish of Inch. What effect is this going to have? A very significant one, if the past is any indication. After all, one dream has already matured. As we drove back from Cork, on a beautiful Sunday evening, we wondered if Said Aouita and Steve Cram were yet aware that they would be clashing in the mile in the Inch Sports, at the opening of the local Tartan track next year...


irish runner vol 8 no5 p36 38 july august 1988 liam obrien a


Date of Birth: 11th October, 1954. Height: 1.78m - Weight: 147 lbs. Club: East Cork A.C.
Job: Secondary School Teacher. Self Coached.
1974:    1975:
1976:    1977:
1978: 1st    1979:    1st
1980: 1st    1981:    1st
1982: 3rd. 1st B. Quinn. 2nd G. Bany. 1983: 1st    1984:    1st
1985: 2nd 1st B. Quinn    1986:    1st
1987: 1st
Record in BLE National 3,000m
400m Hurdles: 57.3.
•    Irish international at track, road and cross country.
•    Winner of a record 8 Irish Steeplechase titles.
•    Competed in 1984 Olympic Games and was a semi-finalist there.
•    Competed in 1987 World Championships.
•    Won first ever BLOE U.16 steeplechase title.
•    Since formation of BLE/BLOE in 1967 has won a National medal of some sort (team or individual) every year including 1988.
•    Has won Cork titles at every distance from 400m to 5,000m including 400m hurdles and steeplechase.
400m: 50.5 800m: 1.50.5 1,500m: 3.44.6 3,000m: 7.58 5,000m: 13.36.
Mile: 4.00.8.
3,000m steeplechase: 8.27.24.
10k: 29.20 10 miles: 47.57 Half Marathon: 67.22. 15 miles: 77.38.
Typical Week’s Training in Winter (January - April)
Monday: a.m. 4 miles p.m. 2 hour run (16 - 18 miles)
Tuesday a.m. 4 miles p.m. 43 minute hill session
Wednesday a.m. 4 miles p.m. 1 3 miles Thursday a.m. 4 miles p.m. 5 x 1,000m with 2 minutes recovery Friday a.m. 4 miles p.m. 13 miles Saturday a.m. 42 minutes Hill session p.m. 4 miles
Sunday: Race or orienteering.
•    For summer training replaces Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday session with track workouts.
•    Takes two weeks off completely in September and ‘ticks over’ until end of December.
•    Dislikes framing and does not keep a diary.
•    Hates front running, preferring to use his finishing kick. Ambition in every race is ‘to win by the least possible margin’... ‘Would prefer to win a mile in 4.10 than finish 4lh in 3.55.’
•    Does not do any specific steeplechase training.’


JOHN WALSHE — Race Organiser and Part-Time Farmer

It is difficult to evaluate what motivates a race organiser. What class of vocation is this that persuades a man to tolerate the work-load and sheer hassle of putting on a foot race on tarmacadam.

Ballycotton's John Walshe is no ordinary race promot
er. He is arguably the best in the country. At home, John Waishe is a farmer.
He was bom into the land, and he loves its moods and murmurings. He is, one suspects, an eccentric farmer - his eccentricity being that he also finds time to be a dedicated long distance runner. He is a good one too. He has run 19 marathons, and is the owner of a 2:36:31 PB. He has also, one further suspects, an insatiable appetite for reading. At least two rooms in his house resemble an athletics library. Yet it is the front room that most attracts the eye. What are a photocopier, a results printe, stacks of entry forms, mementoes and prizes doing in the front of an East Cork farmer's house. This, (oh! ye of little understanding), is the 'office’ of Ballycotton Running Promotions. The ordered nature of the room parallels the superb organisation at Ballycotton races. Walshe can put his hand readily on any piece of equipment or reference sought. Any praise and he is quick to lavish praise on his ’staff' ....the races
themselves do the best talking. The Ballycotton ‘10’ held every year in early March is the biggest and best ‘Ten’ in the country. It preceded the running boom by a couple of years and will long outlive it. This race is John Walshe’s baby. He has guided expertly its growth and development. Less known nationally, but equally popular with southern runners is the Ballycotton ‘5’ mile - a package of 4 races held on the fourth Thursday of each month from May to August, in Ballyandreen, Shanagarry, Churchtown South and Ballycotton. Since the inception of the series, there have been 38 races. Some chap called Liam O’Brien has won 28 of these from 32 starts and hasn't been beaten since August 1981. Who provided us with the statistics? — some chap called John Waishe — seems to know a thing or two about road races. A lot of John Walshe’s success as a race promoter has been his ability (and confidence) to delegate responsibility. Gather the right cabinet around him. How many race promoters compete in their own events — Walshe does. Nothing sums it up better than the quotation in this year’s Ballycotton ‘10’ programme ...


A STORY OF FOUR PEOPLE ... (Not members of Ballycotton Running Promotions)

This is a story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when actually Nobody accused Anybody.


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Covid 19 - Serious Training Issues

Serious Training Issues Arising During COVID-19


this is 2 metres sign

Cork Athletics County Board wishes to express its appreciation and thanks all its clubs and individual members - the overwhelming majority - for their co-operation, patience and adherence to HSE and Athletics Ireland guidelines and advice.

We are all hoping that normal club activity and competition can resume as soon as possible. However,  the actions of a minority may delay these resumptions.

Since the start of the 'lockdown', the County Board has been aware that a small minority of members have been flouting HSE and AAI guidelines and advice, and undermining the lockdown strategy.  

In the past week or two, some (again, it must be stressed, a small minority) have been seen to completely ignore both guidelines and the health and welfare of others.

A number of incidents highlight the low standards that a minority have shown publicly

1. Cork Athletics County Board has received a complaint from a member of the public (Not an AAI member) that a group, including a very well known figure, were training in a very public place, while maintaining NIL Social Distance, i.e. physically, and intentionally, touching.

2. UCC Sports Dept. has formally notified Cork Athletics County Board that, early on Wednesday morning last, a group of some 20 juveniles and 4 or 5 coaches were training on UCC Farm, in spite of the Farm being closed and out of Bounds to ALL persons.

3. Last week, an athlete was asked to leave UCC Farm, by a member of Management of UCC Sports Dept.  The athlete then verbally abused the UCC Management representative.

4. Well known athletes have been meeting, in public, in large groups (6+) and posting this on social media

5.  An Officer of Cork County Board observed a well known club athlete (who was with another runner, and not observing social distance), on a main suburban road, stop, deeply clear their throat, and then spit a mega 'Glugger' on the footpath.

As stated earlier, Cork Athletics County Board is aware of these, and other incidents and behaviours. Currently, the Board has discussed some of the incidents occurring, but is unable to properly meet and allow these athletes to appear before the Board, and apply due process. Nevertheless, athletes behaving in a manner such as above, are advised that charges of Bringing the Sport into Disrepute may be applied by Cork Athletics County Board and/or Athletics Ireland.



All Athletics Ireland members, particularly well known and public figures MUST be aware that, as individual representatives and ambassadors for the sport of Athletics, must behave in a manner that reflects well on the sport of athletics, especially in a public place.

Wrt UCC Farm. The Farm is 'Out of Bounds' and anyone entering the facility is Trespassing. It is disappointing to hear of a club bringing Juveniles there during the week.  Athletics Ireland insurance will NOT cover cases arising during trespass, nor will any other insurance the club may have. In such cases it is most likely that the individual coaches will personally carry all liability.

Please note also that routine weed-killing is currently being done on the Farm, so the facility is Doubly Out of Bounds.

Abuse of UCC staff, whether Grounds people or Management is simply UNACCEPTABLE under ANY circumstances.

Spitting may have been common among some runners before - it is NOT acceptable now.  Please stop!


Please, please abide by the spirit of the HSE guidelines.


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Covid 19 and Long Runs or Long Periods in Public

Update - Athletics Ireland Events and Covid 19 Coronavirus - March 24th

Update - Athletics Ireland Events and Covid 19 Coronavirus - March 12th

Athletics Ireland Events and Covid 19 Coronavirus - March 7th


St Finbarrs Proud History - Irish Runner Feature April 1984

St. Finbarr's Proud History

by Michael Joyce

Irish Runner - April 1984, Vol 4, No 3, P16


irish runner vol 4 no 3 p16 april 1984 st finbarrs ac 1

St Finbarr's AC - Cork County Senior Cross-Country Champions 1983


Back L to R : Pat Ryan (Coach), Derek Cooney, Ritchie Crowley, Ricki Burke, Billy Horgan, Joe Hartnett, Reg Hayes (Team Manager)
Front L to R : John Buckley, Eric Crockett, Denis Manning, Eamonn McEvoy, Pat Kelly (Club Chairman), Pat Duggan

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St Finbarrs AC Website


St Finbarrs AC Facebook Page


St Finbarrs AC Twitter Feed

Eamonn McEvoy (May 2020): "As far as I can recall, this was the last time St Finbarrs won the Men's team in the Cork County Senior Cross-Country Championship. It was in Castlelyons, 1983, I think. It was six to score in those days. Denis Manning was third overall, and the other five scoring members were Ritchie Crowley Ricki Burke, Joe Hartnett, Billy Horgan and John Buckley. All were full Irish Internationals, except, ironically, Denis, but he had run in the World Military Cross-Country, as a member of the Irish team, as he was in the old FCA!

Pat Kelly was chairman of St Finbarrs, at the time, and was succeeded by Eamonn McEvoy in 1984! Pat Duggan was a well known Leevale runner who had just transferred to Finbarrs. Pat Kelly was the brains behind the great turnout on the day, Pat Ryan was coach, and Reg Hayes was Team Manager on the day


Irish Runner Feature

St. Finbarr’s was founded in 1951, and had a number of temporary clubhouses in Cork City, until it built its own on the shores of the Lough, a ten acre natural lake on the Southside of the city.

In its 33 years existence, the Club has produced countless Irish champions, including Martin Lynch, Len Braham, Elaine Kelly, Mary Doyle, Joan Fleming, John Buckley, Richie Crowley, and the Crotty brothers, Jim, Tom and Eoin.

St. Finbarr’s, and their Cork City rivals, Leevale, have totally dominated athletics in Cork over the past decade. In fact, for the thirteen years up to 1983, Leevale’s men won the County Senior title, but December 4th, 1983 will be a cherished date in the minds of the ‘Barrs, because, on that date, after a struggle, they took the coveted title for the first time since 1970. They had two survivors from the 1970 team on duty that day; John Buckley and Richie Crowley.

This year’s Senior team has been spearheaded by the ever-so-consistent Denis Manning, and backed up by international steeple chaser Joe Hartnett, sub four minute miler Billy Horgan, club captain Ricki Burke, along with John Buckley, and Richie Crowley. The Senior ladies team have also had a good cross-country season, ably led by international Catherine Hourihane, who had a marvellous season. Former international, Marian Lyons, now the mother of two children, has made a great comeback, and ladies captain Joan Hough, along with mother of three, Rose Crockett, have helped make the team one of the leading sides in the country again. With the assistance of yet another mother, Mary Ryan, the ladies team won the Grade ‘B’ section of the all-Ireland inter-club cross-country championships, and were 5th overall.

Not to be outdone, the club’s novice and intermediate mens’ team have had a fabulous season. They took the team gold medals in the County Novice, and Intermediate, and Munster Novice, and Intermediate. Ricki Burke took individual gold medals in the County Intermediate, and Munster Novice Championships.

In the junior ranks, St. Finbarr’s have an abundance of talent continually surfacing. Pat Beausang was 2nd in the County Junior, and third in the County Novice cross-country championships. Young Steven Gibbons won the National Community Games 1500 metres last year, while other youngsters in the club showing signs of greatness include Ciaran Comiskey (brother of U.S. based Terry), Michele Walsh, and her brother Barry, and Dave Murphy.

The Club looks forward to the coming track season, when they hope to have last year’s National High Jump Champion, Bill Thierfelder back in action, and sprinter Terry Warrell from Trinidad. There is a lot more talent just beneath the surface too, and the club is confident of a good run in the Omega League.

The Club President is Reg Hayes, who is also Chairman of Cork County Board. Reg is the driving force behind the Cork City Marathon, and one of the most dedicated athletic officials in the country.

Club Chairman is Eamon McEvoy, a handy athlete, and a very popular figure in the club. In fact, any club athlete will tell you that the best thing about the club in recent years has been the friendly atmosphere which has prevailed, and the great willingness of the better athletes to help out and train with the novices. The club’s jogging section, under the care of Barty O’Sullivan, has thrived in the past year, and Barty makes everyone welcome to jog along on Wednesday nights.

Club training is at 6 o’clock on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 11 o’clock on Sundays. For the Summer months, the club w ill have the use of the Mardyke on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 7:30.

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Cork Sports Partnership Launches 6 Week Online Couch to 3k Program

Cork Sports Partnership's Free 6 Week Online Couch to 3k Program - Starting Monday June 8th


cork sports partnership couch to 3km 2020



Full Details of Cork Sports Partnerships Couch to 3k Program


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Probably not of interest to most readers of this website, but lot of your friends, acquaintances and neighbours may have started running or walking during the current Pandemic - Why not offer them some encouragement!
Please pass this on to anyone you know who is thinking of starting, or maybe has already started to run/jog.

Cork Sports Partnership Couch to 3K programme is a 6 week programme aimed at encouraging and motivating people to take them from the ‘Couch’ to a 3k in 6 weeks.


This program is for people that are new to running, or are beginners to jogging or running. It's also open to anyone currently walking, but who would like to build up to jogging/running.

If you are looking to get fit and healthy in a fun and supported way then this is for you!


Start Date: Monday, 8th June 2020


Organised by Cork Sports Partnership, participants will work with a qualified and professional coach for the 6 weeks, while also being encouraged to do extra work themselves throughout. Participants will also receive workshops/extra sessions, where possible, during the weeks, on various topics. e.g. gear, warm-up/cool-down, etc, that will encourage and motivate them on their journey towards completing, perhaps, their first 5K. Participants will be encouraged to join the private Facebook group. This group will have regular posts on stretching, strength exercises & general running tips.


What's included:

  •     Training programme
  •     Zoom sessions with a qualified coach
  •     Couch to 3km Private Facebook Group for advice and tips

Places: There are Limited places available on this programme


Contact Details

    Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Phone: 0214347096 / 0867700588


Covid 19 - Athletics Ireland Statement - June 2nd 2020

Athletics Ireland COVID-19 Statement - Tuesday June 2nd 2020


covid 19 stay at home image

To All Athletics Ireland Stakeholders

It has come to our attention that several clubs are not adhering to the guidelines issued by Athletics Ireland for Phase I of the return to activity which is very disappointing.

We must note that all Athletics Ireland insurances are null and void if Risk Assessments and Safety officer requirements are not met and that training for those under 13 years is not covered in any form at this time.

Full compliance with the government approved Athletic Ireland guidelines is mandatory and we await Phase 2 approval and specifics through the Sport Ireland Expert Working Group this week.

We strongly remind all Clubs to be extremely vigilant in regard to contact tracing, social distancing and hygiene at this important time for our nation. Camera phones and social media are available to all and it is a very poor reflection on any club and our sport not promoting social distancing and best practice.

- Athletics Ireland


Cork Athletics County Board Comment

Following Cork Athletics County Board's own release last week: Covid 19 - Serious Training Issues it is with great disappointment that the Board has received further complaints from members of the public about breaches of HSE and AAI COVID-19 Guidelines.  These are blantant breaches, where the individuals' clubs can be easily identifiable, due to the wearing of club apparel and/or posting details of these breaches on club and/or individual social media, and/or public forums.  

To repeat last week's notice: Athletes and/or clubs are advised that charges of Bringing the Sport into Disrepute may be applied by Cork Athletics County Board and/or Athletics Ireland.

A minority are risking the health and wellbeing of us all. They also risk damaging our good name and reputation and that of sponsors and associates.  As a member of management of an associate body said, in relation to these blatant breaches "We have two Pandemics....COVID-19....and Stupidity!"


Please, please abide by the spirit of the HSE guidelines.


Related Articles

Covid 19 - Serious Training Issues


Re-Starting Clubs - Covid-19 Update May 9th 2020


Covid 19 and Long Runs or Long Periods in Public


Update - Athletics Ireland Events and Covid 19 Coronavirus - March 24th


Update - Athletics Ireland Events and Covid 19 Coronavirus - March 12th


Athletics Ireland Events and Covid 19 Coronavirus - March 7th


Cork Athletics County Board Contact Questionnaire June 2020

Club Contact Questionnaire June 2020

Cork Athletics County Board is seeking to update it's club contacts list. The current contact list is several years old, and urgently needs to be brought up to date.


contacts questionnaire image


Club Contacts Questionnaire

Can all clubs please complete as soon as possible

Will the personal information supplied in the Questionnaire be made public?

NO! No personal information supplied in the Questionnaire will be made public.

What contacts are Needed and why?
Contact details are needed for the following contacts from each club: Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Pro, Social Media Manager(s) and the Club's County Board Delegate(s). They are required so that Cork Athletics County Board may communicate directly and more effectively with each club and, in particular, the appropriate personnel within eacch individual club.

Will the information supplied be used to update the County Board's Club listings, on it's website.
Non-personal information, e.g. Website URL, along with Social Media links, will be posted/updated. Personal information will NOT. However individuals maybe contacted DIRECTLY and their specific consent sought to post such information on the County Board's Club listings.

I don't have all the infotrmation asked for, do I need to get this before filling in the Questionnaire?
No you don't. Incomplete forms can be submitted, with several people filling in for their own area of responsibility within the club. Just complete the sections you know, or are responsible for, and submit.

Cork City Marathon Announce Virtual Series as 2020 Race is Cancelled

Cork City Marathon 2020 Cancelled - Virtual Race Series Announced

Friday May 29th 2020


cork city marathon 2020 ccn 2911(Pre-COVID-19) Photo by photographer Cathal Noonan

In a message to Cork Athletics PRO, Rebecca McEvoy, Cork City Marathon Organisers said:"As the list of cancelled events continues to grow due to covid-19 situation, The Cork City Marathon 2020 has brought a whole new meaning to their theme ‘more than a marathon’ where registered attendees are now being encouraged to run together, by running apart with their virtual race series starting this Sunday May 31 (the original date of the 2020 marathon) until September 6 (which had been the rescheduled date).

Announcing today, in the release below, that this year’s race is cancelled, registered participants can still take part in what is ‘more than a marathon’ with cumulative virtual runs kicking off this Sunday. The beauty is that they can choose when and where they do it during the dates.

The release below explains in more detail, but I’m sure everyone will find it’s a fantastic way to keep the community engaged and healthy, both physically and mentally, during this time."


Press Release

Cork City Marathon Organisers Launch Virtual Race Series as 2020 Race is Cancelled

All is not lost for those who had registered to take part in the Cork City Marathon 2020.  Now in its 14th consecutive year, the marathon is moving online for 2020 in an unprecedented approach for Cork City Council and the race organisers, as a direct response to the current climate. They made the difficult decision today, to cancel this year’s race which had been rescheduled to take place on September 6th.

Never has the marathon theme for the last number of years, ‘more than a marathon’, been more apt in that Cork City Council are calling on those who had registered to run for their chosen charities, to use the marathon’s virtual races as an opportunity to run together, by running apart, in whatever manner participants can with the current guidelines in place. All the while, supporters can continue to cheer on their friends and family across the Cork City Marathon social media channels.

The first virtual races will kick off this weekend on May 31st, during what would have been the official date for the marathon and will be ongoing throughout the summer until September 6th.

Speaking on Cork City Council’s plans, Adrienne Rodgers, Race Director of the Cork City Marathon 2020 said; “We have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event in the interest of the health and safety of our participants, volunteers and the thousands of Cork residents who have supported this great event over the last 13 years. The current restrictions on mass gatherings and activities only take us to August 10th, but cognisant of the existing advice, we don’t believe it would be possible to run the event safely in its current format in September.”

For those already registered for the 2020 marathon, all entries will be automatically deferred to the 2021 race, which will take place on the June Bank Holiday weekend – Sunday June 6th, 2021. Refunds are also available by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

While the Cork City Marathon will not go ahead on the streets of Cork this year, those who have registered for the 2020 race, are now being encouraged to instead, participate in what will be a series fun and engaging virtual marathon challenges where the focus will be on community spirit with a touch of competition.

Registered participants of the Cork City Marathon 2020 are encouraged to walk, jog, or run one of the five distance categories available through The Cork City Marathon virtual race website which goes live this Sunday May 31st. Participants can achieve their selected distance across a number of days or weeks within the race time period (safely and always following Government advice on Social Distancing). Their final accumulative race times can be submitted via an easy-to-use e-form which is available on the Cork City Marathon website. All the while, supporters can continue to cheer on their friends and family across social media.

“We are hopeful that everyone that had registered for 2020 will stay registered and will continue to show their amazing support for this race through the virtual races. We invite spectators who are not registered, to tune in to our social channels to cheer the registered participants on.

In 2021, we will be endeavouring to ensure that the Cork City Marathon will be the best yet while continuing to incorporate the virtual events.” Ms. Rodgers added.

2019 Cork City Marathon winner, current Irish 50K champion and Irish record holder Gary O’Hanlon has given the virtual races his full support and backing and tells us; “This is a brilliant initiative that I’m delighted to be involved with, it will add a longer life strand to the marathon and gives people the opportunity to continue to reach their target of running a marathon in an unprecedented but very manageable way. It’s going to sustain and grow the marathon community’s involvement while continuing to make it increasingly accessible to all.”

“I’m really looking forward to the virtual races and seeing the diversity synonymous with this marathon and the great human-interest stories that always emerge. Cork City Marathon has a special place in my heart, it really is more than a marathon, so I hope participants come out and support these virtual races across the summer,” he added.

Find out more information about the virtual events at or follow the Cork City Marathon on Facebook and Instagram @corkcitymarathon or on Twitter @TheCorkMarathon #MoreThanAMarathon

CIT Athletic Club Top of Class at 27th Annual CIT Sports Awards

CIT Athletic Club Honoured with Club of the Year Award


cit athletics club of the year 2020 b CIT AC took top honours, as Club of the Year, at the recent CIT Sports Awards. This is the first time in a decade that the club has received the accolade, having last won it in 2010.

In addition to the Club of the Year Award, CIT Lions, as the club is also known by, claimed the Supreme Achievement Award, along with three other individual awards.


cit athletics club of the year 2020 c

This is the first time the club has captured the Club of the Year accolade, in the past decade, last winning it in 2010, and received the prestigious award following their performances, capturing four medals at the Irish Universities Athletic Association (IUAA) Indoor T&F Championships, earlier this year.

The awards were featured in today's Evening Echo, Tuesday May 26th

cit sports awards echolive tuesday may 26th 2020


Individual Award Winners (Athletics)

Clodagh Walsh Abbey Striders
Eamonn Flanagan
Katie Walsh Carraig Na BhFear AC
Willie Walsh
Zach Harrington Cork Track Club Ian O'Sullivan
David Kenny Farranfore Maine Valley AC
Robert Heffernan



Supreme Achievement Award

The Supreme Achievement Award went to Mechanical Engineering student David Kenny (Farranfore-Maine-Valley AC), who is coached by Rob Heffernan.

cit athletics david kenny 2020 aAward Citation

The award for Supreme Achievement goes to David Kenny, for his outstanding achievements in
Athletics. A Mechanical Engineering student from Killarney, David came 1st in the Irish Universities Athletics
Association 2km Racewalk - Defending his title from last year making him the first CIT student to achieve such
an accolade. David smashed the long standing National Colleges record in the process.

In the 2 weeks after this David also became national champion over 2 other distances. David became national
senior indoor track 5km champion beating multiple times Olympians in the process. If this wasn't enough a
week later David became National 20km Racewalking Champion. Once again leaving multiple Olympians in his
wake. All of the above races carry important qualification points for next year's Olympics in Tokyo. David has put
himself as the firm favourite to qualify to represent Ireland in next year's games! David would be the first
member of CIT Athletics Club to achieve this amazing.

We wish him all the best on the road to Tokyo.

Some of this years highlights for David include: National Colleges Indoor 2km Racewalk Champion, National
Indoor 5km Racewalk Champion, National Road 20km Racewalk Champion and New Personal Bests over 4
distances. An unbelievable year for this young man and very deserving of this CIT Supreme Achievement


Clodagh Walsh

cit athletics clodagh walsh 2020 a

Award Citation

In recognition of her outstanding achievements in athletics, the next recipient of a CIT Sports Award goes to Clodagh Walsh. The Mallow Pole Vaulter is currently completing her 2nd year of Marketing. Since arriving in CIT Clodagh has excelled both in and out of the track.

A Sports Scholarship recipient and previous award winner, she has been a committee member of CIT Athletics club for the last two years, while also winning 4 gold medals at the IUAA Championships.

Last June, Clodagh won the Celtic International Colleges Pole Vault title. She backed this up by winning the Cork City International Sports Pole Vault title in July.

Since arriving in CIT Clodagh has been a great ambassador for the athletics club. On multiple occasions she has coached juvenile athletes from across the county in all aspects of the sport.

Clodagh's 19/20 achievements include: Intervarsity Pole Vault Champion, Celtic International Colleges Pole Vault Champion, Cork City International Sports pole Vault Champion (New PB 3.75m & Intervarsity Outdoor Pole Valutr Champion


Katie Walsh

cit athletics katie walsh 2020 a

Award Citation

Katie is currently completing her 2nd year of Chemical Engineering. She has been a leading force in the CIT Athletics club this year, which finished 5th place overall, in the 2020 Indoor Intervarsity's. A native of Cork City, she is an accomplished combined eventer both in Ireland and Internationally.

Katies was nominated for this award by her club mates for her unwavering commitment. She never missed a competition, but most of all she welcomed and encouraged beginners and new members to try the sport.

Always the first to put her hand up. Last year Katie was one of the lead coaches on the first ever CIT Athletics Summer Camp. Showing her in depth knowledge of all disciplines to the next generation of athletes.

Katies achievements include: National Indoor Combined Events Champion. National Indoor Varsity Combined Events Champion. 2nd place in both the  National outdoor Varsity High Jump and Celtic Colleges International High Jump.


Zach Harrington

cit athletics zach harrington 2020 a

Award Citation

Zach is a 4th year Structural Engineering student from Enniskeane, Co.Cork.

Zach receives this award today for his commitment and drive for not one club but two, CIT Orienteering Club and CIT Athletics.

When Zach arrived as a Fresher to CIT. he already was well established on the Orienteering scene, receiving one of our first ever scholarships for the Sport. However, there was no club at the time. Zach took it upon himself to establish the CIT Orienteering club and over the last few years has been the absolute driving force of the Club. Numbers, training and competing have grown year on year and that is no small part due to Zach's efforts over the last number of years.

Not only has Zach, set up, established, promoted and been the key driving force of the CIT Orienteering Club, but is also the leadman for CITAC . He placed 2nd in the County Cross Country Championships. Was also CIT AC Men's captain for
the MUAA Road relays, MUAA Cross Country Relays & the IUAA Road Relays.

Zach has ran new personal bests over 800m, 3000m, 5Km & 10Km this year.

Zach has been nominated for this award for his commitment to both Athletics & Orienteering clubs as he flies the CIT flag both at home and abroad. He is an outstanding student athlete and we wish him well for the year ahead.

Leevale Seek The Limelight - Irish Runner April 1984

Leevale Seek The Limelight



Irish Runner Vol 4, No 3, April 1984, P16-18


Download in PDF Format


irish runner vol 4 no 3 p18 19 april 1984 leevale ac a

Leevale Group in Dalton's Avenue Clubhouse

Famed Shandon steeple, Cork’s friendly liar, casts its long shadow across the doorstep while merely the putt of a shot away the River Lee slows to a restful pace having all but reached its destination. Leevale Athletic Club has finally found its roots in the area that gave it its name . . .

THREE times National League Champions, Leevale AC has produced a host of record breakers and international stars, and pioneered Ireland’s entry into European interclub competition. By its own standards, the club has gone through lean times of late, but the new premises, purchased at a cost of £40,000 coincides with a new spirit within the ranks, and a determined drive to decorate the new sideboard.

The new clubhouse is next door to Cork’s new multi-storey car park, and is situated at the top of Dalton’s Avenue, adjacent to Lavitt’s Quay — an ideal location right in the heart of Cork City.

It provides the club with every facility — 4,000 square feet of gym, committee rooms, showers and a sauna. Before next September, the Club will have spent a further £12,000 in internal reconstruction, and the provision of facilities that will include special nets to enable shot putters and discus throwers to practice indoors, and also facilities that will cater for the wheelchair athletes attached to Leevale.

To help pay for this project a 10-year membership scheme is offered at a cost of £200. The club hopes at least 60 members will avail of the scheme and the response, even at this stage, has been enthusiastic.

The move from Ballinlough to the city centre has ushered in another new era for Leevale. The club was formed in 1966 ,when agreement was reached on the amalgamation of city-based Fr. Matthews AC and suburban Hilltown AC.  The amalgamation was significant in two respects. It brought together a formidable squad of senior athletes, and provided the new club with a top class team of dedicated officials.

The rise to fame was swift and spectacular. By 1969, the club had won Irish youths and junior men’s titles, and the ladies followed suit, by winning the national intermediate title in 1972. The senior men took a grip on the Cork county championship that ran right through to the season just past. They won the Quinlan Cup in Tullamore in 1970 and 1974, and were runners-up in 1968, 1969, 1972 and 1973.



By 1968, they had begun to pursue their fortunes abroad, and, that year, and in 1969, they were runners up in the Waterloo Road Races, in Liverpool. In 1970, they succeeded in winning the Liverpool Post and Echo Trophy. It looked just a matter of time before they would take the national senior inter-club cross-country title, but this honour has eluded them to this day. They finished second several times — again this year, when they were rank outsiders at Kilmacow.

irish runner vol 4 no 3 april 1984 leevale ac groupFront row L. to R.: Jerry Murphy, Dick Hodgins, A. Leahy, Donie Walsh, Tony O'Leary.

Back Row L. to R.: Michael Harte, (Vets), G.Horan (Junior), C. Forde (Schools), Dave Murray, Michael Walsh


Out of this early swell of enthusiasm, exploded a new star who was to epitomise the spirit from which the club blossomed. Donie Walsh quickly made his mark on distance running, and was soon to achieve distinction further afield as a key figure in Jumbo Elliot’s Wildcat squad, at Villanova.

His amazing record in cross-country running began when he finished sixth in the nationals in 1968. He then left for Villanova, but returned to win the national title in 1973 and 1974. He was second in 1975, won again in 1976, was third in 1977 and won in 1978. He was fourth in 1979, the year he won a silver medal with the Irish team, at the world championships in Limerick, and he finished fifth the following year.

He won national 10,000 metres titles in 1970 and 1971, was second in 1972, and won again in 1973, 1974 and 1975. He set an Irish record when he ran 28:52 at the European Championships in Helsinki, and, the previous year, he was fourth in the world university games. He won the National Marathon Championship title in Athlone, in 1972, and represented Ireland in this event, at the Olympic Games in Munich that year.

The national track and field leagues got under way in 1973 — a time when Leevale had a host of internationals to draw from — Frank and Bernard Walley, and Finbarr Jeffords in the sprints. Dick Hodgins, who won the National Marathon title in 1975, steeplechaser Pat O’Riordan, triple jump record holder Colm Cronin, long jump champion Mick O'Flynn, National 110m hurdles champion, Seamus Power, Javelin record holder Pat Moore, and shot putt champion Brendan Coughlan.

New talent emerged in the form of athletes like high jumpers Brendan Cronin and Dave Murray, who was subsequently to dominate this event, and they won the league title in 1973, 1974 and 1975. As champions, they represented Ireland in the European inter-club championships in Rieti and Wolverhampton.

Athletes achieved remarkable success in a short time and, while the club always prided itself in the honour this brought it, it worked against them in some areas for the drift to America drained them of many top performers. Apart from Donie Walsh, several others crossed the Atlantic.

Kieran O’Donovan went out, and many others followed suit. Marcus O’Sullivan and John Hunter were on the Villanova team that set the world record for 4 x 800 metres, while Ger O’Callaghan went to Nebraska. Noel Shannon went to East Tennessee, Leonard O’Regan to Louisiana, Sean O’Flynn and Niamh Walsh to the University of Richmond, and at least two more will travel out next Autumn.

Women internationals also flourished in the club. Fionnuala Morrish, Joy Murphy, Anne Jeffords, Niamh Walsh, Carol Leahy, Anne Leahy and Marie Buckley all represented Ireland at senior level, while Tina Hegarty, Patty Delaney and Carol Forde were schools internationals, and Deirdre Murphy, an outstanding all round athlete and schools international both in sprints and hurdles is a recent addition to the squad.
Other athletes like Moss Finn, Michael Kiernan and Jim Bowen, who have made their mark in international rugby, were sprint champions with Leevale, while G.A.A. stars like Danny Buckley and young Barry Coffey, also competed and continue to compete in the black and amber. International canoeist, Sheila O'Byrne is also a club member.



The Year of the Disabled saw a number of wheelchair athletes avail of the club advice or facilities, and this number continues to prosper with international stars like John Twomey, Cathy Dunne-Fitzpatrick, and Kay McShane leading the way. They train with the club, and, with the new facilities, it is hoped that the numbers will increase.
On any one night 110 athletes will assemble at the club premises, while upwards of 200 juveniles will take part in the evening training sessions during the summer months. But the club refuses to project the juveniles.

"Our aim is to develop the young athletes, not just to be good senior athletes, but in such a way that they will be able to enjoy the sport for the rest of their lives.” Finbarr O'Brien explains. "It’s not the end when an athlete retires. Leevale caters for all aspects of the sport, and for all athletes." He points out that a referral system has evolved in the coaching of athletes. When an athlete joins the club, he or she is assessed and referred to the coach most suitable to his needs. The athlete is given an opportunity to try all the events. "The problem arises when a 20 stone man decides he wants to do the marathon.” he adds.

At each session, nine of 12 coaches will be involved, at the different levels and different age groups. The running boom has brought an added but welcome strain on the club, and joggers are now an integral part of the club.

Finally, we leave the last word to founder member and current club chairman Kevin Barry.
“The great strength of Leevale is that it has a group of dedicated officials, many with family commitments, who are prepared to give of their time and energy, to insure that the present generation of Leevale Athletes will be instructed in the most up-to-date methods of training possible, in the event most suited to them. But more important still that, no matter how talented or limited a member’s ability is, their own personal goal or achievement is more important to us than anything they can achieve for our club.

Anyone wishing to join the club should come to our club house at Dalton’s Avenue, off Cornmarket Street any Tuesday or Thursday night 7:30 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

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IOC President says Olympics will be Cancelled if Not Held in 2021

IOC President, Thomas Bach, has acknowledged that Tokyo 2020 will be cancelled if the Olympic Games are not held in 2021


ioc president thomas bach getty images 1208206872a tokyo 2020 GettyImages 1210432320a

IOC President, Thomas Bach and Tokyo Olympic Stadium

Photos: Getty Images

Speaking to BBC earlier today, almost two months after Tokyo 2020 and the IOC announced the postponement of the Olympic Games until next year, IOC President, Thomas Bach, acknowledged that Tokyo 2020 would be cancelled should the Olympic Games not be held in 2021

BBC Article, with video of interview with IOC President, Thomas Bach


Mr. Bach said that different scenarios are being considered for the postponed event, due to the potential impact of COVID-19.

The Games are now due to take place from July 23rd to August 8th 2021, with the Paralympic Games following after that, from August 24th to September 5th 2021.

Last month, Japan Medical Association President, Yoshitake Yokokura, said that it would be hard to host the Games without a vaccine in place.

Bach has repeatedly sought to damp down speculation about various scenarios, telling the BBC the organisation is relying on experts, saying "For this question, we are relying on the advice of the World Health Organization."

"We have established one principle: to organise these Games in a safe environment for all the participants."

"Nobody knows what the world will look like in one year, in two months."

"So we have to rely on (experts) and then take the appropriate decision at the appropriate time based on this advice."

Bach said that he understood Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's view that next year could be the "last option" to stage the Games.

"Quite frankly, I have some understanding for this, because you cannot forever employ 3,000, or 5,000, people in an Organising Committee"

"You cannot every year change the entire sports schedule worldwide of all the major federations."

"You cannot have the athletes being in uncertainty."

"You cannot have so much overlapping with a future Olympic Games, so I have some understanding for this approach by our Japanese partners."

"We have to be prepared for different scenarios."

"There is the clear commitment to having these Games in July next year."

Bach said that scenarios concerning health measures were also being assessed, saying on NBC Sports that the IOC needed to consider whether rules might be necessary to ensure access to Japan next year.


Thomas Bach - NBC Interview

This might involve quarantines for athletes, and setting attendance limits. Mr. Bach said that these scenarios were part of the "mammoth task" facing Games organisers, saying that decisions would be taken at an "appropriate time", after advice from experts.

He emphasised that the IOC didn't want to hold the Games behind closed doors.

Last week, €600 million was set aside by the IOC, to auid the organisation of the re-arranged Games, although Tokyo 2020 organisers are still assessing the postponement costs.

The IOC has also set aside an "aid package" €137 million, to help International Federations (IFs).
This fund could be used to provide loans and advance payments on revenue shares, and will be decided after an assessment of needs, and on a case-by-case basis.


CEO of the Tokyo Olympic

Speaking today, Toshiro Muto, CEO of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, spoke about the need to take “countermeasures” to combat the coronavirus at next year's postponed games. Mr. Muto acknowledged talk about holding next year's Olympics 'behind closed doors', but he didn't confirm that this will happen.

He was reacting to a BBC interview in which International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said an Olympics without fans “is not what we want.”

speaking through an interpreter in an on-line news conference“Regarding president Bach’s remarks," said Muto, , "there are other people in Japan as well that (believe the Olympics) need to take place behind closed doors. However, our point of view is that we have more than one year until the games take place. And we think it’s too early at this point in time to have that discussion.”

“Obviously, we are aware that it will be inevitable to have some sort of countermeasures for Covid-19 when we hold the Tokyo Olympic Games and Paralympic Games next year,”  “This is all we can say at this point in time. For detailed questions about specific countermeasures for us to take, it may not be the right timing to answer.”

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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