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Irish Examiner-County Supplement - Tribute to Mary Meagher

MARY MEAGHER, R.I.P. - An Appreciation

1946 - 2020

mary meagher presentation february 2019

This article, by John Walshe, appeared in the County Supplement, in the Irish Examiner, on Tuesday February 11th 2020

 mary meagher tribute examiner county supplement feb 11th 2020

John Walshe's Irish Examiner Tribute to Mary Meagher


The Cork athletics scene, as well as Munster and National level, was saddened with the recent death of one of its greatest servants, Mary Meagher, of the Blarney-Inniscarra club.

Although ill for quite a while, Mary continued with her involvement at all levels and, as recent as a few months ago, was still diligently compiling the results from the various cross-country championships. Along with her husband, John, Mary’s contribution to the sport she loved goes back almost four decades.

Having first got involved through her local club, where her children Damien and Edel trained, Mary’s first position at County Board level was as Juvenile Competition Secretary, on the former BLOE juvenile board. In 2000, when Athletics Ireland was formed, she retained her position, and also fulfilled other County Board roles, on very short notice, such as team manager and secretary, along with positions on the Munster Council.

“Mary dedicated her life to athletics,” stated the Cork County AAI Board on her passing. “That commitment was shown best at club and county level. She was also an officer at Munster level for years and an esteemed official at national level for the AAI. She has been the competition secretary for juveniles at the Cork County Board for almost 40 years and doubled up as the senior competition secretary also for many years.

“Her commitment to athletics was such that it is unknown if she ever had a weekend off. She built up a vast knowledge, especially of juvenile athletics, which she imparted generously to thousands of athletes over the last five decades. Indeed, many owe the success of their athletic career to her.”

In recognition of her many years of administrative work, the Cork County Board last year presented Mary with an Outstanding Contribution Award.

Mary was also actively involved in the organisation and running of the Echo Cork Women’s Mini-Marathon. She joined the Mini-Marathon committee a few years after the event was established and was a familiar figure at the various outlets where the pre-race entries were taken in the lead-up to the event. For her contribution to the Mini-Marathon, Mary received the Evening Echo Hall of Fame Award in 2010.

Mary was also a well-respected field events official, officiating at shot putt, hammer, discus and weights throwing competitions.  She officiated at events ranging from the local Blarney athletics leagues all the way up to national level. Also, along with her long-time friend, and fellow County Board officer Noreen Murphy, Mary could be seen, regardless of the weather, recording results at various schools’ cross-country competitions and at many road races.

A recipient of the Cork City Sports Athletics Person of the Month Award in November 2011, on her death Frank Wally, President of the City Sports, described Mary’s contribution to the sport as enormous. “This has been acknowledged by athletic aficionados throughout Ireland and by the outpouring of sympathy and support expressed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her,” he stated.  

On its website, Munster Athletics said goodbye to one of their most dedicated, loyal and beloved officials down through the years. “Mary will be greatly missed by us all, officials, coaches, parents and most of all, athletes. The impact of her loss will be huge in Munster and the athletics world beyond.”

In extending their condolences and deepest sympathy to their friend and colleague John Meagher, the officers and officials of Cork Athletics County Board said that Mary’s loss to her fellow officers of the board and the Munster Council, as well as her own club, is immeasurable.

“Many officers would have found their roles impossible to carry out without her advice, drive and generous offers of help. Cork Athletics has now a major void that will be almost impossible to fill.”

May she rest in peace.


Related Article

Death of Mary Meagher - Blarney-Inniscarra AC and both Cork and Munster Boards




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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