1,100 athletes with Brother at their side

Oct 13, 2011 [Noel Guiden ] There was a fantastic days athletics at the third annual Brother at your Side Clonliffe Schools Invitational Cross Country at Santry Demesne yesterday. It was a perfect autumnal day, the underfoot conditions in the Demesne were perfect for cross country running, plenty of give but no mud making for a good fast early season test for these young athletes.

The primary schools races were very well supported, between boys and girls there were athletes from around 20 different local schools in attendance with huge fields of over 150 athletes in each race. It was a wonderful sight to see these young athletes thundering down the start straight and into the first bend at the Phoenix monument at the rear of the Morton Stadium and then up the long back drag as the athletes got strung out. Coming into the finishing straight young Ruth Bergin of Holy Child Larkhill was a clear winner and she thoroughly enjoyed her run down the home straight to take a prestigious victory. Mary Help of Christians won the team event on a total of 39 points with very good scoring courtesy of 3rd, 4th, 10th and 22nd places.

The boys primary school race again had a huge field with the winner being another local boy Morcheen Leonard of St. Fiachras. The top team, under the stewardship of former Clonliffe Harrier Danny Collins, were St. Patricks of Drumcondra on 26 points with 2nd, 4th, 8th and 12th.

The secondary school programme commenced at 1 p.m. again with a very big field in the minor girls race of in excess of 100 athletes. The field was led home by Rachel Dunne (St. Colmcilles) from Hannah Byrne of Holy Faith, Clontarf and Hannah Ni Dhea (Colaiste Iosagain). In the team event Colaiste Iosagain were dominant with 3rd, 4th, 10th and 15th places for a total of 32 points from St. Gerards of Bray on 37 points and Loreto on the Green 3rd on 62 points.

The winner of the junior girls race was Cassie Murphy (Jesus and Mary College) with the girls from Skerries Community College packing superbly to take the team event, the girls placing 3rd, 4th 11th and 12th for a total of 30 points from St. Dominics College on 49 points.

The girls intermediate race was dominated by Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner (Colaiste Iosagain) from start to finish and ran out a very comfortable winner ahead of Ella Fennelly (Mount Anville). Siofra led the Colaiste Iosagain team to their second team victory of the day on 25 points (1st, 3rd, 10th and 11th) to take a comfortable win over Muckross Park on 80 points with Loreto on the Green 3rd on 102 points.

Colaiste Iosagain also dominated the senior girls race filling the top three positions led home by Clare Ni Chartaigh from Megan Ni Rhiain and Sorcha Nic Umfraidh. Colaiste Iosagain on 21 points took a comfortable win over Holy Faith, Clontarf on 33 points with St Dominics of Cabra on 71 points.

The best overall girls secondary school was Colaiste Iosagain.

In the secondary school boys programme the minor boys race was actually the biggest race of the day with some 180 starters running over 1000 metres. There was a fine win in this race from Niall O’Leary (Willow Park School) from Martin Byrne of St. Fintans and Oisín Martin (St. Patricks College Navan). In the team event St. Patricks College Navan dominated on 26 points from St. Aidans CBS Whitehall 37 and Willow Park on 52.

St. Patricks College Navan were also to the fore in the Junior boys race Eoin Smith leading the charge home ahead of Blackrocks Luke McCann and Cathal Doyle (Colaiste Colm). St. Patricks Navan took the win on 32 points 1st, 8th, 10th and 13th with St. Aidans 2nd and Blackrock College 3rd.

The intermediate boys race featured a three-way battle for the best part of the race and on the final circuit Killian Kirwin of St. Fintans High School broke away leaving Liam MacGiolla Phadraig (Colaiste Eoin) and Liam Ashton of St. Aidans battling out for 2nd and 3rd. On the home straight MacGiolla Phadraig got his head in front to take second place from Liam Ashton. St. Fintans took the win on 54 points with CUS taking 2nd on count-back having tied on 63 points with St. Aidans.

The final race of the day was the boys senior race. At the head of the field training partners Ian Guiden (St. Aidans) and Fintan Doherty (Castleknock College) led the field ahead of the chasing pack, on the final circuit Ian Guiden was clear with the chasing pack running down Fintan. Guiden recorded a comfortable win by maybe 100 metres with Doherty being overhauled and eventually being relegated to 4th as Mitchell Byrne (Templeogue) finished 2nd with Killian Mooney (Colaiste Eoin) in 3rd. In the team event St. Aidans on 42 points won from Belvedere 52 and St. Fintans on 55.

The best overall boys secondary school was St. Aidans CBS Whitehall.

Mr. Sean Sheehan of Brother was in attendance to make the presentations assisted by Mr. Paddy Marley, President of Clonliffe Harriers. In addition to marble plaques for the three individual winners there were sets of medals presented to the first three teams and Mr. Sheehan also made a presentation of a valuable piece of office equipment from the Brother range to the best girls primary school, best boys primary school, best boys secondary and best girls secondary.

The best overall school award went to Colaiste Iosagain, courtesy of three first placed teams and on the individual side two firsts, one second and three thirds. The school will be presented with the Lar Byrne Memorial Shield. This shield was renamed this year after Clonliffes Lar Byrne who originally instigated this event back in 1978 when the event was won by St. Malachys of Belfast, the event continued until 1994 and was revived in 2009 with the help and assistance of Brother.

Clonliffe would like to thank all who assisted in the running of the event. It proved to be an excellent days athletics, they in particular would like to thank their sponsor Brother, Fingal County Council for their assistance and co-operation with the use of Santry Demesne, the Morton Stadium staff for their assistance and of course the schools and pupils who performed so well on the day in making the event what it is.


Primary Schools


1st Ruth Bergin (Holy Child Whitehall)

2nd Zara Ryan (St. Vincent de Paul)

3rd Alison Burke (Mary Help of Christians)


1st Mary Help of Christians (39 points)

2nd St. Vincent de Paul (48 points)

3rd St. Fiachras (59 points)

4th Rolestown (76 points)

5th Scoil San Carlo (84 points)

6th Scoil Aine (133 points)

7th Sutton Park School (155 points)

8th Holy Child Larkhill (163 points)

9th St. Francis Xavier (166 points)

10th St. Gerards Junior School (184 points)

11th St. Brigids Convent (224 points)

12th Glasnevin Educate Together (333 points)


1st Morcheen Leonard (St. Fiachras)

2nd Jack McCarthy (St. Patricks Drumcondra)

3rd Timothe Lawless (Glasnevin Educate Together)


1st St. Patricks Drumcondra (26 points)

2nd Holy Child Larkhill (48 points)

3rd St. Fiachras (49 points)

4th St. John Bosco (74 points)

5th St. Gerards Junior School (75 points)

6th St. Francis Xavier (76 points)

7th Willow Park (147 points)

8th Rolestown (222 points)

9th Scoil San Carlo (311 points)

10th Glasnevin Educate Together (323 points)

11th Sutton Park (366 points)




1 Rachel Dunne (St Colmcille’s)

2 Hannah Byrne (HF Clontarf)

3 Hannah Ni Dhea (Col Iosagain)


1 Col Iosagain 32

2 St Gerard’s 37

3 Loreto Green 62


1 Cassie Murphy (Jesus and Mary)

2 Vanessa O’Connor (Mt Sackville)

3 Rhona Pierce (Skerries CC)


1 Skerries CC 30

2 St Dominic’s Cabra 49

3 Loreto Dalkey 64


1 Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (Colaiste Iosagain)

2 Ella Fennelly (Mt Anville) 3 Sarah Ni Mhaolmhuire (Col Iosagain)


1 Col Iosagain 25

2 Muckross 80

3 Loreto Green 102


1 Clar Ni Chartaigh

2 Meghan Ni Rhiain

3 Sorcha Nic Umfraidh (all Col Iosagian)


1 Col Iosagain 21

2 HF Clontarf 33

3 St Dominic’s Cabra 71

Overall – Colaiste Iosagain Stillorgan



1 Niall O’Leary (Willow Pk)

2 Martin Byrne (St Fintan’s)

3 Oisin Martin (St Pat’s Navan)


1 St Patrick’s Navan 26

2 St Aidan’s 37

3 Willow Park 52


1 Eoin Smyth (St Pat’s Navan)

2 Luke McCann (Blackrock)

3 Cathal Doyle (Col Colm)


1 St Patrick’s Navan 32

2 St Aidan’s 36

3 Blackrock 66


1 Killian Kirwan (St Fintan’s)

2 Liam Mac Giolla Phadraig (Col Eoin)

3 Liam Ashton (St Aidan’s)


1 St Fintan’s 54

2 CUS 63

3 St Aidan’s 63


1 Ian Guiden (St Aidan’s)

2 Mitchell Byrne (Templeogue)

3 Cillian O Maonaigh (Col Eoin)


1 St Aidan’s 42

2 Belvedere 52

3 St Fintan’s 55

Overall – St Aidan’s CBS Whitehall