Archive for November, 2016

Clonliffe Harriers AC the 2016 Performance club of the year

At today`s Irish Life Health Athletics Ireland Awards lunch in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Northwood, Santry Clonliffe Harriers AC was recognised for the performances of the clubs athletes in 2016 by being named as the prestigious Athletics Performance club of the year for the second year in succession.

The senior men had enjoyed a stellar season from late 2015 to 2016 with the senior men winning the national senior cross country in Santry in November 2015, in February winning the national indoor league and then repeating the winning of the national outdoor league in August. Equally on the road the men’s team showed similar domination with the men winning the national marathon championship and also winning the national half marathon championship. The Junior men were national cross country champions in the year, and the womens team were 2nd in the indoor league.

Individually Sergiu Ciobanu was the national marathon champion, Brian Gregan the national 400 metre champion and Rory Gunning the national javelin champion and Brian MacMahon the national half marathon champion.

At the awards lunch the club was represented by club president Paddy Marley, club secretary Noel Guiden, club captain Joe Cooper, juvenile captain Gladys Cooper, committee members Caroline Tuite, Noreen Keane, Paddy Tuite, Maurice Ahern and John O’Leary. Also in attendance was Helen Flynn of Hireco, our most generous club sponsor and representing the club coaches were Bart Rogers, John Shields and Mick Fogarty with the clubs athletes being represented by Brian Gregan, Rory Gunning, Ian Guiden, Cathal Doyle and the juniors being represented by Greg Hossenny.

chac-club-of-the-year club-of-the-year-16 club-of-the-year-2016 joe

Meet & Train group in Dunboyne

Pamela Cooper reports: Round one of the Meet & Train series was held yesterday, Sunday the 27th,  in Dunboyne Clonliffe ladies had 2 very strong teams competing on what is an extremely tough 2 mile xc course.
Home 1st for Clonliffe was Ciara Peelo in 3rd followed by Aideen Brady 11th Brid Beausang 12th Aisling Andrews 13th & Laura Kearnan 15th. On the Clonliffe B Team home 1st was Claire Roche 19th Ailish Patton 22nd Orla Deeghan 50th Yvonne McDonogh 53rd & Mel Curran 60th.

Juniors retain National title as Senior title goes to Raheny

A day of mixed emotions for the black and amber at Abbotstown today for the Irish Life Health National Cross Country. First the joy as the Junior men retained the title won in Santry twelve months ago. With a stirring run from Sean O`Leary leading the charge a surprise National title was taken beck to HQ.

Throughout the course of the race this seemed to say the least unlikely as several of the Clonliffe men endured a pretty torrid afternoon. Cathal Doyle after a good start really suffered over the final laps and finished up very disappointed in 12th place. With Cathal in trouble Sean O`Leary rose to the challenge working his way through the pack to record an excellent 6th place, and 3rd U/18. Likewise Adam O`Brien struggled a bit placing 27th but a strong run from Joey Hession in 57th put the Clonliffe lads a mere point up on DSD to retain the title and fittingly the Larro Byrne Cup. Great run also by Craig Giles (63rd), Daniel Lacey (69th), Greg Hossenny 77th, Thomas Ward 104th, Jack Maughan 111th, Alex Gibbons 162nd and Matthew Jenkinson 163rd. In the U/18 category the Clonliffe team of Sean O`Leary, 3rd, Joey Hession 31st, Craig Giles 35th and Daniel Lacey 40th took team bronze with Sean and Craig also picking up Dublin inter county silvers. Also in the U/18s 96th Alex Hogan, 109th Fintan McManus.

In the junior women`s/U/18 4000m race Alannah Cooley had a fine run indeed to finish in an excellent 11th junior, while Hannah Browne will have gained great experience placing 63rd U/18.

On then to the senior men where the Clonliffe men were defending champions and a bad day at the office for the team. The early optimism was soon put to bed as the Raheny team packed at the front, the lead Clonliffe man Sergiu Ciobanu back just out of the top 10, with David Flynn next in about 20th. Soon things got even worse as Sergiu pulled out to be followed a short time later by James Kevan. With some of the other lads having a day to forget the team ended up back in 7th. For the record the placings: 25th Dave Flynn, 37th Killian Lonergan, 54th Ian Guiden, 55th Eoin Taggart, 58th Jayme Rossister, 67th David Mansfield, 71st Liam Roarty, 74th Conor McGuinness, 81st Mark Doyle, 92th Tom Sherlock, 94th Conor Keane, 108th Eoin McCullough, 116th Sean Doran, 139th Niall Sherlock.

In all fairness the winning Raheny team, taking their 1st National, were in supreme form and fully deserving of their victory. Likewise an excellent individual win by Mark Christie of Mullingar.

The sole Clonliffe lady in the senior race was Sarah McCormack who fought bravely and ended up in 12th place.

In the juvenile programme pride of place once again goes to the Clonliffe U/16 boys who really battled all the way in a paced quality field the lads with Cian Bolger 24th, Ben Guiden 31st, Daniel Stone 49th and U/15 Daragh Carter 58th took silver on countback. Great runs also by Ian McAlweney 68th and in his first national Thomas Baltazar 88th. Cian, Ben and Daniel also took inter county gold for Dublin.

The U/16 girls found the step up from Dublin challenging, but all put in great efforts. First home was Ella Brown 79th, then 81st Abby Sheehy, 89th Tess Loftus, 102nd Aimee Warren and 106th Vicky McDonnell. The team finishing up 12th.

Likewise it was a big step up for the U/14 girls, but again all put in solid performances: 40th Ava Mulvahill, 54th Aoife Hession, 124th Ella Cooley, 129th Holly Roche, 142nd Katie Halpin, 161st Alana Fitzsimons placing 11th team. The girls, as indeed will all the juveniles, will benefit greatly from today and will continue to learn and progress.

Finally well done to all our athletes who as usually gave it their best. After all what more can anyone give? Nil desperandum.

For photos click:

Grand Prix Series: Irwin Cup report

Liam Hennessy reports: Today saw the final race in the 2016 Clonliffe Grand Prix Series – The Irwin Cup – 6k Cross Country Race – Kindly sponsored by George Maybury.

35 Starters – 31 Finishers – 9 Degrees – Dry – Wonderful day for Running – Some Runners preferred regular trainers to spikes, such was the firmness of the ground.

Full Results;
1. Joseph Keane – 22.50
2. Shane Casey – 22.56
3. Clive Ahern – 22.57
4. Dave Dunwoody – 23.06
5. Fergal O’ Shea – 23.15
6. Stephen Tracey – 23.33
7. Michael English – 24.03
8. Lorna Begley – 24.13
9. Colm Mc Donnell – 24.29
10. Niall Markey – 24.33
11. Mick Fennell – 24.48
12. Mick Gleeson – 24.53
13. Liam Hennessy – 24.59
14. Richie Barr – 25.09
15. Alex Eustace – 25.31
16. Amy Ahern – 25.50
17. Declan Grant – 25.50.1
18. Shane Rooney – 25.53
19. Ollie Power – 25.56
20.  Declan Murray – 27.10
21. Deirdre Fitzsimons – 27.20
22. Pat Devitt – 28.17
23. Martin Cavanagh – 29.02
24. Terry Mee – 29.02
25. Anna Kavanagh – 29.07
26. Mary Purdue – Smyth – 29.37
27. Karen Mc Afee – 29.40
28. Ann Lyons – 30.33
29. Jason Blake – 31.09
30. Jim Bennett – 32.12
31. Dave Brady – 32.44

Many thanks to Men’s Captain; Joe Cooper and Women’s Captain; Pamela Cooper for their presence.

A special thanks to all who came to support the race and to all race officials, who helped out today, including our Chief Timekeeper – Mick Kearney.

Prizes for today’s race will be presented along with many awards for previous races in the series on Thursday, December 8th, 2016, at our awards evening at the Clubhouse Bar.

All will be revealed on Thursday, December 8th – Make sure to be there !!!

A second letter from America!

From McNeese State University Brian Flanagan sends best wishes to Joe and squads ahead of Nationals: “Just wanted to wish you and all the lads (and girls) the best of luck in Abbotstown this coming Sunday. I’m sure the intention to retain both Junior and Senior National club titles is the same.

As for how things is going over here still pretty good, weather has cooled down a good bit and coach has me doing sessions for the first time now for the last two weeks. Had my first race last Friday and Saturday. Ran the 600m at a local meet clocking 1:31 and then less then 24hrs later toed the line for the 2000m, this time not as well clocking 6:07 still feeling the effects of the race the day before, neverthless progress is progress and coach was happy with my races plus its good pratice for heats and finals that I’ll have to face this year. It was about 30-31 degrees C on both days, that`s pretty cool here! Also had by first official (suprise) NCAA drug test last week, passing of course, no supirse there!

I’m on thanksgiving break at the moment and took a plane up to my cousins place in San Fransisco last Monday before jumping on another plane with them the next day up to central Oregon, where I’m spending Thanksgiving over 1000m above sea level (the struggle is real) with his Wife’s family who I met at their wedding last year. Since were 8 hrs behind you all, I’ll be up at 5am to watch the Junior races go off on Sunday!

Until then all the best,





The Prince returns to St. Aidans

Alan O`Neill reports on Mick “The Prince” Byrne`s visit to St. Aidans: St. Aidan’s were delighted to welcome back Mick Byrne on Tuesday to the school. It has been over 40 years since Mick walked the corridor of his old school and he was delighted to see his old school still winning titles.
The St.Aidans/Clonliffe students gave Mick a tour of the school and a talk on the athletics programme. Mick returned the favour by giving the team a 1 hour talk everything from his days in Aidans and Clonliffe, to heading to America and eventually ending up as Head Coach in Wisconsin University.
Mick was delighted to receive a singlet that he wore whilst winning the Senior Schools Team title in 1974 from Senior Captain, Greg Hossenny.
Thanks for the visit Mick and for setting the bar for so many Aidan’s and Harriers men.
(Pictured) Clonliffe men: Greg Hossenny and Mick Byrne

Clonliffe ready for trenches!

The National Inter-club/Inter-county Cross Country Championships takes place at the Abbottstown Campus this Sunday. It promises to be an exciting days cross country action particular in the senior men’s event over 10,000m.  Clonliffe men have dominated this event in recent years and are defending champions, indeed in 2015 there were two national inter-clubs held, one in March and one in November, both won by the Clonliffe men. Testament to this domination is the fact that Clonliffe have won eight of the last ten Nationals.

2016, however, brings a much tougher test, the switch in date of the inter-counties from the spring to winter, with European places at stake, has increased the strength in depth of the interclub race greatly and has seen a resurgence in club teams being entered for the Nationals. Therefore, this year looks like being the greatest interclub battle in recent years with particularly strong teams entered from our Northside rivals Raheny Shamrocks, DSD, Leevale A.C. and possible dark horses Ennis TC.

Club Captain Joe Cooper despite the unavailability of Gary Murray, Alistair Cragg, Stephen Scullian, Gary O`Hanlon, Eoin Pierce and Aaron Hanlon (a potential winning team in itself) has still managed to pull together a team that will stoutly defend the title and fight all the way to the death. Sunday`s team is led by National Marathon Champion and 2013 National Cross Country Champion Sergiu Ciobanu and includes three of the scorers from November twelve months.

The senior men’s A team entered for Sunday is: Brian MacMahon, Sergiu Ciobanu, David Flynn, Ian Guiden, Conor Healy, Mark Kenneally, James Kevan, Killian Lonergan, David Mansfield, Conor McGuinness and Jayme Rossiter.

There is also a Clonliffe B team entered comprising: Sean Doran, Mark Doyle, Thomas Frayne, Ross Gannon, Conor Keane, Eoin McCullough, Ernie Ramsey, Liam Roarty, Thomas Sherlock, Niall Sherlock, Eoin Taggart.

The Clonliffe women’s team has been decimated by injuries, however, it is good to report the return to the Nationals of Sara McCormack, in recent years Sara has been focusing very much on the mountain running scene with considerable international success, however, she has exceptional pedigree on the country and was National Cross Country Champion in 2014 and indeed won European Cross Country team gold with the Irish women’s team in Budapest back in 2012.

The Clonliffe junior men are also defending national champions having won the national in Santry in November of last year. Once again the junior team is led by Cathal Doyle, who placed just out of the individual medals that year but looks good to medal this time out.

The junior men team, to include U/18s entered is: Cathal Doyle, Alex Gibbons, Adam O’Brien, Sean O’Leary, Daniel Lacey, Fintan McManus, Craig Giles, Joseph Hession, Alex Hogan, Greg Hossennay, Jack Maughan, Matthew Jenkinson and Thomas Ward. The juniors will race over 6,000m.

The junior women will run 4000. The team is: Laura Tuite, Alannah Cooley, Cliona Cooley and Hannah Browne.

In the juvenile programme there are Clonliffe teams in the girls U/14 and both boys and girls U/16 as follows:

Girls U/14 (3,000m): Aoife Hession, Ava Mulvahill, Alana Fitzsimons, Ella Cooley, Holly Roche, Katie Halpin.

Girls U/16 (4,000m): Tess Loftus, Aimee Warren, Abby Sheehy, Amy Hodson, Ella Brown, Vicky McDonnell.

U/16 Boys (4,000m) : Arran Cullen, Cian Bolger, Ben Guiden, Daniel Stone, Daragh Carter, Ian McAweeney.


11.30am Girls U/12: 2000m

11.43am Boys U/12: 2000m

11.55am Girls U/14: 3000m

12.10pm Boys U/14: 3000m

12.25pm Girls U/16: 4000m

12.43pm Boys U/16: 4000m

1.00pm Girls U/18 and junior women: 4000m

1.20pm Boys U/18 and junior men: 6000m

1.45pm Senior women and U/23: 8000m

2.25pm Senior men and U/23: 10,000m

Car Parking:

See for parking details – please allow plenty of time for walking from the car-park to the course even if you manage to secure a parking space within the campus itself.

The very best of luck to all our athletes competing on Sunday.

Grand Prix Final Round: The Irwin Cup

This coming Saturday November 26th sees one of the truly great club races taking place in Santry Demesne: The Irwin Cup. Previously a 6 mile but now 6k. The Irwin Cup is also known as “the Grand National”, a cross country open handicap race over the jumps.

The race is, to use the old cliché “historic”, only it truly is historic! The Irwin Cup commenced in 1932, however, the Grand National dates 22 years earlier to 1910 when Clonliffe introduced to the club calendar the Grand National, a 6 mile cross country race which included jumps and ditches to be negotated. The race was held on an annual basis. In 1932 to honour the memory of Herbert Carmichael Irwin his team mates presented the Irwin Cup to the club to be presented to the winner of the Grand National.

Herbert Carmichael Irwin was known as Bertie. He has a special place in the history of Clonliffe Harriers being both an Olympian and winner of the National Cross Country.

He was the 2nd Clonliffe athlete to win the  National Cross Country  when he won in 1914 in Dundrum (his birth place), leading Clonliffe to team victory. On the track he was an Irish National champion in both the mile and 4 mile.  His mile PB of 4.33.8 was most impressive in comparision with times of the day. In 1920 he became Clonliffe`s 5th Olympian representing Great Britian (pre 1922) in the 5,000m at the Antwerp Games taking an extraordinary 40 seconds off his pb to finish 2nd in his heat and qualify for the Olympic final where he placed 12th.

The R101 at it`s moorings Cardington

In the First World War Irwin who was an aviator joined the RNAS (later to become the RAF)and seen service in 1916 and 1917 . He  was promoted to Flight Lieutenant with seniority 1 April 1917.  Under the RAF he was granted a short-service commission as Flight Lieutenant on 24 October 1919. With the expertise he had gathered in flying Airships he became involved with Britian`s plans for passenger airships to link Britian and it`s colonies. Two huge airships were built the R100 and R101. Irwin was the Captain of the R101, the largest man made object to fly at the time. Interestingly one of the R101 test flights in 1930 brought the airship across the Irish Sea above Dublin leading Irwin to pen a letter to Tommy Burton, the Clonliffe Captain saying: “they had flown over the Finglas fields where I enjoyed so many memorable runs with the Clonliffes.” Tragedy struck, however,  on the R101`s maiden voyage from Cardington to India when on the 5th of October 1930 the R101 in stormey weather over Northern France crashed nose first at a forest edge at the town of Allone, Beauvais, bursting into flames killing 48 of the 54 people on board including her Captain the Clonliffe Olympian Carmichael Irwin.

Saturday`s race is organised by the Grand Prix Committee and is kindly sponsored by George Maybury. The race has a 12.00 noon start. This is the final round of the Grand Prix Series with the prize giving night being held in the Club Bar on Thursday December 8th.

Weekend round up

Aaron Hanlon had a tough day at the NCAA cross country finals at Terre Haute today finishing well down the field in 238th place.

The Irish Life BHAA 6k cross country took place in Santry Demsene this morning top Clonliffe athlete was Conor Keane in 5th place (20.45), 8th Tom Sherlock  (21.08).

On the roads also today Conor Healy won the Clontarf 5 Mile in 27.02 and Declan Power was 2nd (1st O/40) in the Clane 10k.

Grand prix series leaderboard update

There is just one more race left in the 2016 Grand Prix series, the Irwin cup (6k over XC) taking place on 26th November. It is very tight at the top of the adjusted leaderboard with joint leaders in Shane Casey and Declan Grant, with Richi Barr a further point behind.

The top 15 in the overall leaderboard adjusted for the best 10 races is as follows

Name Points
Shane Casey 293
Declan Grant 293
Richi Barr 292
Deirdre Fitzsimons 284
Liam Hennessy 279
Mick Gleeson 275
Sean Doran 269
Thomas Sherlock 268
Dave Brady Raheny 266
Trevor Wisdom 250
Stephen tracey 250
Ernie Ramsey 242
Shane Rooney 240
Kevin Dowling 236
Anne Lyons 235


The Grand Prix presentation night will take place Thursday 8th December.


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