Billy Morton Commemoration

Ever since our club was founded in 1886 there have been many achievements on the field of competition which have established Clonliffe Harriers as the premier athletics club in Ireland. From our first “major” victory in the National Junior CC Championship in 1895 to our most recent win in the National Senior and Junior CC in November 2019 we have provided the greatest number of Olympians together with innumerable national champions and record holders in both ladies and mens competitions, not only at senior level but at Junior, Juvenile and all under age categories.

To provide support for our athletes over the decades, Clonliffe has been more than fortunate to have had the help and encouragement of many “backroom” members who have kept the club in existence through the careful management of our administrative affairs.

The most famous of these Clonliffe administrators has undoubtedly been Billy Morton. He left an indelible mark not only on the history of our club but also on the history of Irish athletics in general.

Having enjoyed an above average career as an athlete, culminating in his victory in the 1936 Nat Marathon Championship, Billy became club Hon Sec in 1943 and during his first year in office he revived the Clonliffe sports begun nearly 30 years earlier by Tommy Burton.

Over the following 26 years this meeting became Irelands leading track and field competition attracting the cream of the worlds athletes to Dublin and at which many world records were established as well as innumerable national records and personal best performances by visiting  as well as local athletes.

Throughout these years Billy, along with his fellow club officers, dreamt  of building a permanent home for Clonliffe Harriers as well as a national stadium where all Irish athletes could come and compete.

This dream was realised in 1957 when the ground on which our club now stands was purchased and developed into Irelands National Athletics arena. Following his untimely death in December 1969 the stadium was re-named in his honour and the Morton Games are now well established as the premier track and field meeting in Ireland.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of his passing a new portrait of Billy, kindly donated by club historian Dominic Branigan, will be unveiled in the clubhouse on Sunday 12th Jan 2020 at 2-3.00pm. Any club member interested in attending simply come along.