Brother, what a day!

The Brother schools cross country made a most welcome return today and is well and truly back with a bang! With Covid having sidelined the event for 2020 and 2021 it was fantastic for Clonliffe Harriers to be in a position to welcome back to Santry the young schools athletes for one of the best events on the calendar. A huge thank you to our sponsor Brother for their unwavering support, a huge thank you also to the army of Clonliffe Harriers club members who gave up their time and a huge thank you in particular to the 1500+ young athletes for their energy, enthusiasm and excitement. It was infectious.

With the ongoing development of Morton Stadium this year the Brother schools relocated to Trinity sports grounds on Santry Avenue. The crew were out bright and early constructing the course which consisted of a 1K loop and with both the start and finish straight positioned just inside the main gate it made for a very nice compact venue. Conditions where at times a little windy and certainly there was the odd spot of rain! It actually lashed on a couple of occasions. This did not in any way, excuse the pun, dampen the enthusiasm of either the athletes or their supporters. It was amazing to hear the encouragement in the primary schools events in particular from the sidelines.

The primary school races all over 1,000m drew very big entries with an average field of some one hundred athletes. Proceedings got underway with the 4th class girls race, Tessa Callancole ( Vincent de Paul) was 1st past the post leading her school to a fine win. Senan Kelly (Castleknock Educate Together) took the win in the 4th class boys race however he was chased hard all the way by Willow Park junior’s Patrick Boyle and Jasper Field who took 2nd and 3rd leading their school to the team win. It was Emily Keogh (St Andrews) who took the win in the 5th class girls race ahead of Vincent de Paul pairing of Ailbhe Clerkin and Laura Costa with Vincent DePaul taking the team win. Willow Park juniors were again to the fore in the 5th class boys race as Josha Hunt came home 1st however on the team standings brilliant packing by St. Brigids Foxrock paid dividend in securing the win with Willow Park juniors coming in 2nd. Mary Help of Christians were particularly strong in the 6th class girls race securing 1st and 2nd places courtesy of brilliant runs by Pearl O’Brien and Jessica Ryan as their school took team gold ahead of Vincent de Paul. The final race in the primary program was the 6th class boys race, there was a huge field in this race of the best part of 150 athletes, Sam Deegan led the posse home for St Joseph’s BNS ahead of Fionn O’Toole (Lios na Nog) and Cathal Dunphy (Willow Park junior). In the team standings it was St Joseph’s BNS who took the plaudits ahead of St Malachy’s of Belfast and St Bridgids Foxrock in 3rd place.

That brought us on then to the secondary school programme of 8 races. Race number 1 was the minor girls race which had the biggest field of the day of an extraordinary 175 athletes, this race was also over 1000m. A very well judged race from Tara Rose Smith (Sutton Park) paid off as she came home ahead of the pack with Maggie Foley (Holy Faith Clontarf) in 2nd place. In the team results it was Loreta Foxrock who took team gold ahead of holy faith Clontarf and Holy Child Killiney. There was a big field also in the minor boys race, with a slightly longer distance of 1500, Belvedere’s Charlie O’Neill led the pack home and on the team standings it was St Colman’s, our guests from Newry, who took the team plaudits ahead of Sutton Park and St Pauls.

Sholah Lawrence (Our Ladys Greenhills) was a worthy winner of the Junior girls 1500, however a particularly strong Loreto on the Green took the team title. The junior boys race was over 2000, Michael O’Leary (Oatlands) led home the field of some 140 young athletes as St Malachy’s of Belfast took team gold.

There were very healthy numbers in the intermediate races, the intermediate girls with 100+ starting with Laoise Conaghan (Loreto Abbey Dalkey) taking individual gold ahead of Sophie Dooley (Muckross) and Mya O’Reilly (Dominician College) and indeed Clonliffe Harriers. On the team front it was Muckross who took gold. Again over 100 athletes toed the line in the intermediate boys race, the boys running over 3000, Finn Diver (St Malachy’s) was the winner of this one with a Clonliffe teammate battle chasing him home all the way in 2nd and 3rd Tom Breslin (St Aidan’s) and Matai Ursachi (St. Pauls).

Unfortunately the numbers plummeted somewhat for both the senior races, possibly the Covid years have affected this particular age group, in any event the senior girls had less then 20 starters however despite this it was still a very interesting race over 2000m where Cliodhna Ryan (St. Dominicks Cabra) took individual gold and led her school to team gold. Likewise the numbers were disappointingly low in the senior boys race with less than 30 starters, Jonas Stafford (East Glendalough) was a class apart in this, an extremely classy run saw him finished well clear of his pursuers, 2nd place was Thomas Bolton (Belvedere) and Clonliffe’s Lorcan Benjacar (Ard Scoil Ris) in 3rd place.

Results Primary Schools Girls:

4th Class:

1. Tessa Callancole (St. Vincent de Paul), 2. Alecia Holmes (Castle Park), 3. Anna May Keogh (St. Andrews).

  1. Vincent De Paul 32, 2. Mary Help of Christians 38, 3. St. Andews 52.

5th Class:

  1. Emily Keogh (St Andrews), 2. Ailbhe Clerkin (Vincent de Paul), 3. Laura Costa (Vincent de Paul)
  1. Vincent de Paul 15, 2. Holy Child Girls 75, 3. Lios na Nog 75

6th class:

  1. Pearl O’Brien ( Mary help of Christians), 2. Jessica Ryan (Mary help of Christians), 3 Maggy Kenkova (Castleknock educate together)
  1. Mary Help of Christians 27, 2. Vincent de Paul 42, 3. Lios Na Nog 63

Best overall girls primary school: St. Vincent de Paul.

Results Primary Schools Boys:

4th Class:

  1. Senan Kelly (Castleknock educate together), 2. Patrick Boyle (Willow Park), 3. Jasper Field (Willow Park)
  1. Willow Park Jr 21, 2. St Brigids Foxrock 28, 3. John Bosco 91

5th class:

  1. Josha Hunt (Willow Park), 2. Alfie Noonan (holy Child NS), 3. Josha Holme (St Brigids Foxrock)
  1. St. Brigids Foxrock 41, 2. Willow Park junior 45, 3. St Josephs BNS 57

6th class:

  1. Sam Deegan (St Joseph’s BNS), 2. Fionn O’Toole (Lios na Nog), 3. Cathal Dunphy (Willow Park)
  1. St. Joseph’s BNS 31, 2. St Malachy’s 49, 3. St Brigids Foxrock 73

Best overall boys primary school: St. Brigids Foxrock.

Results Secondary Girls:


  1. Tara Rose Smith (Sutton Park), 2. Maggie Foley (holy faith Clontarf), 3. Rachel Murdoch (holy Child Kiliney)
  1. Loreto Foxrock 48, 2. Holy faith Clontarf 56, 3. Holy Child Kiliney 68.


  1. Sholah Lawrence ( Our Lady’s Greenhills), 2. Laura DeBurca (Loreto on the Green), 3. Lily Goold (Loreto on the green)
  1. Loreto on the Green 23, 2. Holy faith Clontarf 59, 3. St. Dominics Cabra 77


1.Laoise Conaghan ( Loreto Abbey Dalkey), 2. Sophie Dooley ( Muckross), 3. Mya O’Reilly (Dominican College)

  1. Muckross 29, 2. St. Dominics Cabra 75, 3. Rathdown 83


  1. Cliodhna Ryan (St Dominic’s Cabra), 2. Carla Mullarkey (Dominican College), 3. Ella Beck (Loreto on the Green)
  1. St. Dominic’s Cabra 16, 2. Dominican College 26, 3. Col. Iosagain 33

Best overall girls secondary: St. Dominics Cabra.

Results Secondary Boys:


  1. Charlie O’Neill (Belvedere), 2. Fionn Crinion ( Col Eoin), 3. Theo Duffy (St Pauls)
  1. St. Coleman’s 51, 2. Sutton Park 62, 3. St Pauls 65


  1. Michael O’Leary ( Oatlands), 2. George Sevastopolo ( Mount Temple), 3. Conrad Latham (St Pauls)
  1. St. Malachy’s 54, 2. St Pauls 56, 3. St Aidan’s 87


  1. Finn Diver (St Malachy’s), 2. Tom Breslin (St Aidan’s), 3. Matai Ursachi (St Pauls)
  1. St. Malachy’s 37, 2. St Aidan’s 41, 3. BlackRock 43


  1. Jonas Stafford (East Glendalough), 2. Thomas Bolton (Belvedere), 3. Lorcan Benjacar (Ard Scoil Ris)
  1. St. Aidan’s 34, 2. Belvedere 39

Best overall boys secondary school: St. Malachys, Belfast

To see photos from the 2022 Brother XC click: