Dec 21, 2010 [Dominic Brannigan ] 2011 sees Ireland’s premier athletic club celebrating yet another landmark in it’s long and illustrious history.
Since its foundation in 1886 , Clonliffe has been one of the main forces in Irish athletics and has garnered a world wide reputation, not only through the exploits of it’s athletes, but also by the continued contribution of it’s members to the administration and promotion of the sport over the decades.
During the early years, the club’s athletes competed mainly in cross country races and in 1910 they won their first National Senior Cross Country Championship.
Following intermittent success in the intervening decades, the 1970s and 80s saw the start of a new era for the club when they began to win National Cross Country titles with increasing regularity. This success continues right up to 2010 when we won our 7th successive victory.
Throughout it’s history, the club has also been renowned for it’s famous International Sports meetings. These began in 1912 and attracted all of the worlds leading athletes over the years. The arrival of Billy Morton, one of Irelands greatest ever sports promoters, saw these meetings reach new heights when crowds of well over 30,000 attended Lansdowne Road in the late 1940s. They probably reached their zenith in 1958 when, on 3 separate nights in the world famous Santry Stadium, world records were set for the 1 mile, 2 miles, and 3 miles.
In 1963 Clonliffe became one of the first athletic clubs in Ireland to establish a ladies section which very quickly became a force and continues to do so to-day.
While cross country has historically been the main activity within the club, Clonliffe has also produced more than its fair share of track and field stars. Indeed, Clonliffe athletes, both male and female have represented Ireland in all but 3 of the 20 Olympic games since 1924.
In 2008, after winning the national cross country championship, the club also took the National Track and Field title thus becoming the first club in Ireland to achieve the “double”. This was followed with further “doubles” in 2009 and 2010.
January sees the launch of celebrations marking 125 years of unbroken commitment by the club to the sport of athletics in Ireland and throughout the world. A number of events will be held throughout the year, starting with the opening run, incorporating the club cross country championships on 2 January. During the summer, the Morton Mile will again be the centrepiece of a big meeting in Santry and the celebrations will culminate in October with a gala dinner and the publication of the club history.
We would now invite sports lovers of all generations to join us as we mark yet another milestone in the ongoing story of Clonliffe Harriers and to welcoming all to Santry during 2011.