Former club President and lifelong club member Michael Hoey has passed away at the age of 83.
He joined Clonliffe as a teenager in 1956 and the following year won the Leinster and All Ireland schools 1500 metres titles as well as the AAU youths 1500 championship.
At the first International meeting held in the new Santry Stadium in June 1958, Michael finished 1/10th of a second behind then Olympic champion Ronnie Delany in the mile and 2 months later he was the sole Clonliffe representative in the World Mile Record race.
He went on to break the Irish 2 mile record in May 1960 with a time of 8 mins 55 secs and followed this up with victory in the National 5000 metres when his time of 13 mins 51 secs qualified him for the Rome Olympics. Not being used to the excessive Italian summer temperatures Michael ran a time of 15.00.52 to finish 10th in his heat. The next day he flew home to sit his final year engineering exams.
After winning a second National 3 mile title and having achieved the ultimate goal of competing in the Olympic Games, Michael retired from International athletics in 1961 but continued to compete in club races and on Clonliffe Snr Cross Country teams for several more years.
From the mid 60s to the mid 70s he served on the club committee, during which time he was the club delegate to the AAU.
Following the death of Billy Morton, Michael was one of those responsible for raising funds to clear the club debt and build the first Clonliffe Bar and new changing facilities.
He served a term as Honorary Club President in 1974/75.
While he pursued a career as a lecturer in Physics in UCD for many years, Michael kept in contact with his club and on the arrival of the Dublin City Marathon in 1980, he returned to active running and joined a motley crew which mainly comprised of Colm Brennan, Larry O’Reilly, Dominic Branigan and John Bourke, who were regularly spotted on the back roads of north county Dublin and who were frequently joined by “guest” runners on the 15 and 20 mile runs on Saturday afternoons. This “training” enabled him to do a 2.48 which placed him in 80th position in the first Dublin City Marathon in 1980.
While his athletic career was short and sweet he did join the long list of club Olympians and will be fondly remembered by all those in Clonliffe Harriers and in the wider athletic family who had the privilege to know him.
Funeral details: https://rip.ie/death-notice/michael-hoey-sandymount-dublin/487088