100 years ago: the Clonliffe Invitational 24th November 1922

With the 2022 Clonliffe 2 mile returning to Glasnevin on Sunday morning it is indeed an opportune moment to look back on the Clonliffe Invitational of 100 years ago today. Many thanks to Dominic Brannigan for the newspaper report on the Clonliffe Invitational of November 24th 1922:

“Yesterday the “WASPS” brought to issue their 31st Annual Invitation run, starting from the club headquarters, Kavanaghs, Old Gate, Glasnevin. The event is probably the most popular event of the season, and attracted a large muster of Harriers, made up of the following :

Clonliffe 27, Dublin City 13, Donore 10, Castlevilla 9, Dublin University 8, and Harp A and CC 7.

Total 74.

To cope with the pressure of accommodation, some of the clubs were most comfortably housed through the courtesy of the Rev Superior, St Vincent’s Orphanage. All arrangements had been most excellently made by Mr D. Mc Aleese, Hon Sec and Mr T.P. Burton, Capt.

Favoured by excellent weather the large pack were released at 3-30 o’clock and paced by HP Dawson and whipped by J Ryan.

The circuit led along the Finglas Road, the country being taken to the right by the Finglas Golf Club. Portion of the course being used by the promoters in their various events, gave an idea of their field work. Veering to the left, upper Finglas was reached and the pack lined up for the run in of 1 mile and three quarters and 120 yards, the finish being arranged for the four o’clock gate Glasnevin.

Mr PJ Lonergan (who by the way, was the first winner of this event in 1898) with the assistance of JJ Keane, Dr Rowlette, JT Graham, D Mc Aleese, MJ Kavanagh, GF Walker and TP Burton (Capt), dispatched and worked out the official duties to the finish.


J. Conaghan and Joe Timmons of Dublin City Harriers were the first to show in front, and immediately took the lead from Callaghan and Cassidy, the rest in a cluster to Finglas Golf House where Conaghan had gained a 5 yards lead from Joe Timmons. John Timmons was next just 20 yards off with Cassidy and Peelo (both of the host club) on his heels.

Approaching Violet Hill the pace died down while the positions were unchanged except that Peelo now drew almost level with Joe Timmons and they were 3rd and 4th.

Making the ascent Conaghan and Joe Timmons drew level with John Timmons 30 yards off in 3rd place. These were closely followed by Cassidy and Peelo  who were running close together. At the top of the hill Conaghan came away 5yards from Joe Timmons, followed by John Timmons and Joe Peelo who were still together.

In the run home over the last furlong Conaghan showed fine judgement, developed a useful sprint, and pulling away won by 50 yards from Joe Timmons. B Callaghan of the Harps, coming with a surprise late burst,  got to within 20 yards of the runner up and displaced J Peelo by 5 yards  at the finish who in turn finished 30 yards ahead of Cassidy.

The winner’s time of 8 mins 38.80 secs was within 4 secs of FJ Ryder’s record set in 1912 and was the third best time made in the history of this fine race.

Result :

1         J. Conaghan                     Dublin City Harriers       8 mins 38.80 secs

2         Joe Timmons        Ditto                                 

3         P Callaghan            Harp C and AC

4         J Peelo                    Clonliffe Harriers

5         AJ Cassidy             Ditto

6         G Gahan                Ditto

7         John Timmons      Dublin City Harriers

8         J Heffernan           Ditto

9         CF Rothwell           Clonliffe Harriers

10      J Monaghan            Ditto

11      D Delaney              Donore ( winner of open novice medal)

12      W Browne             Dublin City Harriers

13      DJ Galavan            Castlevilla Harriers

14      D Kavanagh           Donore Harriers

15      D Baird                   Ditto

16      CP Kenna              Clonliffe Harriers (winner club novice medal)

17      JA Gorry                 Clonliffe Harriers

18      J Mc Clean             Dublin University Harriers

19      DM Carson            Ditto

20      GN Walker            Clonliffe Harriers.”