Tir Chonaill Athletic Club Notes

Last weekend Tir Chonaill athletes success continued on the track, on the road and in the mountains. 

On Sunday at day 3 of the Irish juvenile c/ships in Tullamore, the clubs ‘summer of success’ continued with a series of exciting performances. Lucy Mc Glynn, running in qualifying heat 2 of the U15 250m Hurdles impressed in winning with a new CBP  of 37.42secs. Five minutes earlier, club mates Rachael Gallagher, in Q heat 1, was equally impressive winning in a new C.B.P. of 37.83secs with Niamh Mohan a close second/38.44secs. As we waited for two hours for an unique eight girls final that had three talented club mates – two of which smashed the old CBP – all types of results were discussed and forecast. Its a demanding technical and physical event where the athletes has to un 250m and negotiate six /2′ 6 barriers placed 35m apart. 

Entering the home straight five girls,led by Moya O’Connell, Lake District Athletics, were in contention.With two barriers to clear the Mayo girl still held a slight lead from Rachael with Lucy and Niamh contesting for third place. Over the last two barriers McGlynn was the stronger and drove on for a great victory in yet another CBP of 36.45secs from O’Connell, 36.90secs with Gallagher,3rd/37.37secs and Mohan, 4th/37.85secs. It was an historic and memorable occasion for the TC friends. The good news story continued with a 5th place finish for Alex Anderson in the U14 Discus, Johnnie McGonagle, 9th U15 Discus, and Eoin Sharkey, 6th U17 300m Hurdles.

Club athletes continued to succeed on the road and distance events with numerous weekend outstanding performances. Tir Chonaill athletes contested the Churchill 5k, the local very well organised Lough Eske 10k, the Dublin Marathon 10k series and the demanding seven sisters Donegal mountain marathon. Congrats to all and a special mention for Julie McNamee, 3rd women in the seven peaks Donegal Ultra Marathon and to Caroline Ward, John Ward and Jason Graham on impressive times/performances in the SSE Airtricity 10k series. A quick get well wish to Linda Ward, recovering from an upper limb injury, as she prepares witht a club group for the DCM 

Irish Life Health National Seniors

The National T&F season draws to a climax next weekend when the Irish Life Health National Senior c/ships takes place at Santry. 

The added attendance incentive of selection for the  upcoming August  European c/ships in Berlin and the recent performances of Irish athletes at European and World U18 and Junior/U20 c/ships and Grand Prix meets promises two days of exciting athletics. Best of luck to club athletes Kelly McGrory, 400m Hurdles champion [2016], Kate McGowan, 3rd 400m Hurdles[2017], formar International,Geraldine Stewart, Shot Putt and all other North West  athletes led by Mark English 800m, John Kelly, Shot Putt and Sommer Leaky, High Jump.

Niamh Mohan, 4th, Lucy McGlynnn, 1st , Rachael Gallagher, 3rd and Eamon Harvey.

Sommer Leaky

Its been an unprecedented success story for Irish athletes over the last ten days. Last week at the World Junior [U20] championships in Finland Irish athletes, smashed records, won a total of six medals and placed numerous top eight -final qualifications- performances. At the European Under 18’s in Hungary the success story was even better.

As we attended the Irish under 12-19 juvenile championships in Tullamore on Saturday and Sunday where record entries and a host of event best performances were recorded we listened to ongoing reports from the Irish stories iin Tampere, Finland. The commentary and sub  44secs silver medal winning performance from the Irish women’s 4 x 100m team received a standing ovation from the four thousand plus crowd. Eighteen years old Sommer Leaky’s high jump clearances was followed by silence and much applause as she successfully negotiated 1.84m, 187m and a world class 1.90m silver medal clearance — she went so close at 1.92m. 

Congratulations to Sommer on this World class performance – a qualification for the European Seniors in Berlin in August – to her support team led by outstanding Coach Niall Wilkinson,her club Finn Valley and her family and friends.

In Tullamore

The Tir Chonaill AC success story continued in Tullamore on Saturday and Sunday when our young athletes placed seven times on the winners podium. A large number also qualified for finals ie top eight and recorded PB performances. Yes a few had disappointments and will learn from the experiences.

On Sunday,Shane Breslin, Drimarone, possibly the most popular young athlete in the club, in very wet conditions  recorded three Pb throws to take gold in the U16 shot competition – best 12.87m. This was Shane’s first medal at outdoor level and just reward for a boy now in his fifth year in the club, who trains with a purpose in Paul OGara’s training group. Anna Reibeling in the Girls U18 Pole Vault, also won her first National outdoor medal when she cleared 2.40m for a victory gold. The AVS, TY student like Shane has been in the club since primary school age and trains with Davy Doherty’s  Vaulting group. Rachael Gallagher on Saturday led a large group of club hurdlers/sprinters to finals via competitive heats/semi finals.In the Under 15 Girls 80m final two hundredths of a second seperated the Inver lass from the gold medal – time 11.84secs. Thank god for electronic timing. The eight girl final also had Niamh Mohan, Frosses, 12.12secs place a close 5th and Lucy McGlynn, Ballyshannon, 12.74secs /6th. Sport is full of close finishes and in athletics 4th is excellent but not recognised on the winning podium — ask Eamon Coughlan 4th in Olympic 1,500m and 5,000m finals. Ben Campbell, Fintown, in the Boys U15 80 Hurdles final placed 4th as did much improved race walker Siobhan Doherty, Carrick, in the U18 3k discipline. 

In the jumps led by Anna Reibling’s Gold winnng performance Tir Chonail also had podium finishes from Tori Murchan, Donegal Town, Niamh Mohan and Rachael Gallagher. Tori won silver and had a great series of clearances before bowing out at 1.54m. Rachael Gallagher following her exploits in the 80m Hurdles final entered the High Jump. Rachael a multi talented athlete – took up high jumping this season- went clear to 1.55m and so close on her 3rd attempt at 1.58m for a bronze medal winning performance. It was not ideal long jumping weather on Sunday as Niamh Mohan lined up with fifteen others for what turned out to be an exciting competition. As the competition progressed into the final three rounds Niamh improved with each jump to finish with a best of 5.27m on her final attempt and a bronze medal. Alex Anderson, Rossnowlagh, in the Under 14 Hammer with a best throw of 29.03m took bronze. Diarmuid O’Donnell new to the U15 Discus discipline got out to 33.59m for an excllent 5th place finish – less than 2 metres behind 3rd

Well done to all from Tir Chonaill that competed last weekend and thanks to the coaches and parents/guardians for vital support over the two days

Next week

The final All Ireland juvenile session takes place next Sunday in Tullamore where eleven club athletes will contest,We wish them well


Attached photographs

8736   Anna Reibeling winner of he Girsl U18 Pole Vault

371….  at the final hurdle in the Girls U15 80mHurdles –Rachael Gallagher [1475],Tir Chonaill AC wins silver –2 hundredths of a second behind the winner

3715– Alex Anderson Boys U14 Hammer 3rd 

372,,,, Irish Medal winners at the World Juniors in Tampere  arrive home in Dublin

8739 ,, Sahne Breslin Boys U16 Shot Putt Gold medal winner with proud mum Caroline

8710  Tori Murchan No 1258 silver medal winner in the Girls U14 High Jump

8721…Niamh Mohan 1390 3rd in the Girls U15 Long Jump

Summary of TC performances


Johnie McGonagle,  Boys U15 Shot 12.31m/7th 

Leo Carey McDermott,  Boys U15 Shot  11th/11.04m

Orla Molloy, Girls U13 Javelin, 10th/18.29m  

Luke Ward Boys U13 Javelin, 13th/19.11m

Laoise McGonagle  Girls U18 Shot 6th/8.96m

Diarmuid ODonnell, Boys U15 Discus, 5th/33.59m

Shane Breslin, Boys U16 Shot, 1st 12.87m and 7th Hammer/33.12m Hammer 


Laoise McGonagle, Girls 100m U17 Hurdles 3rd in heat and 7th in final 17.75secs

Aoibhinn McGarraigle, Girls U15 100m 4th in heat and 7th in final 13.17secs

Ethan Dewhirst  Boys U12 60m, 9,07secs/heat

Sawyer Campbell, 8.78secs/heat

Eoin Boyle, Boys U13 60m Hurdles 10.87secs/heat 

Eoin Sharkey Boys U17 400m 7th/54,23secs and 3rd in heat

Fintan Dewhirst, Boys U14 75m Hurdles, 5th 12.76secs and 3rd in semi final

Lexi Campbell, Girls U14 75m Hurdles, 6th in heat

Rachael Gallagher, Girls U15 80mHurdles, 2nd in heat 3 and 2nd in final 11.84secs

Niamh Mohan, Girls U15 80m Hurdles, 2nd in Heat 2 and 5rh in final 12.12secs

Lucy Mc Glynn Girls U15  80m Hurdles 2nd in Heat 1 and 6th in final 12.74secs

Ben Campbell Boys 15 80m Hurdles 4th 12.37secs and 3rd in semi final


Anna Reibeling, Girls Girls U18 Pole Vault 1st 2.40m

Patrick Gillespie, Boys  U15 High Jump, 7th/1.40m

Laoise McGonagle, Girls U17 Triple Jump 9th/9.39m

Eoin Sharkey,Boys U17 Triple Jump 7th 11.62m

Tori Murchan, Girls U14 High Jump -2nd /1.51m

Rachael Gallagher Girls U15 High Jump, 3rd/1.55m

Niamh Mohan, Girls U15 Long Jump, 3rd/5.27m

Middle Distance

Siobhan Doherty, 4th U18 3,000m Walk -17mins 42.29secs

Declan Sharkey,  U18 3,000m  10mins 4.83secs PB