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Craughwell AC

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Craughwell Athletic Club
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Great Performances in Westport

10 November, 2014 - 08:30

Craughwell AC U15 Boys Cross Country Team
Silver Medallists at the Connacht Championships in Westport
L-R: Oisin Lyons, Gavin Forde, Conor Lee, William Fitzpatrick, Luke Finn

It was back to good old-fashioned cross-country at Westport House today for day 2 of the Connacht Cross Country Championships. While a run in the park at Westport House may have sounded easy, they never told us about the hills! It made the challenging Loughrea course seem flat! Well done to Mayo and Westport AC on hosting a terrific event!


Our U11s were first into action in the 1500m race. Caoimhe Connolly was our leading runner and despite a fall on the slippery Himalayan slopes on lap 2, Caoimhe had a fine run to place 10th and lead the Craughwell AC team to team silver with 66 points. Caoimhe was followed closely by Emily Miskella in 14th and Saoirse Moore in 16th (battling bravely despite carrying an injury). Rebekah Flynn had a strong run to come in next in 26th place with U10 trio Aoibhe Carr, Jade Moorhead and Katie Lydon next in 31st, 33rd and 41st place.

Let There be Light!

9 November, 2014 - 19:48

After years of dreaming, the dream is finally becoming a reality. For this Tuesday at 7.30pm we are going to officially start using our new 8-acre field adjacent to the school. We are going to do a low-key ‘switching on the lights’ ceremony at that time and will be trying to get all training groups there at the same time this Tuesday to be part of that. We’d like to invite all of our athletes, parents and coaches to this on Tuesday and we will adjust training times for this Tuesday only to have everyone there together.

Age group coordinators will be in touch with their groups to arrange with them to come at different times this Tuesday - U8s and U9s groups should park in the school as normal and just on this occasion, older groups should park in the GAA who have kindly given permission to use their carpark this Tuesday.

So what have we done?

  • During September, we bought an 8-acre site next to the school – mostly funded by loans.
  • We’ve put a pedestrian gate in from the school.
  • We’ve put up 15 floodlights on 5 poles.
  • We’ve fenced it off to keep out animals and keep in kids!
  • We’ve done some work on the adjoining roadway as a condition of our planning permission.
  • We’ve marked out some running loops on the land.

And what are we going to do?

  • We will build a 60m sprints and long jump runway and new long jump pit.
  • We will build a high jump area.
  • We will build a throwing area.
  • We will create a grass 400m track.
  • We will create a gravel pathway around the site boundary, approx. 800m.
  • We will complete the roadway and car-park.
  • We will build a substantial indoor athletics training centre.

And how are we going to do it?

  • By keeping the club strong and coaching every individual athlete in the club to their potential.
  • And seeking grants to match the fantastic enthusiasm of our coaches, athletes and parents.
  • And keep low-key fundraising going along with hopefully more donations from parents.

And a few acknowledgements for helping us to get this far:-

  • All of our coaches and committee who put in a huge slice of their time freely.
  • Our 5 trustees without whom we would not have a facility and who agreed to be trustees.
  • The parents who between them have loaned €83,000.
  • The 2 financial institutions who between them have loaned €80,000 – UCIT and Loughrea Credit Union.
  • Several parents within the club who have advised and helped with plans for the facility.
  • The parents who have made donations to the fundraising campaign.
  • Galway County Council for an amenity grant of €3805 towards the initial access work.
  • KBC Bank for an award of €3600 under their Bright Ideas scheme towards construction of a new long jump pit.
  • Everyone else who has supported our fundraising efforts to date.

The picture below gives an outline of the eventual scale of the building that we hope to build. But in the short-term, we will constructing some outdoor facilities only in order to get using the new ground. All going well, we'd be building the first phases of the building in 2016.

And one final word before I sign off, if you haven't already received tickets for our Night at the Dogs which is on this coming Saturday 15th November, we will be handing them out on both Tuesday and Thursday this week at training.

Hope to see you there!

Club Trip to Scottish Indoors 2015

8 November, 2014 - 23:14

It’s time to dust down the passports again because the club is planning to travel to the Scottish Indoor Championships next February with some of its secondary school athletes. You can read about previous trips on our website. Scottish Athletics confirmed the date of their championships just last Friday as being on the weekend of 14/15 February 2015. This is just before the mid-term break so hopefully it will suit athletes and doesn’t clash with mock exams for those in JC or LC.

Ciara Greene on the podium after winning the Scottish U15 1500m title in 2012

Largest junior membership in Ireland!!!!

8 November, 2014 - 17:42

The club reached a HUGE milestone last week when the latest membership figures were announced by Athletics Ireland. Having been in the top 3 largest junior clubs in the country for a number of years now and briefly the 3rd largest overall membership back in 2011, the latest membership figures published by AAI show that Craughwell AC have now the largest junior membership of any club in the country and in fact have more members than 11 counties and are twice the size of all bar 11 other clubs in the country! When you take overall membership numbers into account, the club is the 4th largest in the country and also has the 26th largest adult section.

This is an incredible achievement for the club when you consider it is operating from a rural base with a relatively small population compared to large urban areas. It’s a reflection of the ethos of the club on participation and on helping its athletes succeed to their potential. And it is an achievement that our coaches should be very proud of – we have more than 50 coaches who are down at the astro-turf routinely 1 or 2 or 3 days a week patiently coaching scores of children. Undoubtedly these coaches and their enthusiasm are the club’s most important asset, as well of course as our dedicated athletes and parents who bring them to training and competitions right through the year.

Following provides some more information on the makeup of our junior membership. It shows another statistic that we are particularly proud of – there are 167 teenagers in the club. This is a fantastic statistic in this day and age and particularly impressive if you look back to 2002 when we had 10 teenagers in the club.

Logistics for Connacht XC in Westport

8 November, 2014 - 16:56

Best of luck to all of our athletes taking part tomorrow in day 2 of the Connacht cross country in the grounds of Westport House.

According to googlemaps, shortest route is to go through Claregalway and then Ballinrobe:-

Following are the directions once you get to Westport:-

Please access Westport House via the Westport Quay gates (less than a mile from town centre).
GPS Co-ordinates are N53.80581 W9.539. http://www.westporthouse.ie/find-us/
On arrival at Westport House, please use Car Parks P4, P3 and P1 for parking. Parking stewards will be there to help.
Registration and toilets / changing area at the Go Karting Area on the walk between the Parking Area and the course.
The course is beside the main house itself on the front lawn (approx. 400m walk from the parking areas).

Westport House are offering discount tickets on the day for entry to the house: €9 for adults / €4 for children (reduced from €12.50 adult/€6.50 child normally)

The course layout is as follows:-


Huge Turnout at Connacht Schools Pentathlon

8 November, 2014 - 16:34

The club had a massive group of 43 athletes in action at the Connacht Secondary Schools Multi-Events which were held in Athlone IT on Thursday. The club’s athletes came mainly from Calasanctius Oranmore (23), The Pres Athenry (12), Loughrea VS (5), St Raphael’s Loughrea (2) and The Bower Athlone (1).

There were huge numbers in both minor girls and boys with over 60 in each age group. In the girls, the club had following in action:- Finola Kelly, Tara Slattery, Niamh Creane, Alison Leahy, Ciara Murphy, Erin Mullins and Martha Haskett (all Calasanctius), Anna Farrelly, Sarah Callanan and Shauna Tobin (Pres Athenry), Leanagh Gilligan, Eva Kelly and Sinead Kennedy (Loughrea VS). While in the minor boys grade, the club had Jack O'Neill, Conor Hughes, Ultan Sheeran, Oisín Lyons, Paul Molloy, Louise Molloy and Luke Finn (all Calasanctius), and Oisin Shannon, Finbar McFadden and Gavin Forde (Pres).

In the junior girls, the club again had large numbers with Caoilin Milton, Laura Keane, Lorraine Delaney, Maeve Cannon and Emily Timmons (Calasanctius), Laura Cunningham, Michelle Duggan and Ciara O'Boyle (Pres Athenry) and Aoife Greene (The Bower) while in the boys the club had Peter Martin, Dylan Finn (both Loughrea VS), Daniel Callanan-Forde and Jerry Keary (St Raphael’s) and Cian Waters (Pres). Numbers were much smaller generally in the intermediate grades where Aisling Keady (Pres) was our sole representative in the girls and Adam Flynn (Pres), Aidan Conneely, Mathew McKernan and Nathan Lynskey (all Calasanctius) contested the boys, while Damian O’Boyle (Calasanctius) was our only representative in the senior grades.

Presentation Athenry's Aisling Keady
Silver Medallists in the Intermediate Girls Pentathon
at the Connacht Schools Multi-events in Athlone IT

Run for Mary in Peterswell 8th November

4 November, 2014 - 01:54

We don't normally advertise races on the main page of our website but this race is a special one. Way back in 2005, the club had only a dozen or so adult members, mostly coaches. That autumn, the club launched its very successful circuit training program in the hall in Craughwell and adult membership blossomed to over 75 adults.

Helen Hallinan and her best friend Mary Prendergast were 2 of the new recruits to the club who participated in the circuit training sessions in its first 2 years. Helen is now a coach in the club (coaching our terrific U10 age group) and emailed the following to me today:-

"As some of you are aware, I lost my best friend to breast cancer on January 2nd of this year.  She was Mary Prendergast and a fabulous person whom I was very fortunate to have called my friend.  


In June 2012, Mary lost her beautiful son Zach unexpectedly at only one week old. A few months later she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was so positive throughout and a real inspiration to everyone who knew her.  


Her birthday was on 25th October and her close friends have organised a 5K charity Run/Jog/Walk in her memory.  It will be taking place on Saturday, 8th November in Peterswell village at 12 noon and all are welcome to come and participate.


You can register on the day or through Active website:-




All proceeds will be donated to the Galway Hospice and to the Paediatric unit in UCHG in memory of Mary and Zach."

I'd like to encourage our members and parents to run for Mary this coming Saturday - its a special cause and even more special because of its close association with the club.


Provisional Results of Connacht XC Day 1

2 November, 2014 - 18:55

Well done to all participants today and to host club Loughrea AC. The weather worked against us today but hopefully everyone enjoyed the day if that's the correct word for it in such wet conditions!

Provisional results are at:- 

Well done to all of the Craughwell AC participants. We are some super performances which yielded team gold in the U18 girls, team silver in the U12 boys, U14 boys and U16 boys, and team bronze in the U16 girls. It was a particularly proud day for the club to field an U18 girls cross country team for the first time, who took the Connacht title by a small margin ahead of Sligo AC. The girls were joined in the same race by the senior women's team, only the second time that the club have had a senior women's team contest a Connacht championships - so well done to both teams, it was great to see 10 Craughwell AC singlets in the field of 66 runners in a Connacht senior championships.

Craughwell U18 GIrls Cross Country Team
Connacht Champions 2014
Ciara Greene, Leanne Freaney, Andrea Tobin, Caoimhe Reidy, Grainne McDaid

Craughwell AC Senior Womens Cross Country Team at the Connacht Championships in Loughrea
Rena Deely, Louise O'Rourke, Jane Reeves, Niamh Flavin, Deirdre Devane

Lookahead to Day 1 of Connacht XC

29 October, 2014 - 21:23

Just a quick lookahead to next Sunday in Loughrea where the Connacht even ages and senior cross country takes place. The day commences at 1pm with the U12 girls. The races will take place in the following order:-

  • U12 Girls 2000m
  • U12 Boys 2000m
  • U14 Girls 3000m
  • U14 Boys 3000m
  • U16 Girls 4000m
  • U16 Boys 4000m
  • U18/Junior Girls 4000m
  • U18/Junior Boys 6000m
  • Senior Women (all grades) 4000m
  • Senior Men (all grades) 8000m

Please arrive at least one hour before your race. Allow approx

  • 20 minutes for the two U12 races
  • 30 minutes for the two U14 races
  • 40 minutes for the two U16 races
  • 40 minutes for the two U18 races

Above is my guesswork at times. If races are combined, the schedule will move quicker than above, so allow for that possibility.

And a quick recap on our history in the juvenile events. I have a list of our performances in these championships since 2002 on our statistics page:- 

Last year was a bumper year with 95 participants over the 2 days of the Connachts and 13 sets of team medals including 9 Connacht titles. Our previous bests were 10 sets of team medals achieved in 2005, 2010 and 2012. The most impressive statistic from last year was that we had almost double the number of participants compared to previous years.

It will be hard to surpass last year's achievements but our athletes love a challege so best of luck to everyone on Sunday, both juvenile and senior. 

Huge Performances at Connacht Schools XC

19 October, 2014 - 15:53

Athletes from the club put in some huge performances at the weekend in the Connacht Primary Schools Cross Country Championships which were held on a narrow course in Summerhill College Sligo. On a windy day with a sprinkling of rain, the narrow course around the boundary of a football field proved to be a very tough course due to the tightness of the running route and the fields of 120 or so athletes. The club’s athletes coped well with the blustery conditions and featured strongly on 5 of the medal winning teams across the 4 races.

Craughwell AC Facility Update!

14 October, 2014 - 11:56

The club’s junior section are holding a fund-raising Night at the Dogs to help raise funds for the development of the club’s new 8-acre athletics park beside Craughwell NS. We’re hoping that all club members young and old will support. In the past, the night has proven to be a fantastic social occasion for the whole family. All proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the development of the club’s new sports park adjacent to the school. We are making fantastic progress with the development and hope to turn the lights on very shortly. The layout below gives you an idea of what will be provided and when. We are a little behind schedule due primarily to finalization of the legal purchase but all that is done and dusted now and we hope to have it fenced and lit and in use very shortly.

We will be handing out tickets at training. We appreciate that not all parents will be in a position to support the fund-raising so in that case just return the tickets to us. But it is an enjoyable night out for the family and it is raising vital funds for the facility and your children will benefit from its use almost immediately.

Fantastic Performances in Tuam XC

12 October, 2014 - 21:26

There some marvellous performances in Tuam at the uneven age groups cross country championships, most notably Sean Connaughton who took the Galway title in the U13 2500m in his debut in club cross country and Caron Ryan who is going from strength to strength and added the U17 4000m title to the U16 one that she won last weekend. It was a super day also for Oisin Lyons who strode to victory in the U15 boys 3500m and for Evan Moran who took the title in the U9 boys 800m. There were top 3 finishes also for Chloe Hallinan (U9 silver), Caoimhe Connolly (U11 silver), Niamh Niland (U13 bronze), Sean Cannon (U13 silver), Dearbhaile Walsh (U17 silver) and Ben Garrard (U17 bronze).

The club also excelled in the team stakes with victory in the U9 girls as well the bronze medals, silver medals in the U9 boys, gold in the U11 girls, silver and bronze in the U11 boys, silver in the U13 girls, gold in the U13 boys, gold in the U15 boys and gold in the U17 girls.

Provisional results of the day are attached here:- GalwayCrossCountry2014Day2Results.pdf.

Well done to Tuam AC on hosting an excellent event.

Special mention to our youngest athletes who painted a sea of green and white singlets in the U9 races with no less than 34 athletes from the club completing the girls and boys 800m. Overall, the club had 80 athletes take part in the races - the largest of all participating clubs. Well done to all of our athletes and particularly well done to our hard working coaches.

Directions to Palace Grounds Tuam

11 October, 2014 - 18:59

To get to the Palace Grounds, the red line below shows the way in from the Athenry Road to the main street in Tuam while the blue line shows the way coming from Claregalway.

Both these routes bring you onto a small roundabout in the centre of town - travel up the main street and you come to the Cathedral on the right:-

Turn left here directly opposite the Cathedral and comtinue down this road-

The road leads you into the swimming pool carpark and the Palace Grounds is the park behind the swimming pool.

Some feedback on our Fit 4 Life training sessions.

9 October, 2014 - 09:49

As part of our Session feedback at the club and an attempt to harness members ideas and input on improvements /ideas we are asking members who take part in events however varied to drop us a few lines detailing their experience.


Thanks to Edwina for her feedback.


"I started running June 28th I remember this date because I had not ran since a child and was both dreading it and looking forward to it. I signed up for 8 weeks to 8km with Act for Meningitis a Galway charity set up by fellow club members Noel & Siobhan Carroll. I began working with. So that was the plan in less than 8 weeks run 8km - that first Saturday I almost vomited on finishing just under 2km...

There were 50 of us signed up and through a group on Facebook kept each other motivated. Before I knew it I was running 3 times a week and ran the streets of Galway 8km in 55min. 

Last Saturday I did the Galway Bay 10km in 1:00:28 - thrilled is an understatement. I was not expecting to do it in that time. I had said if I did it in 1:20 I would be delighted.

I joined Craughwell Ac Fit4Life group a couple of weeks ago with Val and a great bunch of runners, I am finding it great -they are pushing me out of my comfort zone but the sense of personal achievement after the 10km makes it all worthwhile. In just over 3 months I am fitter, eating better and am more aware of me.”



Some recent events we have had members take part in include:

“Monaghan Marathon”

“Hell & Back”

“The Great North Run”

“Tough mudder”

“Killeeneen 5k”

“Loughrea 10k”

“Loughrea XC”

“Galway Bay Marathon”

“Galway Bay 10k”

“Galway Bay Half”


Any further input however short or detailed would be fantastic, send it to cacsessionfeedback@gmail.com we will do the rest. 


Great Battles in Bushfield

5 October, 2014 - 20:45

Craughwell AC Senior Women's Cross Country Team
Silver Medallists at the County Championships in Bushfield
Jane Reeves, Rena Deely, Deirdre Devane, Niamh Flavin, Grainne McDaid, Ciara Greene

Well done to all of our athletes in action today in Bushfield. We had some fantastic results with team titles for

  • U10 boys
  • U12 boys
  • U14 boys
  • U16 boys
  • U16 girls

And team silver for both the senior women and senior men, not to mention team bronze for the U10 girls.

There were strong individual performances also with several top 3 finishes including Sean Cotter (gold U12 boys), Shaun Gilligan (bronze U12 boys), William Fitzgerald (silver U14 boys), Oisin Lyons (gold U16 boys), Caron Ryan (gold U16 girls), Ciara Greene (gold U18 girls), Grainne McDaid (silver U18 girls), Ben Vahey (gold U18 boys), Conor Gillen (gold junior men), Deirdre Devane (bronze novice women), Rena Deely (gold intermediate women), Peter O'Sullivan (bronze senior men), Rob Hogan (gold novice men), Damien Larkin (silver novice men), Ollie Mullins (gold M35 men).

And a big well done to all of our youngest athletes in the U10 and 12 age groups, many of whom were running the hills of Bushfield for the first time. Click here for provisional results from Bushfield.

Logistics for Galway Cross Country in Bushfield

4 October, 2014 - 08:11

The Galway club cross country kicks off tomorrow with the even ages and senior cross country championships in Bushfield, Loughrea.

The races commence at 1pm sharp with the 10 girls, followed swiftly by the remaining races in the following order

- U10 girls

- U10 boys

- U12 girls

- U12 boys

- U14 girls and boys

- U16 girls and boys

- U18/senior women

- U18/senior men

To get to Bushfield, you take the Bullaun road out from Loughrea and travel out 4km and its on the right.

Please arrive an hour before your race for warm-up, course familiarisation, race number etc. The first few races will take approx. 10 minutes each.

Results of Galway Primary Schools XC Finals

30 September, 2014 - 15:20

Results attached here :- 14GYPrimarySchoolsXC_FinalsResults.pdf.

Well done to all of our athletes on some truely fantastic results.Athletes from the club featured on each of the 4 teams that took the Galway team titles with Clarinbridge NS taking victory in the junior girls, Craughwell NS in the junior boys, Lisheenkyle NS in the senior girls and Clarinbridge NS in the senior boys. Craughwell NS took 4 sets of team medals - 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze.

In the individual stakes, Kyle Moorhead won a fantastic Senior Boys 1000m title, the first time a boy from Craughwell NS has won this race. David Lee took silver with Clarinbridge NS with school mate Eoin Lyons 4th and Craughwell NS's Shaun Gilligan 5th. Mia Waters (Craughwell NS) had an outstanding run to take individual bronze in the senior girls with teammate Emily Miskella equally impressive in 5th. Killeeneen NS's Caoimhe Connolly took the individual silver in the juunior girls race with Clarinbridge NS's Saoirse Moore in 4th place.

There were some outstanding performances right down through the field and athletes can now look forward to both the club championships over the next 2 weekends and the Connacht schools on Sat 18 October.

Provisional Results of Galway Primary Schools XC Semis

23 September, 2014 - 17:08

The provisional results of today are at 14GYPrimarySchoolsXC_Results.pdf

Well done to all who took part - we had some fantastic performances from loads of athletes from the club, many of whom qualified for the Galway finals on Tuesday next in Renmore and many more of whom who ran superbly to finish out the race. I will post more later today on some exceptional team results from the clubs schools :-).

Craughwell AC Launch Fit4Youth Program

20 September, 2014 - 18:46

Kileeneen Back to School Run Results

20 September, 2014 - 00:31

Kileeneen Back to School run results are finally here - sorry about the delay!  It was a lovely evening - tonight it looks like possibly the last good one of this amazing summer of 2014!

The 5km was won in outstanding fashion by Damian O'Boyle who made a truly extraordinary debut over the distance in running 15.39.  Damian is a great track runner, with a steady haul of national medals over the past couple of years but I never would have imagined that he'd be able to maintain the speed over the longer distance, and I think he was more than a bit surprised himself!  Conor Dolan of GCH came second closely trailed by Neil Greaney to round off the top 3.  

The women's race was won by Caroline Whirskey of Loughrea AC, followed by Lisa Mctigue and Edel Kelly.

The organizers of the Kileeneen Back to School run would sincerely like to thank all the people that came out in force to support the school, and the marshals, caterers, etc that made it possible.  

Special shout out has to go to Blake Weibling of Seattle who ran the race while over here on a short work trip, and took the time out over sandwiches to help me type in the results - thanks and enjoy the trip Blake!  Stay tuned to John O'Connor's flickr page for some of his usual excellent photos. 

The results are below - note juvenilles aren't listed in the results but can get their times from their teachers who have the names to match to their bib numbers.  Well done again to all the talented young athletes that put in such superb performances over 1 and 5km on the day - stick with the sport - you will go far!!.