Health

Tuesday 22 July 2014

St Brigid's AC

Committee

Chairperson: Gerard Heery

Secretary: Martin Murphy

PRO: Eamonn Fitzsimons

Youth Protection Officer: Karen Crean

St Brigid's Athletic Club is based in Oldcastle, County Meath. The club was founded in 1970 by Michael Heery, Joe Moynagh, Ned Reilly and Jack Quirke and the first event club members took part in was the County Meath Novice Cross Country Championships in Athboy, 1970.

A year later, St Brigid's AC hosted the same event and club member Michael Farrelly won the county individual title, with Patsy Coyle placing second and Michael Clarke coming home third. More success was to follow when the club teams won the county Youths and Senior cross-country titles – as well as the five-mile road championship.

Bernadette Treacy was the club's first winner in the Community Games finals and Rosemary Gilsenan was the first of the club's female athletes to win a Leinster Senior medal. In the 1990s, the club won Division Two of the National Track & Field League.

Originally set up as an NACAI club, St Brigid's AC has flourished and is now registered with Athletics Ireland. Paddy Gilsenan was the first club athlete to win an Athletics Ireland national title, taking gold in the Boys' U10 Cross Country Championships. Elaine won a bronze medal in the national U15 800m and Gerard Heery won the Leinster 5,000m track title in 2002 and represented Ireland in the European Mountain Running Championships.

St Brigid's AC has many officials who have served Irish athletics with distinction at county, regional and national levels. Michael Heery was NACAI president from 1997 to 1999. he served as Athletics Ireland vice-president from 2000 to 2002 and was president of the AAI from 2002 to 2008. Marie Monaghan and Maureen Gilsenan have held positions at county level, and Martin Heery is the current secretary of Leinster Athletics.

Last July, seven members competed in the Snowdon International Mountain Races where Gerard Heery was second in Over-40 Men.

Karen Crean was second in the women's event in the Irish Mountain Running Association's League and silver and bronze medals in the Masters indoors championships in Athlone last spring.

Other leading club performers in the mountain running are Eamonn Fitzsimons, who took top points in this year's IMRA League and Marie Masterson who finished second in the women's event.

St Brigid's AC placed well this year in the Meath Road Relays, helped by up-and-coming young athlete Alan Clarke, who gained selection to the club's Senior team that won Grade B in this event. Joe McManus has completed 35 marathons and is now getting prepared for the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon in October, as well as the Dublin Race Series events.

St Brigid's AC members train together four evenings a week, with at least one session focussing on stretching, flexibility and core work.

A club Fit4Life group trains at the local football pitch in Oldcastle on Mondays at 8pm and members are putting the final preparations in place for the club's annual 5K road race on Wednesday, July 16 at 8pm. There will be special souvenir t-shirts for the first 200 to register. Details are at www.stbrigidsathleticclub.com.

St Brigid's AC club members took part in the IMRA Wicklow Way Relay which covered 127km. St Brigid's AC, with some help from Bohermeen AC, were the highest placed finishers from the county, finishing in fifth from an entry of 30.

St Brigid's AC is a club with a proud history and progressive attitude. Visit www.stbrigidsathleticclub.com.

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