Sunday 21 July 2019

Community news: Blackrock Bulletin

Blackrock man Gavan Duffy in action on his vintage motorcycle
Blackrock man Gavan Duffy in action on his vintage motorcycle

Blackrock man Gavan Duffy is one of the few in these parts who engage in motor-cycle classic racing. He is relative newcomer to the sport, but with a newly built bicycle could be on the verge this season of a championship winning breakthrough.

The 50 year-old is a lifelong biker and road racing fan but only started racing three years ago to compete on track and road circuits. Last season he came ever so close to championship glory, finishing runner-up in the Irish, Ulster and his own club championship in the 250cc grade. He is a member of Classic Bike Racing Ireland based in Dunboyne, one of the sport's largest clubs with 70 active racing members on its books

Gavan told the bike he will race come the start of the season in March 'I took three years to build. Hopefully it will be more competitive,' but added 'it is very hard to win a championship. I'd love to win one but it's not easy.'

The bikes must be pre 1973 but still can clock an average speed of 70 mph during races, and there is a full programme of racing right through from March to early October at venues in the North and South, with meetings on Friday Saturday and Sunday .

The races are staged on roads and tracks, with Mondello and Skerries among the venues this side of the border and Kirkistown and Cookstown in the North.

Gavan has been riding since he was 17 or 18, 'I always went to the road races and followed and knew the people involved. I just decided then to have a go at the classic racing which is a friendlier form. It's competitive but more camaraderie involved.'

He is very much looking forward to the 2019 season with his new Honda. The bike itself runs on a Drixton frame chassis and the 1969 engine has been highly modified to produce almost twice its original horsepower.

It was tested successfully at Killalane Road Races (Skerries) last September.

Up against the more powerful Suzuki 2 stroke machines Gavan managed to finish fourth in the race and was the first 4 stroke machine home in its class.

That capped a very successful season in which he finished second in the short circuit Ulster Championship, as well as in the Irish Classic Racing Championship and in his own club championship.

Gavan explained that racing like most sports can be costly. So he was delighted when Kennedy Motorcycles in Drogheda bought some space on the bike for 2019. 'Every little bit helps' adding 'I'm always grateful for any sponsorship.'

He is hoping to compete in both short circuit and road race championships in 2019. Short circuit events take place in Mondello Park Kildare, Bishopscourt in Downpatrick, Kirkistown outside Newtownards and Saint Angelos Airport in Enniskillen.

Road races include Cookstown, Kells, The Tandragee 100, Skerries and a host more. A podium in either championship would be a great result on a new bike.

Society Prepare for new season

The Green Gates golf society prepared for a new golfing season while reviewing what was a highly successful 2018 when they were blessed with fine weather which drew a consistently high turnout at outings.

The success of last year was reflected in the big attendance at the society's agm in the Bayview Inn where they are based, and the healthy state it is in with membership having increased and at a level that they may not be able to cater for that many more at this stage.

The members endorsed the out-going committee, with the only changes being Ciaran Traynor taking over as captain for this year, and Christopher Ward is his vice captain.

The full committee comprises: Captain, Ciaran Traynor; vice-captain, Christopher Ward; secretary, Tommy Lennon; treasurer, Declan Rafferty. Other members, Brendan Sharkey, Brian Ward, Ollie English, Barry O'Hanrahan, David Kelly, Noel Reid, Gerry Daly, Mickey, Ed and Richard Smyth, Larry Tuite and Donal Lynch.

The members agreed to stage a programme of eight outings this year, beginning on April 27 at Dundalk, which will also be the venue for the captain's prize on July 20.

The list of events is as follows.

April 24, Dundalk sponsored by Traynor's butchers.

May 25, Ardee.

June 15, Mannan Castle.

June 28, Greenore.

July 20, Captain's Prize, Dundalk.

August 24, Ballymascanlon.

September 28 Ardee.

October 26, Balcarrick.

Blank week

Players drew a blank in the Geraldines lottery this week, with no winners of the jackpot or the match three prize of €200. Consequently the jackpot has been increased by €400 for next week.

It now stands at €3,600. The numbers drawn this week were: 3, 7, 21, and 32.

Spacers present 'It's the Real McCoy

Following on from their very successful debut comedy play 'The Space', Spacers Drama Group was formed. The group is comprised of several members from the area experienced in the field of drama, in the presentation, production and performing of plays.

The Group is now in rehearsals for their next play which will also be performed in the Friary Hall, Anne Street, Dundalk where they staged "The Space last October 12 months.

Tommy Marren's hilarious three act play is a rip-roaring Irish comedy that promises to have you in tears of laughter!

The play is set over two days in the spring of 1964 in the humble cottage of Madge Molloy - a woman in her mid-60's who has become bitter about men in general!

She has good reason. Her husband Tom, whom she was married to for just five months, disappeared without trace or reason and left her to rear her only daughter Maura - whom she was expecting at the time of his hasty exit! For over forty years Madge has had to live with the shame of her ordeal and has long come to the conclusion that love is 'a temporary insanity of the mind'. However, the arrival of a new curate to the parish - namely Father. Michael McCoy - is about to throw light on the reasons behind her husband's disappearance and his yearning to return to explain the circumstances face-to-face with domineering Madge. With two 'pedigree' nosey neighbours in the shape of mother and daughter combination Nora and Cora O'Hora, Madge has her work cut-out to keep news of her husband's reappearance a secret as they regularly appear at the most inappropriate moments. Furthermore, Madge is trying to come to terms with the fact that her daughter Maura has fallen in love with the local postman Martin Daly whom she believes 'isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer'!

Prepare yourselves for a series of plots and sub-plots, two love-stories and a combination of twists and turns in a storyline that will have you guessing the final outcome right to the end. Will it be a happy ending or is Madge about to get her revenge?

You are invited to come along and find out! Spacers new play will be performed on Thursday 7th, Friday 8th and Saturday 9th of March. Tickets are now available for a night not to be missed.

The Argus