Thursday 25 April 2019

World-famous 'Dromina 10' gets a new lease of life

Michael McGrath

The years rolled back last Sunday evening for the Dingle born Olympian and athletics pundit Jerry Kiernan when he recalled his running and winning of the Dromina '10' road race in the North Cork village in 1984, at the launch of the revived race which will be run on Sunday, April 14.

On the day, Jerry will be the official starter of the race. The original Dromina '10' was organised by the then local curate Fr. Liam Kelleher, who was well known in athletics circles. 

He was able to attract the cream of Irish and international athletes to compete in the series of races he organised both in Dromina and in Tullilease when he was transferred there later on. 

He was present at the launch of the revived race last Sunday evening at the local community hall. Jerry Kiernan said this was his third visit to Dromina, he was here in 1982 and 1984, the year he set the course record, winning the race in 48.30.

"I could have gone faster but I was preparing for the Chicago Marathon at the time and my coach warned me to do just enough to win the race," said Jerry.  

He will be making his fourth visit to Dromina to officially start the race on April 14.

"Dromina has the tradition started by Liam Kelleher, who attracted all the international athletes of the day to compete in the series of races, and I was delighted to hear of and support its revival," he said.

Marianne Byrne, the chairperson of the present-day committee, welcomed the large gathering of local people, former athletes and visitors, to launch this year's event.

She thanked the group of people, who had come together to organise the revival of the race locally, and the sponsors, particularly their main sponsor, Paul Dinan of Used Car Finance Cork, Kerry Foods Charleville and North Cork Coaches Dromina and others. 

"We intend the new Dromina '10' to be the best it can possibly be," she said.

Fr. Liam Kelleher said that it was great to see the return of the race, which was such a wonderful success over 30 years ago in the village, especially with the demise of the famous 'Ballycotton 10' race.

"Marianne Byrne's mother still has the book of entries of those races, when we had little support for their running at the time. I am delighted to see the group coming together to revive the race again," he said.

Former Cork hurling legend Jimmy Barry Murphy, who is the regional manager of main sponsor Used Car Finance, said that they were delighted to be involved in the race and that it was great to see so many people taking part in sport, no matter what their ability. He wished the event every success. 

Other speakers were George Fitzgibbon, Milford and Michael Moynihan TD, who both wished the event every success. Also present was Cllr. Ian Doyle and former athletes who had participated in races of over thirty years ago in Dromina. 

Memorabilia from the 1984 event and other races in the village was on display, provided by Fr. Lima Kelleher, which created a great deal of interest. 

Athletes intending to run in the race may register by contacting or