Tuesday 16 July 2019

Annagassan to honour ace Noel in fitting style

20 years since the death of Louth's Olympic Games star

Hubert Murphy

One of the region's most outstanding athletes will be remembered in a fitting way next Sunday when a bench is unveiled in his memory.

To mark 20 years since his death, the population of Annagassan - and many athletes and well known figures from around the country - will honour the great Noel Carroll and recall the trailblazer he was for Irish athletics.

The bench, to be placed in a central location in the village, will be unveiled at noon.

Noel competed in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan and the 1968 games in Mexico and the bench features the Olympic rings and also one of his favourite sayings.

This dedication to Noel was possible by the hard work and vision of one of the members of the local running group , James Markey , who has put most of the memorial together.

Also , the local runners, Togher Fit to Run group, are pulling out all the stops to secure a big turnout for the annual Annagassan 10k run on 17th November at 11.00am in the 20th year of Noel's passing. The Lord Mayor of Dublin hosted the Race Launch on Monday last in the Mansion House, as Noel was such a part of Dublin City Council and a leading light in the setting up of the Dublin Marathon.

The organisers have special medals and training tops for the runners in this year's race and the Lord Mayor of Dublin and his secretary are signed up to run in the race.

By last week, over 350 had signed up.

Noel Carroll was born on the Strand Road in Annagassan in 1941 and died on the race track of UCD on the 23rd October, 1998 of a Myocardial Infarction (MI).

As an athlete, he was outstanding.

While attending college in the USA, he was the anchor for his team, the Villanova Wildcats, who broke the 4 x 880 yard relay World Record in 1964. He had also set the European Indoor record for the 880 yards by October that year. He ran his 800M personal best of 1:46.6 in 1968.

He won three European indoor titles and went on to win his last Irish title in 1977. In 1980 he was a founder member of the Dublin City marathon and away from sport, was the PR face of Dublin Corporation for two decades, the man whose foresight brought us the Luas and the Port Tunnel. In 1996 he moved to head up the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

Noel did a lot of charity work and was chairman of the charity 'GOAL' where he organised the Christmas Day Goal Mile that still takes place in lots of towns and villages the length and breath of the country.

Drogheda Independent