IN 1991, Ennis Track AC was a fledgling club. Last year saw the club celebrate its 25th anniversary and, to mark the occasion, a commemorative book, charting the club’s progress over 25 years, was launched and is on sale at various locations throughout Ennis. The Inside Track captures some of the highlights over the past two and a half decades of the club.
The brainchild of Gerry Hayes and Tom Casey, the club was founded in O’Keeffe’s Bar, Lifford, in February 1991. Since then, it has grown and achieved great success at county, provincial and national level. Two of the founder members, Gerry Hayes and Vera Dullaghan, are still active on the committee. The current membership totals more than 100 senior and 150 juvenile athletes, from age seven upwards.
The senior ladies have been well represented in All-Ireland Cross-country Championships, winning the All-Ireland novice, intermediate and the B section of the inter-clubs within the past seven years. In 2013, the senior ladies won the Munster senior title and the club has been the best juvenile cross-country club in Munster for the past number of years.
The Ennis Track men have also enjoyed success at the National Cross-country Championships in recent years. In 2014, Kevin Mulcaire won the U-18 boys’ section, leading his team to victory. Kevin went on to represent Ireland on the junior men’s team in the European Cross-country Championships, held in Belgrade that year. Kevin also holds the national junior boys’ 5,000m record, which was previously held by John Treacy and stood for 40 years.
Last year, the senior men’s team of Dara, Rory, Patrick and Kevin Chesser, Karl Fitzmaurice and Damien Landers won the Munster Senior Cross-country and came second in the All-Ireland senior race.
To date, 21 Ennis Track athletes have represented Ireland at various international athletics championships. They are Orla Coote, Veronica Colleran, Gerry O’Flaherty, Frankie Garrihy, Mary Dullaghan, Rory Chesser, Dara Chesser, Keith Whyte, Aisling Darcy, Aidan Kearney, Brian Markham, Maria Carey, Niamh Markham, Kevin Mulcaire, Sean Collins, Jamie Roche, Tony Odobuto, Karl Fitzmaurice, Donal Devane, Patrick Chesser and Liam Markham. Several others – Paddy Quinn, Aoife Nash, Mairtin Grealish, Becky Coughlan, Steven Rooney and Patricia O’Brien – have represented Ireland in triathlon.
The club continues to grow and prosper, thanks in no small part to the dedication of its coaches.
As well as club highlights, the book features Clare men’s and ladies’ novice, intermediate and senior cross country results from 1991-2016.