The first ever Limerick Cross-Country Championships in 1940

Karen Raine


Karen Raine


80 years on - The Limerick Cross-Country Championships of 1940

TAKING place on Sunday, April 7, 1940 the first Limerick Senior Cross Country Championships took place at Greenpark Racecourse.

There was Cross Country competitions before this, an annual event in Rathkeale appears to have been popular but they were not actual County Championships.

It was held in conjunction with the National Senior Championships in which no Limerick team competed.

The distance was 5 miles, and took place with a strong westerly wind, the Mayor Ald. D Bourke, T D was one of the race starters.

It was won by Caherline native Tom Walsh representing St Nicholas AC in 24:05. He was followed in second by J English (also St Nicholas) with W Cavanagh (Kildimo) 3rd.

St Nicholas AC, from the parish of Donoughmore also won the Team event with 50 points. Kildimo were second on 59 pts. while pre-race favourites Rathkeale were third with 72.

The Army were fourth on 152 pts while Mungret were fifth with 228. Limerick AC despite 10 competitors appear for some unexplained not to have been considered ‘a team ’and thus were assigned neither a score nor a placing.

St Nicholas: 1st 50 pts. – John Liston, T. P. McInerney, P. O’Connell, P. Carey J. English, M. Ryan, J. Noonan, T. Walsh, J. Moloney, J. McCann, S. Dunsworth, P. J. Leonard
Kildimo: 2nd 59 pts. - J. Sheehy (capt), J. Liston, W. Cavanagh, M. O’Brien, J. Griffin, J. Conway, B. Moore, J. Hickey, J. Staff, S. Fitzgerald, P. J. Nolan, T. Griffin, B. O’Rourke
Rathkeale 3rd: 72 pts. - P. Brennan (Capt), R. Woodrofe, A. Mooney, M. Giltenan, M. O’Donnell, M. Keyes, P. O’Halloran, M. Lynch, V. O’Brien, P. O’Shaughnessy, E. O’Neill, W. Costello
Army 4th: 152 pts. W. Treacy, L. Walshe, J. Daly, W. O’Donovan, M. O’Donovan, J. O’Connell, D. O’Brien, A. Murphy, C. O’Donovan, W. Roche, S. Quinn
Mungret 5th: 228 pts. - J. Purcell, M. Casey, C. Nestor, J. Lucid, P. Wrenn, M. Hayes, M. Dawson, J. O’Connor, J. O’Donoghue, M. Casey, T. Byrnes, P. Llyod, J. Hinchy
Limerick AC: Competing were P M. Cleary, P. Coffey, S. Jones, J. O’Malley, J. C. Benson, J. Fitzgerald, T. McInerney, J. Hinchy, T. P. Murphy J. Liston.

TOM Walsh would also go on to win the 1942 and 1943 N.A.C.A. Limerick Senior Cross Country Championships, this time representing his native Caherline AC.

The 1941 Championships were cancelled due to an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. Kildimo were team winners in 1942, with Caherline champions in 43’.

In the National Championships Feakle’s Patrick O’Halloran saw off Brian Downey (Civil Service) by 15 yards in a time of 60 minutes 58 seconds on a 9 mile course. Former champion JJ Walsh (Belfast) was third.

Feakle also took the team title with 34 points, Coolcroo (Tipperary) were second and Killenaule (also Tipperary) were third with Civil Service 4th. There was 60 participants. NACA President Mr F. J. O’Dea presented the cups and medals.

* Derived from reports in the Limerick Leader and Irish Press

IN light of government Covid related restrictions being increased to level 3, a number of fixtures have been provisionally rearranged.

The below schedule is entirely dependent on restrictions being reduced to Level 2 at least on the dates in question.

Limerick Juvenile Uneven Age, Novice and Masters Cross-Country Championships, Sunday, November 1, Bilboa; Munster Juvenile Even-age, Junior, U23 & Novice Cross-Country Championships, in the Turnpike Two Mile Borris, Co Tipperary, Sunday, November 8; Munster Juvenile Uneven-age & Senior Cross Country Championships, November, 15 Clarecastle; Munster Juvenile ‘B’, Intermediate & Masters Cross-Country Championships, Sunday, November 29, Cork Athletics Grounds.