Donegal Athletics

Since the lockdown began Donegal County Board has grown by two clubs, there is a welcome return to the fold by Killybegs AC, one of founder members of the County Board in 1969, who has re-affilated to Athletics Ireland and the County Board, after being dormant since 2013. Many of the legends associated with the club are still involved particularly Chairman Seamus Gillespie and Secretary Michael Gallagher.

The second new club is in Letterkenny and is called Donegal Running Club and Michael Black is the force behind its formation. The new club is based at the Letterkenny Community Centre which was formerly the home of Letterkenny AC who are now based in the Aura Centre. All of us at Donegal County Board wish the two clubs every success in the future.

This week I will have a look at the Killybegs Athletic Club and next week I will have an in depth look at Donegal Running club


Killybegs AC was set up in 1969 and in the intervening years has a long and varied list of achievements. In 1972 they became the first Donegal Club to win the Ulster senior ladies cross country championships when they inflicted a first defeat on the great Glaslough Harriers team led by Irish International Vera Sherry, and the Killybegs girls retained the title in 1973 and 1974. Among the Donegal clubs only, Killybegs, Finn Valley, Cranford have won this title. The men’s team also had a glorious spell in Ulster winning the Ulster Intermediate Cross-Country title on seven occasions 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1984. The Ulster Intermediate was a senior race with four to score as opposed to the Ulster Senior Championship which was six to score and favoured the bigger clubs. Donegal winners of this race are Danny Mc Daid in 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976 and Paddy O’ Donnell, Killybegs in 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981

Killybegs also hosted five national championships,  the AAI  Juvenile ’B’ and cross-country relays in 2001, 2003 and 2007, and the AAI Novice and Uneven ages championships also in 2003 and the National senior 20Km Race Walking Championships in 2006.

However Killybegs have also played their part in hosting track and field events and road events, they were chosen to host the first Donegal Senior Track and Field Championships in June 1970 and also hosted the first Donegal Junior Track and Field Championships and the Ulster Decathlon and Pentathlon Championships in 1971, as well as the Ulster senior medley relay championships in 1970, 1971 and 1975 They hosted the Donegal senior 10 mile road championships in 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978 and the Donegal senior 15 mile championship in 1972.

Killybegs juvenile athletes have excelled at track events and brought National titles back to the club in Javelin, High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Ball Throw and combined events and have won titles at the Scottish Indoor Championships. At senior level Killybegs athletes have won National medals in Race Walking, Pole Vault and Marathon and Cross-Country.   

Speaking to some members during the week there is a great feeling of anticipation among them, counting the days until they can begin to operate as a club again after the end of the current lockdown, and this can only be good for Donegal athletics.       


The organising committee of the Cara Bundoran Run has made the decision to run the deferred 2020 event, virtually, between March 5th and March 21st 2021.

They have invited all currently registered competitors to run the five kilometres/ten miles/kilometres at their convenience between the dates outlined above.

All competitors will receive their runner’s pack and medal by post before the start of March and they encourage them to wear your top when completing the run. The charity partners from 2020 will also benefit from this year’s virtual event and these are THE MARIE KEATING FOUNDATION; THE ASTHMA SOCIETYOF IRELAND and THE BLUESTACK SPECIAL NEEDS FOUNDATION.


Sometime between Friday the 5th of March and Friday the 21st of March each athlete should run the 5 kilometres/ 10 miles (or 10 kilometres) – whichever they signed up for. The route can be any 5K/ ten mile (or 10k) route that is convenient for them, but the committee stress that all competitors be mindful of any travel restrictions that may still be in place at this time and adhere to government guidelines at all times.

Athletes can then visit >

to add your result, please view the video of how to add your times here >

We would encourage you to post images of you on your run on your social media and use the hashtag #CaraRun2021


All entries from 2020 will automatically transfer to this year’s virtual event so athletes need do nothing more than start their training and wait for the  package to arrive in the post! Pick a date to aim for your run and take it from there. Visit for further information >





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