ULSTER STARS SHINE IN KILLYBEGS

The Donegal recipients of the Juvenile Awards were Riona Doherty, Finn Valley AC, Eoin Boyle, Tír Chonaill AC, Cassie Lagan, Finn Valley AC and Chris Kearns Finn Valley AC. Brendan Boyce, Finn Valley AC was the recipient of the Senior Male Award and Noreen Bonner, Finn Valley was the Master Women athlete of the year and Eamon Giles Cranford was inducted into the Ulster Athletics Hall of Fame.

Riona Doherty

Riona, from Ballybofey, had a really magnificent season winning four gold medals and two silvers in the Ulster Championships and two silvers in the All Ireland Championships. Her medals came in the 60m, 60m Hurdles and Long Jump.

 

Eoin Boyle

Eoin a native of Portnoo was another athlete who had a season to remember winning   four gold medals and two silvers in the Ulster Championships in Long Jump, High Jump and Hurdles events.

 

Cassie Lagan

Cassie, a native of Omagh, runs for Finn Valley and is in her first season of competitive athletics is currently on the shopping list of several American Colleges. Last week she   returned from the states after visiting a number of the colleges and is in the happy position of being able to pick and choose. Cassie received the Ulster Award after winning three gold and a bronze in the Ulster Championships as well as being selected for the European Mountain Running Championships on the Ulster/Athletics Northern Ireland team. Her events include 1,500m, 3,000m and Cross-Country.

Cassie Lagan number 209 with her Finn Valley teammates after winning Ulster title recently


Chris Kearns

Chris, who is currently in his second year at Athlone Institute of Technology, won two Ulster titles in the Triple Jump and hurdles and went on to win a gold in the Triple Jump and a bronze at the Hurdles in the AAI National Championships. Chris began his athletics with Killybegs AC before joining Finn Valley 


Brendan Boyce

Brendan, a native of Milford, has just qualified for his third Olympic Games and had a really magnificent season culminating in his sixth place in the 50km Walk at the World Championships in Doha where temperatures were as high as 52 degrees. This performance alone would have qualified him for the award but as well as this he won national titles at 20Km and 30Km Walks, and was second in both the 10,000m and 5,000m championships and set new Donegal and Ulster records for 20Km and the 3,000m Walks. He is currently based in Cork where he is coached by former World 50Km Champion Robbie Heffernan.

 

Noreen Bonner

Noreen, a native of Ballybofey, a long serving secretary of Finn Valley AC earned her award by finishing third in the World Masters Half Marathon Championships in Torun Poland and leading the Irish team to the World Title.

She won silver team medal with Ireland in the European Masters Marathon Championships in Venice where she again lead the Irish Team to a podium finish.

Noreen also won a silver team medal with Ireland in the Home Countries Masters Cross-Country Championships and won silver in both the AAI Masters 10km and Half Marathon Championships.

 

 

Eamon Giles

Eamon Giles is affectionately known as the Father of Donegal athletics is a very worthy recipient of the highest honour that Ulster Athletics can bestow on an individual. His contribution as a trail blazer, motivator, coach and administrator over the last 58 years has been enormous.

He set up Cranford Athletic Club in 1961 at a time when there were no other athletic clubs in the County, and built it into one of the strongest in the country. The number of athletes who were introduced to athletics by Eamon is staggering and Paddy Marley, Danny Mc Daid and Hugo Duggan all of whom went on to represent Ireland can all trace their roots back to Cranford.

Eamon himself was a very fine athlete and in the ten year period between 1965 and 1975 won six Ulster Senior 100m titles, and finished in silver on three occasions, seven Ulster Senior 200m titles and finished second on two occasions and was a member of four Cranford Ulster Senior 4 x 100m Relay winning teams, five Medley Relay winning teams and one 4 x 400m Ulster Senior winning team and is joint County record holder for 100m. He also won the Defence Forces Senior 110m Hurdles title in 1970.

He is a Life Vice President of Athletics Ireland, and of Donegal Athletics Board, was selected on the Donegal Athletics Team of the Millennium. He is a founder member of Donegal County Board and served as County Chairman for a total of eleven years, is currently president of the County Board. Eamon served as team manager to the Ulster/Athletics Northern Ireland Women’s team from 1980 to 1984.

Eamon is the ninth person inducted into the Ulster Hall of Fame and joins Maeve Kyle, Ballymena, Catherina Mc Kiernan, Cavan, Danny Mc Daid,  Glenswilly, Vera Sherry, Glaslough, Bernie O’ Callaghan, Killybegs, Derek Graham, Belfast, Hugo Duggan, Milford and Patsy Mc Gonagle, Ballybofey.               

 



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