Offaly school makes history with Colin Dunne Memorial tournament victory

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


Tullamore school Gaelscoil an Eiscir Riada has won the Colin Dunne Memorial Schools Athletics Cup for the first time.

The competition proved to be an exceptional day of juvenile athletics in the Tullamore Harriers Stadium on Wednesday.

Over 500 children turned up to compete in individual and team events with overall results being added up to provide the eventual winner.

The tournament is run in memory of an inspirational teacher and sports enthusiast from Rahan who died 10 years ago five kilometres from the end of the Barcelona Marathon in 2009.

Colin Dunne left an impression on everyone he met and the Primary Schools Athletics event is a fitting memorial on his behalf.

Gaelscoil an Eiscir Riada entered five teams consisting of three girls teams and two boys teams.

The initial 80-metre sprint event was a closely run event with Gaelscoil's Eimear Nic Oitir just finishing in front of Ballinamere's Niamh Galvin for 3rd and 4th place. 

Gaelscoil added to their lead with Meabh De Rois coming second in the 600 metres with Ballinameres Jane Maher coming 6th. Grace McNally from Ballinamere came back with a second place finish compared to Gaelscoil's Una Ni Bhriain's 4th place finish in the long jump.

The next event was the 400metre relay race where Gaelscoil were leading well thanks to a great run from Polly Ni Dhufaigh when unfortunately they dropped the baton on the last turn over. Eimear Nic Oitir picked up the baton and put in an incredible performance to finish 5th to Ballinamere's 1st.

All now depended on the result of the shot put. Gaelscoil had to finish at least three places ahead of Ballinamere to take the Cup and when the results came through Isobel Nic Amhlaoibh had done exactly that coming second as Ballinamere's Julia Slattery finished 5th. 

After all the results were totted up Gaelscoil an Eisicr Riada had won by one point over Ballinamere who had won all previous competitions and were going for a five in a row.

The Gaelscoil girls were overjoyed to receive the cup from Colin Dunne's parents Tom and Bernie and really appreciated the significance of their achievement.

The Gaelscoil an Eiscir Riada girls were treated to a rapturous reception on their return to school following a trip to the shop for all five of their teams to get some ice cream to savour their achievement.