Approximately 30 people gathered in Ballyhooly, Co.Cork last Friday evening to attend the unveiling of the special plaque commemorating the athletic achievements of John Harnett.
Donie Walsh of Leevale AC did the honours of unveiling the plaque after a short speech recounting part of his time in the USA with John. Back in the 70's, both were running to such a high standard that they represented Ireland in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Donie Walsh in the Marathon and John Hartnett in the 5,000 metres.
There are some photos of the plaque as well as a history of John Hartnett available HERE
Also shown on that page is a black & white photo taken of a cross-country race in the USA back in 1971. Pictured on the right is Donie Walsh, John Hartnett is in the centre and on the left in the Manhattan singlet is Mike Keogh who grew up in Midleton and then moved to the USA when he was still a child.
Mike Keogh qualified for the Irish Olympic team of 1972; he came back to Cork that summer and won the Irish 5000m championship at Banteer. He also broke the Irish three-mile record a couple of years later with a time of 13:14.7.
He is pictured (in a Midleton vest!) on page 17 of the Midleton AC book ‘Through the Ages’ published by Jim McMurtry earlier this year.