Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Unveiling of plaque to John Hartnett - Ballyhooly - Fri 24th of Sept 2010
When I first heard of the race in 2009, I have to admit that I had no idea of who John Hartnett was or what he had done. I think at one stage, I had put the race up on the calendar of Cork road races as the John Hartnett Memorial race before someone pointed out that he was still alive and well and living in the USA!!
Prior to the event this year, one of the race organizers, Pat Nash sent on some information to me about John Hartnett. At the time, I put the info to one side and it's only recently that I have had a chance to read through it. John Hartnett from Cork was a world class runner in his day and ran some really impressive times back in the early 70's. He set new Irish records for the mile beating previous times set by Ronny Delaney. If that wasn't enough, the time he ran was also faster than the existing British record for the mile! He also represented Ireland in the 5,000 metres at the Olympic games in Munich in 1972.
When I turned to the Internet and Google for information on John Hartnett, there seemed to be very little out there. It seemed a shame that such a good Irish runner should be overlooked and forgotten about.
So to remedy that, I have put up a few webpages about John Hartnett up on a website so at least there is a small corner of the web where people can read about him and his achievements. You can see the start of the article HERE.
Towards the end of the article, there is a photo from 1971 showing John Hartnett and Donie Walsh who was a fellow team mate at the time from Villanova in the USA. Donie also went to the 1972 Olympics to represent Ireland in the Marathon and is currently a coach with Leevale AC.
On Friday the 24th of Sept at 7pm, that picture which was taken back in 1971 kind of goes full circle when 39 years later, Donie Walsh will be unveiling a special plaque in the village of Ballyhooly to commemorate John Hatnett.
This is open to the public and if you are interested in attending, you can see the exact location HERE
Ballyhooly is on the N72 main road between Fermoy and Mallow. If you are coming from Cork City, go into the centre of Fermoy, cross the bridge and take a left at the church with the statues outside. Stay on this road and you will arrive in Ballyhooly.
Refreshments will be served in the GAA hall after the unveiling.