Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Guest Post - DAN McCARTHY, R.I.P. John Walshe

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Guest Post - DAN McCARTHY, R.I.P. John Walshe

DAN McCARTHY, R.I.P. John Walshe

The athletics community in Cork and especially those who have participated in any road race in the East Cork area will be saddened to hear of the death of Dan McCarthy from Ballynoe who passed away after a short illness.

To many people, Dan was the familiar starter at virtually every race in the eastern region for over 40 years. Always willing to help out at any event, be it cross-country, track or road, he also contributed immensely at committee level, none more so then to his beloved East Cork Division where he served as Chairman for a total of over three decades.  

Dan’s first love was hurling in which he won East Cork Junior ‘A’ and ‘B’ medals with the local St Catherine’s club. With the formation of the Irish athletics body BLE in 1967 came a new athletic club in the village - also named St Catherine’s - and Dan’s involvement here led on to him becoming Vice-Chairman of the East Cork Athletics Board.

During his tenure as Chairman he was responsible for the formation of a road race championship which celebrated its 40th birthday last year and but for the current situation would have taken place again last Thursday evening. Those four decades also saw many well-known athletes emerge from the region, none more so than two Olympians in Liam O’Brien and Sonia O’Sullivan.

As recently as two months ago, Dan was in attendance at the annual East Cork Athletics Division Awards Night at the Midleton Park Hotel where he presented the Juvenile Athlete of the Year Shield in memory of his late wife, Kathleen, who passed away in 2011 and who was also a familiar figure on the running scene.

Probably Dan’s proudest achievement was acting as starter of the Ballycotton ‘10’ for 38 of its 40 years. Apart from the inaugural event and one other year while in hospital, he attended every one and during those years sent an estimated 50,000 runners off on their 10-mile journey.

There is no doubt that not one of those 50,000 could say they didn’t get a fair start – because impartially, fairness and a willingness to help others have been the hallmark of Dan McCarthy’s long and cherished sporting life.

May he rest in peace.

A list of previous guest posts from John Walshe can be seen HERE

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