Free songs

Garda Boat Club secures Silverware at Trinity Regatta

Trinity Regatta was held on the River Liffey on Saturday 19th April 2014.  As crews gatherd for racing starting from 7am the sun began to break through the morning fog for a day when it would shine brightly all day for a very successful Regatta.  And as the fog lifted from the Liffey, the Garda Crews were some of the first crews to emerge from the mist coming around the Army bend.

The first of the Garda Crews to race were the Womens 4+, (Sheila Kenny, Mary Moore, Martha Coyne, Liza Galvin).  Coxed by Gavin Connolly he steered them well of the start however the DULBC crew that they raced against pulled away slightly and it was a lead the Garda women were not able to pull back.

After that, Olive Holden was in the final of the Womens Inter 1x against Gemma Foley of Commmercial.  Olive was well up on her competition and had a good lead coming towards the Army bend.  However, poor steering let her down and gave Gemma Foley a chance to come back at her and take the victory.  Olive later went on to compete in the Club 1 event but again came up against stiff opposition.  Continuing to train well, her coach Willie Ryan, is sure that  she will make the breakthrough yet.

The mens crews broke into singles for a time trial in the mornng for inclusion in the single events later in the day.  With the fastest four singles in each category going through, Garda Daire Mac Eoin secured qualification in the Mens Club 1 1x category and Club Captain Garda Damien Kelly securing qualification in the Mens Club 1 and Intermediate 1x category.

After the Luncheon break there was still plenty more racing for the Garda Crews.  The Womens Novice 8 were unlucky to be beaten by Trinity but they have made great strides since last year and are continuing in the right direction.

The Mens Club 1 4+ of Kevin Sheehan, Phil  Murphy, Ronan Allen and Daire Mac Eoin were coxed through their first heat by Gavin Connolly and the win settled them for their next race against the strong opposition of UCD.  The Garda men were down off the start but worked hard in the water and pushed past the UCD crew to secure their place in the final.  They went on to race the same Blackrock crew that had beaten them in Neptune Regatta.  With that in the back of their mind they were determined to right the wrongs of that experience.  They most certainly did so and despite Blackrock putting up some very tough resistance at first, the Garda Crew again pushed past to secure their first Regatta win together.  No doubt this will spur them on for further regattas in the season.

The last Garda races of the day was for Garda Damien Kelly in the singles.  Having made it through the time trial and the semi final, Damien was faced with Sam Toland of UCD who had beaten Daire Mac Eoin on the other side of the final.  Damien got off to a good start and got a lead on Toland.  Thankfully it was not as close an encounter as their last occasion and Damien managed to hold onto the lead for the win.  With one in the bag, Damien went back up to the start again to face Turlough Hughes of UCD in the final of the Intermediate 1x a short time later.  They both got off to good starts with the UCD sculler getting an early lead.  Garda Kelly made a number of pushes on the way down the course and put the UCD sculler under pressure and had the boats overlapping.  Damien made one final push at the 500m marker but the UCD sculler managed to hold it off to take victory for UCD.

Following the races and prize giving cermonies, all the Garda Crews retired to the Garda Club for refreshments.  Joined by oarsmen and women from UCD and Neptune, the party went on well into the night”.

The next scheduled race for the Garda Crews is Dublin Metropolitian Regatta on 17th May 2014 at Blessington Lakes.


Skibbereen Regatta – Garda Win

A full Garda Squad travelled to the National Rowing Centre at Inniscara on 12th April 2014 for Skibbereen Regatta.  It was the first 2000m Regatta of the year and with over 700 crews entered, it was bound to be an exciting weekend of rowing.  The womens novice crew, although not winning showed that they have made great strides since last year and are now competiting at the front of the field.  Hopefully before the end of the year, they will bring home some silverware.  The men’s squad managed to clinch 1st place two of the sculling events.   Garda Daire Mac Eoin and Garda Ronan Allen had a final that came all the way down to the last stroke of the race when they clinched 1st place in the Mens Club 1 2x.  Garda Kevin Sheehan and Club Captain Damien Kelly were entered one step higher in the Mens Intermediate 2x.  After a very impressive performance in their heat they were entered into a fast final and secured victory in their category.

Coaches Willie Ryan and Brian Hoey were impressed with the performance of all crews over the weekend and with Trinity  Regatta scheduled for next weekend are hopeful of securing more silverware


Garda Boat Club Win at Neptune Regatta

Neptune Regatta was held at Island Bridge on 5th April 2014.  After a disappointing winter for rowing conditions, the sun broke through the clouds for first day of regatta season.  It was also the first day of the new points grading system for Rowing Ireland.  Due to a large entry elimination rounds were held for Dublin clubs on Friday evening.  Unfortunately, this resulted in the Womens Novice 8, Mens Intermediate 4 and Womens Single Scull being knocked out early in the competition.  The next morning the Womens Novice Quad were unlucky to loose to a very strong Galway crew.  This left the only Garda entry being the Club Captain Damien Kelly in the Single Sculls event.


Coached by ex-Olympian Willie Ryan, Garda Kelly was part of the squad that travelled to a High Intensity training camp in Seville over Christmas and clearly this training is now paying it’s dividends.  Garda Kelly was unchallenged until the final when he met the UCD Sculler Sam Toland.  Sparks flew all the way down the course between the two scullers with Toland taking a length of a lead.  However, with encouragement from the Garda slip as both scullers passed, the Club Captain dug deep and upped the rate for the last 500m.  Toland put up a good fight but Garda Kelly pushed past him in the last 100m to claim victory for the Garda Boat Club for the second year in a row.


The next outing for the Club is Skibbereen Regatta at the National Rowing Centre on 12th April 2014.  This will surely bring all the competition out of the woodwork for the first  2000m race of the year.



Home International Squad

The clubs recent training camp at Seville seems to be reeping the awards for the moment.  Garda Olive Holden, who put in 10 hard days at Seville in December recently, trialled for inclusion in the Home International Squad.  The Squad trails were held at the National Rowing Centre on 29th March.  Watched from the bank by her coach, Willie Ryan, Olive competed in the Light Weight Women’s Section.  The weather was challenging for all athletes but Olive overcame the elements to finish a comfortable second position.  With 3 lightweight athletes to be included in the squad, Olive is surely in the line up to don the green one piece in July.  The squad will be announced later in the year and it will be very difficult to overlook Garda Holden.. Well done Olive


Dublin Hor

The 70th Dublin HOR was held on Saturday 22nd March 2014.  Racing from Haypenny Bridge towards Heuston, all crews were up against tough, cold and wet weather conditions for teh first race of the year due to the poor recent weather.  Garda Boat Club had two crews amongt the 42 crews.  All crews were left clutching to the boardwalk for shelter from the elements but when the flag went down it was clear that all crews were anxious for their first race since November 6th. Watched eagerly from the bridges and water by coaches Willie Ryan and Gerry Conway the Garda crews were quick from the blocks.  The mens intermediate coxed 4 finished an impressive 1st position, a clear minute ahead of their competition, with much thanks to their well versed cox Lucy Anne O Sullivan. The Womens Novice 8+ were also steered to victory by their new and able cox Gavin Connolly.  The were chased home by a close UCD.

All crews are now looking forward to the start of the regatta season with Neptune Regatta on 5th Apriland Olive Holden attending Trials at the National Rowing Centre on 29th March.  Hopefully this year will see the blue rise again.

Womens Pics : Womens Novice 8.
Gavin Connolly (Cox), Laura O Brien (Stk), Fiona Connaughtan, Marie Geraghty, Mary Moore, Martha Coyne, Liza Galvin, Janet Walsh, Olive Holden.

Mens Pics : Mens Intermediate 4+.

Lucy Anne O Sullivan (Cox), Kevin Sheehan (Stk), Philip Murphy, Ronan Allen, Daire Mac Eoin (Bow).


IMAG1014 IMAG1012 IMAG1010 IMAG0999 IMAG1003 IMAG1006


Funeral of John O’Neill

It is with regret that I inform you of the death of John O’Neill.
John joined the Garda Boat Club in 1963 and was a member of our Junior Crew that captured the Irish Junior VIII Championship in 1964. He served as Club Captain in 1966.
Funeral arrangements as follows;
John O’Neill, Friarstown House, Friarstown, Grange, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick. Formerly of Rathfarnham, Dublin, retired Garda Sergeant. Deeply regretted by sons Sean, Michael, daughters Aine, Deirdre, Eileen brother, sons-in-law, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, other relatives and friends. Husband of the late Josephine.

Reposing at his residence on Tuesday from 5pm until 7pm. Requiem Mass at St Patrick and Brigid’s Church, Grange on Wednesday at 11.30am. Burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.


Kenny Mc Donald finished in first Place

Garda Kenny McDonald, who was a member of our Senior VIII Championship Crew of 2000, was on the winners podium again when he won the World Indoor Rowing Championships in Boston on Sunday the 16th February 2014.

Kenny finished in first place in the Lightweight Senior Master Men Division posting a time of 6:24.5 for a 2000m sprint. He beat last year’s winner by 2 seconds. Two times Olympian and ex USA oarsman Greg Ruckman had to settle for third place, 8 seconds behind Kenny.

Kenny also holds The World Police and Fire Games record in the men’s open lightweight category which he set at the games in 2013.  His intention is to set a new Irish record in the coming months and make an attempt on the World Lightweight senior masters record later this year.  Kenny has won a total of eight Irish Senior National Championships and is an ex international oarsman.

Kenny has been assigned to the Garda Training College for the last nine years and is attached to Garda Operational and Occupational Safety Section.

To watch the race please click here


A World Track Championships silver medal was lifted from around Caroline Ryan’s neck on the last lap of the scratch race in Colombia in the early hours of this morning,

Caroline Ryan has gotten Ireland’s campaign at the UCI World Track Championships in Cali, Colombia, underway with a massive ride in the scratch race that saw her ushered from the podium within touching distance of the finish line.

The Kildare woman and World No 1 pursuiter rode a very clever race early on, minding herself well and always staying within striking distance of the action.

However, while she instigated the winning two-rider move with Belgian Kelly Druyts, she could not hold her place out front. And well inside the last two laps, or 500 metres, of the 10km race she faded and was caught, with the Belgian surviving out front to win the world title.

As the 40-lap race entered its final third, Ryan was showing the legs and smarts that saw her take a bronze medal in the points race at the Worlds in Melbourne two years ago; holding her position really impressively and planting herself right in the middle of the action at the head of the intact bunch.

With exactly 15 laps to go, Ryan could be seen loitering with intent close to the front of that bunch, leading on occasion by mostly happy to sit in the top half dozen riders and bide her time as attacks went and were brought back.

With 7 laps remaining she attacked on the inside from the front, apparently gently at the beginning but managing to pull clear with Belgian rider Druyts.

When the gap opened a little, the Irish rider absolutely buried herself on the front to pull out a bigger lead, sensing this was her big chance in the title race that began at 1am Irish time.

Immediately daylight appeared between the two leaders and the rest of the field as under the power of the Irish woman the gold and silver medals looked to be sailing off into the Colombian night with the crowd going wild in the stands.

But then slowly it became clear Ryan was paying for her efforts a little; being distanced by the Belgian by a half a length and then by several metres; but not blowing and still well ahead of the pack with three and four laps remaining.

Out front, Druyts put on the afterburners and pulled away from Ryan completely as she hit for home flat out inside three laps to go.

Behind, the pace ramped up as the group felt they could still get back on terms with the leaders, who were now each ploughing ahead exhausted on their own.

It was too late for the field to rescue the contest for gold, with Druyts just about holding off the pack to take the scratch race iconic rainbow bands

Ryan was agonisingly unable to do the same in the silver medal position, and just as the penultimate lap was turning to the final 250 metre loop, the charging bunch had her in their sights and she was quickly closed down and passed, her silver medal disappearing as it was literally about to be hung around her neck.

She was eventually swamped by the pack, fading into it and coming over the line with her head down looking absolutely exhausted in 14th place.

Her keenness to open the gap just after her attack had cost her the legs she needed to hold onto her breakaway companion and take at least silver.

While a fantastic ride by Ryan, she will rue being unable to hold the winner’s wheel for just the couple of hundred metres longer that she needed to medal.

Next up for the Irish is Ryan Mullen and Martyn Irvine who go in the individual pursuit at 5pm Irish time today, Thursday, in an event where Irvine took silver last year.

Then just seven hours later, at midnight Irish time, Irvine goes again in the 15km scratch race where he won the gold medal and world title last year.


Article courtesy of


Caroline Ryan is the World No 1 ranked pursuiter in the latest UCI rankings issued with just three weeks remaining to the World Track Championships in Colombia.

Currently honing her race form ahead of the World Track Championships in Colombia which begin at the end of the month, Caroline Ryan has been given a welcome boost ahead of that showdown.

The former Garda Oarswoman and Irish International Rower has regained her World No 1 ranking in the 3km individual pursuit; a position she held for much of last year before briefly losing it to her rival Rebecca Wisiak of Australia.

The latest rankings from the UCI reveal Ryan is now back on top and this time by a considerable margin.

The Irish international currently has 365 ranking points in the event, compared to Polish rider Eugenia Bujak who is in 2nd place on 318 points. The positions after the Pole are close, with Wiasak and Cuban Yudelmis Dominguez both tied on 305 points

In December Ryan finished 4th in the qualifying round of the individual pursuit at the UCI World Cup meeting in Mexico. That ride secured her a head-to-head ride off for the bronze medal against Anna Solovey.

Despite the Ukrainian being the faster of the two in that qualifying round, Ryan put in the ride of her life to beat her in the head-to-head and take the bronze medal.

It was her first medal at a UCI World Cup and indeed was the first medal ever won by an Irish woman at a World Cup.

She added that to her bronze medal from the World Track Championships in Melbourne two years ago. At the upcoming Worlds in Cali she will ride the pursuit and points race, in which she is ranked 29th in the world in the latest rankings.

Ireland’s reigning world scratch race champion, Martyn Irvine remains 4th in the world rankings in that event and has slipped one place to 4th in the pursuit. He had been World No 1 in both last year but was hit by a series of crashes in 2013 that interrupted his racing for most of the year.

Despite those difficulties he still won an omnium bronze medal at the European Track Championships in the summer and took UCI World Cup gold in the scratch race in Manchester in November.

He heads into the imminent Worlds hoping to repeat his awesome riding of 12 months ago when he won silver in the pursuit as well as scratch gold.

Article courtesy of



UCI World Rankings: 3km Individual Pursuit

Rank Nation Points
1 (2) Caroline   Ryan Ireland 365
2 (3) Eugenia   Bujak Poland 318
3 (4) Yudelmis   Dominguez Cuba 305
4 (1) Rebecca   Wiasak Australia 305
5 (6) Elinor   Barker Great Britain 262
6 (8) Kate   Archibald Great Britain 246
7 (10) Alexandra   Chekina Russia 237
8 (11) Joanna   Roswell Great Britain 230
9 (14) Amy   Cure Australia 207
10 (16) Sarah   Hammer United States 200



Garda Oarsmen / Women, Seville, Spain – January 2014

While we battened down the hatches and took shelter from the storm, Garda oarsmen and women put in the miles in the sunnier climate of Spain.


On 29th December 2013, six Garda oarsmen / women departed for Seville for some much needed warm weather training. The group was led by Club Captain Damien Kelly who trained in a single scull, and included Olive Holden also in a single scull and the Men’s Intermediate IV of Daire Mac Eoin, Kevin Sheehan, Philip Murphy & Ronan Allen. They were accompanied by Club Coaches Willie Ryan and Brian Hoey. Willie Ryan said “The facilities were first class. We had three sessions per day on the water with no distractions. Thankfully our winter training programme stood to us and we avoided any injuries. We look forward to seeing the fruits of our labour at the next Head of the River.”