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Henley Royal Regatta, 1975

Henley Royal Regatta, 1975 ~ According to the Henley records, ‘Garda won the Thames Cup with what must surely have been the strongest Irish crew yet seen at Henley’. Thirty-two crews were entered for the Thames Challenge Cup, with four crews seeded – Dartmouth, Harvard University, Nautilus and Leander. In the opening round we beat Harvard by two lengths (1.50) (3.09) (6.40). The Irish Independent (4/7/75) reported:

The outstanding performance was that of the Garda eight, who dismissed the seeded Harvard University crew in summary fashion …with the race won it was only a paddle home from the enclosure, and the crowd in the stand accorded Garda the loudest applause of the day for a first rate performance.

On Friday we beat Saxon B.C. (1.52) (3.09) (6.41). In the quarterfinal we got the better of University of London by one and a quarter lengths (1.51) (3.11) (6.44). In the semifinal, on Sunday morning, Henley R.C. rowing on their home ‘turf’ were no match for us and went down by one and three quarter lengths (1.50) (3.06) (6.39). Ominously, Quintin set new records against Leander in the other semifinal, 1.49 to the Barrier and 3.05 to Fawley. Club Captain Sean Kavanagh, team manager Gerry McDonagh, Mr. Joe McGough and his wife Nancy were among the 30,000 spectators who cheered on our crew in their Bord Bainne sponsored ‘Kerrygold’ boat. A distinctly Irish cheer could be heard when it was announced on the public address system that ‘At the end of the Island, Garda Síochána Boat Club, Ireland leads Quintin Boat Club by a canvas’. We went from strength to strength and were two and a quarter lengths ahead at the three quarter mile signal. Quintin began to pull us back, but we were never in danger of being beaten and went on to win the Thames Challenge Cup by one length (1.50) (3.08) (6.37).

The Times of London reported:

Garda Síochána who have been knocking on the door in this event for some time came home winners one length clear of Quintin for a popular win. There seemed to be so many Irish policemen here lending support that Dublin over the weekend must have been a thief’s paradise.

The celebrations were dampened somewhat, when, as the victorious crew returned to the slip, the landing pontoon collapsed under the weight of well wishers. Many of the crew and supporters were thrown into the water. Thankfully nobody was hurt. That night, the crew and supporters travelled to London to celebrate their famous victory at a function hosted by Bord Bainne.

Garda VIII ~ Winners of the Thames Challenge Cup, 1975

Bow     John Fahy                                 (5)        Willie Ryan

(2)        Larry Barron                            (6)        Christy O’Brien

(3)        Frank Moore                            (7)        Jim Muldoon

(4)        Andy McDonough                    Str.      Mick Ryan

Cox                 Liam Redmond

Coaches          Brendan Duane, Pat Grace and Lou Barry


Irish Intermediate VIII Championship, 1997

Irish Intermediate VIII Championship, 1997 ~ On 18th July 1997 the Irish Intermediate Championships took place in glorious conditions at Farranwood, Cork. Club President John Mee and Club Captain Mick Kearney were among the large crowd who cheered on the Garda intermediate crew (6.08) to a famous victory in the final over Defence Forces (6.12), UCD (6.17), UCD (B) (6.20), St. Michael’s (6.22) and Muckross (6.26). We last won the Intermediate VIII Championship in 1979.

Out of a field of thirteen crews the stern IV qualified with ease for the final of the intermediate coxed IV event. It was really a two boat final, with UCG and Garda battling it out for pole position. Despite our best efforts, UCG (6.37) held out for a two-thirds of a length victory, with Garda second (6.39), Muckross third (6.47) and UCD fourth (6.49). The Irish Times (21/7/97) reported:

The championships were watched by one of the biggest crowds seen at an Irish Regatta for many years and the competition was of the highest standard with perfect rowing conditions.

Tony Morrissey remembers the final of the Intermediate VIII Championship:

Both crews made the final as expected. Crew talks were given, the future of the club was at hand, all the effort during the year and everyone knew there would only be a few seconds after six minutes of hard racing between winners and losers. UCD also had a fast eight that year which competed at Henley in the Temple Challenge Cup and were very quick, so it wasn’t going to be easy. We raced our hearts out and scored a magnificent victory over worthy opponents with the Defence Forces second and UCD third. We entered the elite eights event and gave the Defence Forces a second opportunity. But no way were we going to be beaten. The race was won by an excellent Neptune crew which was full of seasoned oarsmen.

Irish Intermediate VIII Champions, 1997

Bow     Cathal Brennan             (5)        John Dillon

(2)        Andy O’Brien                           (6)        Graham Tolan

(3)        Kenny McDonald                     (7)        Ciaran Hoey

(4)        Sean Pender                             Str.      Donal Corry
Cox                 Tony Morrissey
Coaches          Brendan Duane and Christy O’Brien

Irish Intermediate VIII Championship, 1979

Irish Intermediate VIII Championship, 1979 ~ On Saturday 16th June 1979, Garda beat UCD by one and a half lengths in the final of the Irish Intermediate VIII Championship at Athlone Regatta; Tribesmen were second and Commercial finished in third place. Unfortunately, UCG proved too strong in the Intermediate Coxed IV Championship, which took place the following week in Cork, they beat us by one and a half lengths in the final.

Irish Intermediate VIII Champions, 1979

Bow     Dave Gahan                             (5)        John Foley

(2)        Harry Topham                          (6)        Larry Baxter

(3)        Frank Martin                            (7)        Tom Byrne

(4)        Des Treacy                               Str.      Denis Murphy

Cox                 John Wallis

Coach             Jim Muldoon

Irish Intermediate VIII Championship, 1973

Irish Intermediate VIII Championship, 1973 ~ On 23rd June 1973, we took to the water to compete in the Irish Junior VIII Championship. Having been unbeaten on Irish water all year, our optimism was rewarded when Tim Twomey steered the crew to a well earned victory over UCD. In the Captain’s Report Sean Kavanagh recorded:

The juniors competed with distinction in the eight at every regatta and the highlight of their success was the Junior VIII Championship at Athlone where the efforts of UCD was no match for the skill and determination of Brendan Duane and his crew.

Irish Junior VIII Champions, 1973

Bow     Eamon Lynch                           (5)        Frank Moore

(2)        John Healy                               (6)        Sylvie Keaney

(3)        Ted Nolan                                (7)        Aidan Carroll

(4)        Pat Collins                                Str.      Joe McCartney

Cox                 Tim Twomey

Coach             Brendan Duane

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1972

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1972 ~ On 24th June 1972, the Irish Junior VIII Championship was held at Cork City Regatta. Garda won the VIIIs title, with UCD second and Trinity third. One hour later we went back on the water and won the ‘Leander Grand Challenge Cup’. The Cork Examiner(26/6/72) reported:

Those magnificent men, the Garda Junior Eight, achieved an incredible double at sun soaked Cork Regatta when, in the space of an hour, they took the Junior Eights Championship of Ireland and then swept to a superb Leander Senior Eight’s win…It was like old times with the tree lined Marina at its loveliest; the June sun melted recent apathy towards this event and the crowds really enjoyed a great afternoons racing and, above all, the power packed performances from the Garda flying squad…The statisticians could find no record of a similar feat in Irish rowing records.

Irish Junior VIII Champions, 1972

Bow     Jerry Curran                             (5)        Vivian O’Dea

(2)        Tom Fitzgerald                         (6)        Christy O’Brien

(3)        John Fahy                                (7)        Gerry Conway

(4)        Joe Harte                                 Str.      Mick Ryan

Cox                 Don Redmond

Coaches          Pat Grace and Brendan Duane


Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1969

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1969 ~ On 14th June 1969, seven crews lined up to compete for the Junior VIII Championship of Ireland at Waterford Regatta. Our unbeaten crew proved their worth as favourites, when coming from behind they rowed through a St. Michael’s crew, which also contained a number of Gardaí, to win the title from St. Michael’s by three-quarters of a length, with Waterford in third place. The Irish Independent (15/6/69) reported:

Garda showed superior stamina when winning the final of the Junior Eight Championship of Ireland at Waterford Regatta on the Suir yesterday. St. Michael’s showed from the start and, at the halfway, led Garda by over a length. Garda however put in tremendous spurt to win the Championship by three-quarters of a length.

Irish Junior VIII Champions, 1969

Bow     Fachtna Murphy                       (5)        Pat Mullarkey

(2)        Tim Maunsell                            (6)        Donal K. Ward

(3)        Malachy Mulligan                     (7)        Pat Morgan

(4)        Donal Ward                             Str.      John Muldoon
Cox                 Tim Twomey
Coach             Gerry McDonagh

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1967

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1967 ~ On 1st July 1967, after a relatively difficult semifinal against Neptune, Garda went on to a comfortable victory of two and a half lengths over Queen’s in the final on the Corrib at Galway Regatta. Unfortunately, Pat Ryan who had rowed with the crew during the year took ill and was unavailable for the Championship. Jim Muldoon was drafted in from the maiden crew and helped the Club retain the Irish Junior VIII Championship for a fifth year in a row. The Irish Times (3/7/67) reported, ‘Garda coasted away in grand style to win convincingly’.

Irish Junior VIII Champions, 1967

Bow     Martin Neary                            (5)        Larry Barron

(2)        Jim Muldoon                            (6)        Mick Mulhern

(3)        Pat Keohane                            (7)        John McElligott

(4)        Pat Raftery                               Str.      Connie Byrne

Cox                 Tim Twomey

Coach             Pat Clavin

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1966

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1966 ~ On Friday 15th July 1966, Garda won the Junior VIII Championships at Cappoquin Regatta. The main opposition included Queen’s, St. Michael’s and UCD. Having progressed to the final we proved too strong for UCD’s challenge.

Irish Junior VIII Champions, 1966

Bow     Michael Leydon                        (5)        Peter Duffy

(2)        John Quill                                 (6)        Peter Fitzgerald

(3)        Christy Finnegan                       (7)        Seamus Gibbons

(4)        Frank Cullinane                        Str.      Steve Cunningham

Cox                 Tim Twomey

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1964

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1964 ~ On 13th June 1964, Garda raced for the Irish Junior VIII Championship at Belfast Regatta on the Lagan. After taking an early lead, we held on to the end to beat Queen’s by one and a half lengths. The Irish Times (15/6/64) reported:

Garda stroked by Michael Marrinan won the Junior Eight Championship at Belfast Regatta on the Lagan. The winners took the lead from the first bend and held off some spirited challenges by Queen’s to the end.

Under the title ‘Garda in Control’ the Sunday Independent (14/6/64) reported:

There was never any doubt about the Junior Eights’ Championship on the Lagan at Belfast yesterday. With revenge in their hearts, the superb Garda crew – brilliantly stroked by Mick Marrinan – swept to the front at the right angled first bend and soundly squashed the Challenge of Queen’s University, their conquerors for last season’s maiden ‘pot’.

Irish Junior VIII Champions, 1964

Bow     Padraig Keane                          (5)        John O’Neill

(2)        Bill Somers                               (6)        Tom Aughey

(3)        John Joe Clerkin                       (7)        Vincent Cronnolly

(4)        Pat Duffy                                  Str.      Mick Marrinan

Cox                Don Redmond


Irish Junior VIII Champions, 1963

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1963 ~ On Friday 19th July 1963, the race for the Irish Junior VIII Championship of Ireland took place at the 101stCappoquin Regatta. This was the first occasion that a Championship event took place on the River Blackwater. Out of a field of five crews the unbeaten Garda crew went on to win in spectacular fashion. Micheal Johnston recalls this great victory:

The first maiden crew, with a few survivors from the previous year won three maiden races early in the year, and then moved up to race an early Junior Championship at Cappoquin — for experience, mainly, because the coaches didn’t know how much higher the standard might be. Cappoquin was a new experience for the coaches: a lorry in an open field as a grandstand, and a big wide start on the tidal Blackwater, which narrowed as the race proceeded upstream: what would happen if the crews all remained level? Fortunately we didn’t have to find out the answer, because Garda stretched away to win the title. They went on to win it for five years in a row, the longest sequence before or since for the Junior (now the Intermediate) Pot.

Irish Junior VIII Champions, 1963

Bow     Tony Walsh                              (5)        Tom Collins

(2)        Bill Somers                               (6)        Bill Quane

(3)        Vincent Cronnolly                     (7)        Bill Rooney

(4)        Donal Riordan                          Str.      Bill Curry

Cox                 Bernard Byrne

Coaches          Micheal Johnston and Derry McCaffrey