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24
SEP
2014

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1961


Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1961 ~ The Irish Junior VIII Championship took place at Galway. Garda beat Queen’s by one length in the heat, before going on to capture the title by half a length from Cappoquin in the final. Connie Byrne recalls the race:

We were racing up the course when one of the crew caught his oar on a rock sticking up out of the water, it never broke our rhythm and we maintained our lead and went on to win the race.

Irish Junior VIII Champions, 1961

Bow     Peadar Casey                           (5)        John Collins

(2)        Pat Clavin                                 (6)        Brendan Sweeney

(3)        John Mee                                 (7)        Jim Higgins

(4)        Billy Dunphy                             Str.      Damien O’Leary

Cox                 Connie Byrne

Coach             Jim Maguire

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2014

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1955

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1955 ~ On Thursday 30th June 1955, our junior VIII was the first crew to race at an Irish National Championship under the Garda Boat Club flag.After our success in the maiden event at Trinity Regatta, Club Captain Jim Maguire decided that the crew should be entered at junior level. The race took place at Athlone. In the heat, after a bad start, which saw our crew one and a quarter lengths down, we put in a push to draw level with Portora and to go on to win our place in the final against the hosts Athlone. The Club’s first Championship soon followed with a one length win over Athlone. An unidentified newspaper article reported:

From the start Athlone put in a great effort and showed in front for a while. But the Gardaí made a determined effort and drew level and finally showed a half a canvas lead over Athlone. Brilliantly stroked by Tom Brennan they pushed their lead out to a length and rounding the bend there was clear water between the boats.

Irish Junior VIII Champions, 1955

Bow     Paddy Prendergast                   (5)        John Killian

(2)        Joe Callinan                              (6)        Mick Harty

(3)        Gerry McDonagh                     (7)        Tom Casey

(4)        Brendan O’Sullivan                   Str.      Tom Brennan

Cox                 Brendan O’Connor

Coach             Jim Maguire

24
SEP
2014

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1956

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1956 ~ On Wednesday 25th July 1956, the Garda junior crew were victorious over the unbeaten Queen’s crew, when we won the Irish Junior Championship at New Ross Regatta.

Irish Junior VIII Champions 1956

Bow     Paddy Prendergast                   (5)        John Killian

(2)        Joe Callinan                              (6)        Mick Harty

(3)        Gerry McDonagh                     (7)        Tom Casey

(4)        Brendan O’Sullivan                   Str.      Tom Brennan

Cox                 Brendan O’Connor

Coach             Jim Maguire

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SEP
2014

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1957

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1957 ~ On Thursday 25th July 1957, the Irish Junior VIII Championship was held at Limerick Regatta. Queen’s had beaten us at Athlone and Islandbridge. So when we met them in the semifinal we knew that this was our ‘real’ final. In a closely fought contest we emerged victorious by a quarter of a length and went on to win the final with a convincing performance beating Shannon by three lengths, to retain the title for the third year in a row. Jim Maguire recalls some of the trips to the country:

At the time the Club had very little money. I can remember putting petrol into the car and paying for it out of my own pocket and not being one hundred percent sure that I would be reimbursed by the Club. I can also recall racing in Limerick and calling into the local Garda Station in William Street looking for somewhere to sleep for the night. At the time there was sleeping quarters in the station, we were shown to a room with a row of beds. The dust was an inch thick. I’d say the beds had not been slept in for years. We dusted them down and settled down for the night with some of the lads sleeping on the floor.

Irish Junior VIII Champions, 1957

Bow     Mick Moylan                            (5)        Tom Gardiner

(2)        John Brennan                            (6)        Jim Murphy

(3)        John Hearne                             (7)        John Hickson

(4)        Pat Ryan                                  Str.      John Cuffe

Cox                 Paddy Hoare

Coach             Jim Maguire

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2014

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1959

Irish Junior VIII Championship, 1959 ~ On 3rd August 1959, with a change of cox our newly crowned Maiden Championship winning crew went on to win the Junior VIII Championship at Carrick-on-Shannon when we beat Neptune in the final by four lengths. The real test came in the semifinal against a much fancied St. Ignatius crew. Paddy Hoare writing in the Irish Sport (November 1959) described the race:

Both crews went off the stake boats exceedingly well and with St. Ignatius’ reputation as very fast starters, I expected that they would have caught us inside a minute, but as it turned out, it was Garda who were dictating matters at this point and were in fact going away. The latter at this stage were striking thirty two to their opponents forty…The crew needed little encouragement from me for when I called for the effort, they literally lifted their clinker boat out of the water….

Irish Junior VIII Champions, 1959

Bow     Pat McGilloway                        (5)        John Brislane

(2)        Paddy Noonan                         (6)        Noel Manton

(3)        John Landers                            (7)        Gerry Denn

(4)        Brendan Duane             Str.      Ray Casey

Cox                 Paddy Hoare

Coaches          Jim Maguire and Jim Murphy

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2014

Irish Senior Women’s Sculling Champion, 2008

On 11th and 12th July 2008, the final competition of the year took place at the National Championships in Inniscarra. To cap off a fantastic year, Caroline Ryan won the Irish Women’s Senior Single Scull title (7.40) easily and was twenty-six seconds ahead of her nearest rival.

Irish Senior Women’s Sculling Champion, 2008

Caroline Ryan

Coaches          Brendan Duane, Ted Ryan and Willie Ryan

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2014

Irish Senior Women’s Sculling Champion, 2005

Caroline Ryan’s victory at the National Rowing Championships in Cork was her greatest achievement of the year. In the final of the Women’s Senior Single Scull Championship, Caroline led by half a length at the 500 metre mark. By the half way mark she had increased her lead to one length. But the race was not over. Heather Boyle from the Irish national squad put in a big push to draw level at the 1,500 metre mark. In the race of the day, with great determination, Caroline held out to beat the favourite by a distance of a canvas.

Irish Senior Women’s Sculling Champion, 2005

Caroline Ryan

Coaches          Willie & Ted Ryan and Brendan Duane

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2014

Irish Senior Women’s Sculling Champion, 1990

On 21st July 1990, the Heineken sponsored Irish National Championships took place at Blessington Lakes, Wicklow. For the first time in the history of the Garda Boat Club a woman won a National Championship title, when Janette Towey beat UCC (Niamh Ní Cheilleachair) by a distance. The Irish Times (23/7/90) reported:

Twenty-one year old Ban Garda Janette Towey once again proved she is the best of the Irish scullers by retaining her title and with a recent good performance behind her at Lucerne, she, too, is entitled to look forward to her lightweight sculling challenge at the Under 23 World Championships.

Irish Senior Women’s Sculling Champion, 1990

Janette Towey

Coach            Gerry Towey

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2014

Irish Senior Double Scull Champions, 1988

On 16th July 1988, a record entry of two hundred and forty-six crews took part in the Irish National Championships at Blessington Lakes. Unfortunately, we were not in a position to field a senior crew for the VIIIs event. In the elite double scull, Pat and Ted Ryan were pitted against Skibbereen (Lar Collins and Dominic Casey) the National Champions of the preceding three years. The Ryan brothers had won at St. Michael’s, Limerick and Athlone. However, Skibbereen got back on course by winning at Metropolitan Regatta. This built up nicely for a ‘showdown’ at the National Championship. In the final, the familiar explosive start by Skibbereen was matched and bettered by Garda who got clear water by half way. The Ryan brothers controlled the race and repelled every push made by the opponents and went on to win an exciting and memorable Double Scull Championship by one and a half lengths.

Irish Senior Double Scull Champions, 1988

Bow     Pat Ryan

Str.      Ted Ryan

Coach                         Willie Ryan

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2014

Irish Senior Double Scull Champions, 1984

National Championships ~ On 14th July 1984, the Irish Senior Championships took place at Metropolitan Regatta at Blessington Lakes, Wicklow. Tom Malone and Frank Moore teamed up in a double scull, having struggled all year to find consistency, they ‘pulled it out of the bag’ on the day that it mattered. With only a few feet between the first three crews, it was Garda who won the title, from Lady Victoria (Patrick and John Armstrong), with Skibbereen (Collins and Casey) coming in a close third. Tom Malone reflected on the win:

…we never really clicked except on the day of the Championship. Remarkably, this was the only competition that we won all year!

Irish Senior Double Scull Champions, 1984

Bow     Frank Moore

Str.      Tom Malone