Exceptional results for young rallyer

Posted on: 15th January, 2014

Category: Highlights

Contributor: Mary O'Brien

Cian O’Mahony, (16), a student at Clonakilty Community College, is driven by his passion for fast cars. Coming from a family of rallyers, Cian was on the sidelines at only four weeks old, participated in his first race, age 12, and also brought home his first trophy on that day.

In 2012, Cian claimed the coveted title ‘Overall Junior Driver of the Year’, and was also placed second in ‘Driver of the Year’ in the West Waterford Autograss Racing Club.

But it was 2013 that was a truly exceptional year for Cian, who took first place in the Junior 1a in the All-Ireland Autograss Series, going on to also win his class in the overall Junior and first place in the All Ireland series in class 1a. Cian’s dad Mike also raced in this event in the Micra 1a and was awarded first place in the men’s class 1a and also first in the All Ireland series in class 1a.

The past year has seen Cian racing at over 18 races in Cork, Waterford, Carlow, Down and the UK.

After receiving the cup for the ‘Fastest Junior on Grass’ on the day and overall Junior 1 cup for winning Class 1 in Cork Autograss at the end of the season, Cian travelled to compete in his first race in the UK last September, where he was placed 17 out of 94 in the Junior Nationals, an excellent achievement for the young rallyer.

It proved to be a race fraught with mishaps, with a brake pipe failing on their car the gearbox giving trouble, but the father and son team worked hard to get back on the road and Cian secured a place in the semi-final. Unfortunately, after a good battle Cian went out in the fourth heat; a problem arising due to steering damage with his car put him fourth position. So, although not making the final, his overall placing of 17 in his first UK race sent Cian home a very happy young man.

A comment in the Autograss review by Jeffery Parish from England leaves no room for doubt in Cian’s racing ability — “After incident packed racing in JUNIOR CLASS 1, Cian O’Mahony took his ‘Nationals’ Micra to the weekend’s top honour Cian and Michael O’Mahony had a frantic weekend keeping two cars running with two drivers each, but Cian was rewarded with a unique double win as he took JUNIOR CLASS 1A, also wrapping up the All Ireland title”.

So with 2013 marking the end of an exceptional run for Cian in the Juniors, the 2014 season starts again in March and a new chapter for Cian where no doubt we can be sure of more exciting results from this talented young rallyer.

Cian is delighted with what he has achieved in 2013 and moving up to the Men’s class this year, he hopes to start the season well at his first race in Carlow in March. “My ambition this year is to make the Nationals in England at the start of August. Only two cars in every class in Ireland qualify for this event.” Cian hopes to train as a mechanic after finishing his second level education.

The Cork Autograss Club at Castletown-Kenneigh in Enniskeance has secured the third round of the All Ireland Series on July 19 and 20.

Any Junior interested in getting involved in motorsport can log on to the Cork Autograss Facebook page or contact Sharon on 087/1335699 for more details.

Dates for next year are: Sunday, March 23, Sunday, April 13, Sunday, May 11, Sunday, June 22, Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20.  A.I.A.S and Junior Weekend — Sunday, September 14.

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.

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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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