Secretary (Ann Dunford) Report to A.G.M. of West Waterford Athletic Club on Friday 12th April 2024


Every year we gather together, we reflect on the year past, catalogue the achievements of our members and to plan for the year ahead.  It is right and proper that we document the many medals, titles, personal bests and standards set by our club members and all those who represent us in competitions on home soil and all over Europe.  These achievements are based on the hard work, determination and discipline of our athletes and we salute all those who have set new standards for themselves in 2023. 

Our club is also dedicated to those who wish to participate, those who just want to start running but don’t know how, who want to turn up to an event or race where they are made to feel welcome and part of something.  A club is for everyone, not just elites, those who want to be a part of something. Therefore I thank all those who joined our club in 2023, if you were new we hope that you were made feel welcome and that you enjoyed some of what we have on offer over the year.  Thank you also to our loyal members who have been with us over many years and who continue to support our events and we hope you will be with us for many more years to come.

April 2023

April began with Liam O’Donnells run in Aglish where over €3,100 was raised in the 9th year of the event in aid of Crumlin’s Childrens hospital.

At the Irish Universities outdoor Track & Field Lucy Holmes took home a silver medal for MTU in the 800mts.

The Mason Mortgages Financial Services Colligan League concluded with Garry Cantwell and Niamh O Donovan  winning over the 5 mile Hills while Cathriona Crowe and Micheál Moynihan took the 2 lap and Shane Flavin and Orla Bannon were victorious over the 3 laps for 2023.

At the county T & F Championships held at the RSC Saoirse Quinn won a gold medal in the Junior hammer event while Yev Chizhikov won a silver medal in the Mens 400mts event while Eoghan O’Brien won a bronze medal in the Junior mens discus. Meanwhile Anthony Whelan was taking part in the Ballyhoura Ultra race held over 62kms where he finished in 2nd place overall with Paddy Brunnock finishing in 24th place.

May 2023

At day 2 of the County T & F championships at the RSC Kate Veale was once again crowned 3k walk champion while Yevgeniy Chizhikov took another county medal this time it was a gold medal in the men’s 800mts and Paul Mullarkey won the junior men’s shot.

The Summer series commenced with the AHS Tuning Ballinroad 5k where once again Ballinroad soccer club were the beneficiaries of the proceeds.  We had a great turnout of 215 runners on the night and also a large group of walkers.  Evan Fitzgerald, Clonmel A.C. was the winner on the night with Kate Veale taking the ladies race.

The Round Tower Hotel Ardmore 5 Mile race quickly followed and once again a larger than usual crowd of 172 runners took part on the night and the winners this time were Sergio Ciobanu, Clonliffe Harriers and Kate Veale West Waterford A.C.

Kate then travelled to La Coruna in Spain to take part in an International Grand Prix of Race-walking event which is a world Race Walking Tour Gold Medal event where she finished 49th in a field of 79 walkers.

June 2023

June saw the hosting of the Dungarvan Leader 5 Mile race from Villiarstown to Cappoquin where 123 runnners took part and once again Evan Fitzgerald took the title with the ladies race won by Kealy Tideswell also of Clonmel A.C.

At the National 5 Mile Road Championships held in the Phoenix Park in Dublin West Waterford A.C. were represented by a men’s and ladies team for the first time in many years.  1310 men toed the line and to finish as 4th club on the day was a fantastic achievement by all those who ran.  For the record Damien Murphy 21st, Mick Aherne 30th, Garry Cantwell 45th, Dermot Gough 59th and Cathal Reynolds 101st made up the team and all 5 ran really well on the day.

Our ladies team finished a very creditable 8th place out of the 17 teams participating and team manager Kelly Fitzgerald was well pleased with the times posted by Niamh O’Donovan, Linda Foley, Eveleen Drohan, Tara Ni Rheachtagáin Sinead Ni Fhaoláin and Sophie Stefanoff.

At the DSD senior games in Dublin Lucy Holmes was competing and had an excellent run in the 800mts taking a gold medal in 2.12.65 and finishing 5th in the 1,500mts in 4.34.35.

We had 2 representatives at the world-famous Mont Blanc Mountain race with Anthony Flynn taking part in the 23km race and Anthony Whelan taking on the gruelling 90km route with over 6,200mts of climbing completing the course in a time of 16hrs 47min so well done to both men.

The last race in June was the Doocey’s Oriel Bar 5 mile held in Ballymacarbry in the beautiful Nire Valley.  We had over 100 taking part and a contribution was made on the night to Paudie Ryan, son of our club member Colm (RIP) who was following his father’s hard work and dedication in raising funds for cancer charities over the years.  Evan Fitzgerald was once again the men’s winner while Kate Veale was once again victorious in the ladies event.

July 2023

Entries opened for our second biggest club event of the year the Eurofins Greenway Half Marathon, this event has proven popular each year and with the local Helvick Lifeboat the chosen charity for 2023.  We also announced that 2 specially commissioned cups would be presented to the men’s and ladies winners to honour Paula Collins and Paul Brunnock, a fitting tribute to 2 very popular members of our club.

At the National U20 and U23 Track & Field Championships held in Tullamore Lucy Holmes competed in the 800mts and finished 2nd in 2.11.82 while the Hickey sisters Doireann and Eabha competing out of age finished 5th and 8th respectively in the 3k walk.

The next race up in the Summer Series was the 39th staging of the Deise College Dungarvan 10k which this year incorporated the County Championships.  135 runners took part with Sergio Ciobanu taking his second victory of the Summer Series for 2023 while West Waterford took the team prize with Mark Balckewell, Conor Hennebry and James Whelan making up the team.  In the ladies race Kate Veale recorded her 4th win from 5 races in the series and the ladies team prize went to Eveleen Drohan, Claire Kennedy and Sinead Ni Fhaoláin.  The county 10k Champion on the night was Noel Murphy (Waterford A.C.) with silver going to Mark Blackewell and bronze to Conor Hennebry both West Waterford A.C.

County team medals went to Mark Blackwell while Dermot Gough along with James Whelan Alan Ryan and Eoin Walsh won silver.  Bronze on the night went to Waterford A.C.

In the ladies County 10k Championships Kate Veale and Niamh O’Donovan won gold and silver respectively and they combined with Grainne Moore to take team gold medals.  Silver team medals were collected by Eveleen Drohan, Claire Kennedy and Sinead Ni Fhaolain while bronze went to the team of Rose Kinsella, Brigid Coffey and Sandra Moore.

At the A.A.I. games in Morton Stadium, Santry, Lucy Holmes was in action in the 800mts and finished in 3rd place in 2.08.44 and at the National Senior T & F Championships again in Morton Stadium a few weeks later she finished 2nd in her heat of the 800mts qualifying for the final where she finished in an excellent 4th place.  Kate Veale took part in the 5k walk and collected her 8th National title over the 5k distance (her 23rd senior title over all distances!) and with her time of 22.01 placed her in 13th place in the world for 2023.

Dermot Gorman Carrick On Suir A.C. and Kealy Tideswell Clonmel A.C. were victorious in the Ballinameela 5k our 6th and final race of the Summer Series where 169 runners took part.  With refreshments provided by Ballinameela G.A.A. and the Community Centre committees we were delighted to make a presentation to both committees on behalf of the entrants.

Our stats man Declan did an analysis of the Summer Series and just shy of 500 runners took part in total with almost 1,000 finishers across the 6 events.  Ballinroad continues to be the most popular race with 213 finishers and 18 people ran all 6 races in 2023.

The evergreen Joe Gough taking part in the Dundrum 10k set a new National O/70 record over the distance clocking 41.10.

August 2023

Keeping up a proud family tradition started by his brother and mentor Paul, Paddy Brunnock completed the gruelling Connemara 100 mile race.  It was an emotional moment for Paddy and his crew of family and friends when Padddy crossed the line in 22 hours and 53 minutes.  Hats off to Paddy for this one.

At the National Masters T & F Joe Gough had a double gold medal performance in the 800 and 1,500mts where he also broke the O/70 time for the 800 clocking 2.30.94 breaking a 12 year record by 14 seconds.  Terri Gough also took part and she too come home with a medal, a bronze in the O/75 200mts.  Terri went on to take part in a Quadrathalon near Malin Head where she completed 4 back to back marathons in 4 days becoming the oldest athlete ever to complete the event at 77 years of age.  An outstanding achievement by this very modest lady.

Lucy Holmes continued her travels with a trip to the British Milers meet in Manchester she set a new pb for the 800mts recording a time of 2.06.56

September 2023

The first Saturday in September saw the hosting of the now annual Eurofins Greenway Half Marathon held on the beautiful Waterford Greenway from Kilmacthomas to Ballinroad.  Another fantastic day of running was enjoyed by the 593 finishers and with €2,500 donated to the Helvick Lifeboat committee it was indeed an excellent success. 

The newly purchased Paul Brunnock Cup was presented to the men’s winner Pat Fitzgerald of Waterford A.C. who won the race in 1.12.19 while the Paula Collins Cup went to Ericka Dowling of Kilkenny who won the ladies race in 1.24.11.

West Waterford were successful in the men’s team event with Walter Drohan, Dermot Gough and Conor Hennebry taking the honours and the ladies also won first team with Niamh O’Donovan, Linda Foley and Elaine Langley the first 3 ladies home outside of the individual prizewinners.

Club member Pat Hennessy made his marathon debut in far off Sydney when he finished in 16th place from a field of 13,000 finishers clocking an impressive 2.30.04 despite the very high temperatures on the day.

At the 22nd annual Hill Running Championships held in Madeira, Portugal we are delighted to report that we had 2 members participating with Elaine Langley winning a gold team medal in the O/35 category where she finished in 4th position while in the men’s Sean Foley finished in an excellent 8th place in the O/60 and his Irish team were unlucky to finish just outside the medals in 4th place.

October 2023

Cross Country season began with the county senior Championships held at the Friary College Lucy Holmes led home the West Waterford A.C. contingent home to take her fist senior C.C. Championship and along with Eveleen Drohan, Elaine Langley, Niamh O’Donovan and Angela Tobin took home team gold as well.  The Men’s team were bronze medal winners behind Waterford A.C. and Ferrybank with Garry Cantwell, Padraig Healy, Yev Chizhikvo and Ray Hahesy the scorers on the day.

100 Irish athletes travelled to the European Masters T & F Championships held in Pescara, Italy with our own Joe Gough amongst them.  Joe went on to win 2 more gold O/70 European medals in the 800 (2.29.85) and the 1,500 in 5.29.

Details were announced for the Paul Brunnock Memorial Greenway Run to bring to fruition the long held hope Paul had of having an ultra-race/Marathon Club of Ireland race in the Dungarvan area.  In conjunction with Vince from the Marathon Club of Ireland and Ronan from My Run Results the event was planned with the 4th November the date chosen and entries began to flood in from all over Ireland.

At Day 2 of the County Cross Country at the Friary College Garry Cantwell won the men’s novice race with silver going to Mark Blackwell and the bronze to Dermot Gough, along with Conor Hennebry, Yev Chizhikov and Ray Hahesy they took gold team medals.  Gearoid Coffey collected a silver Junior Men’s medal while Cody Coughlan won the bronze while in the ladies junior Grainne Moore won the title with Doireann Hickey taking a silver.

The ladies Novice winner was Elaine Langley with Tara Ni Rheachtagáin taking silver and Madeleine Hearn the bronze.  These 3 runners combined to take gold team medals while silver team medals went to Nicola Moroney, Aimee Moloney and Ornaith Keane.


November 2023

It was an emotional day for everyone in our club on the 4th November as the long awaited run for Paul was held on the Greenway.  With a choice of 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, Marathon and Ultra Marathon there really was something for everyone.  As a testament to Paul’s popularity the event sold out well in advance with Paul’s family, friends and fellow runners from all over the country making the trip to show solidarity with Paul’s family and club mates.  A special thank you to James who spent many hours organising everything especially the beautiful finishers medals with Paul’s picture on them, to Paul’s family who acted as starters for the different distances and many of whom ran on the day with pride of place to Moylan Johnny and Barry who completed the 50k.  To top off a beautiful tribute the sum of €2,000 was presented to Waterford Hospice from the race fees.  A huge thank you to everyone who pulled together to make this special event happen for Paul.

At the county Masters Cross Country held in Tramore Elaine Langley was crowned champion followed home by Angela Tobin (silver) and Madeleine Hearn (bronze).  All 3 combined for gold team medals while the men’s team of Aidan Connell along with Raivis Zakis. Philip Harty took bronze medals.

The 28th Careplus Murray’s Pharmacy Brickey 5k was hosted by the Brickey Rangers G.A.A. club with the beneficiaries this year being Glenbeg and Carriglea schools.  Mens winner here was Evan Fitzgerald (Clonmel A.C.) and once again Kate Veale was in the winner’s enclosure.

At the British and Irish masters Cross Country held in Glasgow, Joe Gough continued his winning ways as once again he took a gold O/70 medal and led his team home for bronze medals behind England and Scotland.

The Fordes Daybreak Winter League got underway with unprecedented numbers in attendance.  There was a record 143 finishers in week 1 on the short route and 239 in the long route. 

Lucy Holmes and Mark Blackwell competed at the National Senior and Under 23 Championships Lucy Holmes finished in 6th place and despite losing a spike Mark Blackwell finished in an excellent 37th place.

December 2023

The 32nd annual John Treacy Dungarvan 10 Mile opened for entries and quickly reached the target of 3,500 runners.  The chosen charity for 2024 was the Kevin Bell Repatriation Fund which is a charity set up by Colin Bell and his family to support families whose loved ones die abroad and who need help to bring their bodies home to Ireland for burial.

Lucy Holmes continued her winning ways and created history for our club by becoming the first adult member to capture a National cross country title.  At the National Novice held in Navan Lucy ran a cool patient race and with 800mts to go used her pace and experience to lead home the field.  A great reward for Lucy after some great races over the year.  Our ladies team finished in 10th place overall with Elaine Langley, Tara Ni Rheachtagain and Rose Kinsella.  We also had a men’s team and they finished 13th club on the day with Mark Blackwell, Justin Ryan, Padraig Healy and Niall Barry all running on the day.  We commend all 8 athletes who attended these National Championships and thank them for representing our club on the National stage.

The 15th annual Cleanzone Technologies Paddy Joe Curran Memorial Turkey Trot based at the Marine Bar was held and as usual the local committee organized  a great event on the day, the winner was Waterford Hospice where once again €3,550 was donated by the runners and many walkers on the day.  Aidan Noone (Leevale A.C.) and Kealy Tideswell (Clonmel A.C.) were the winners on the day.

At the World Cup of Racewalking event held in Raheny Kate Veale and Brendan Boyce of Finn Valley A.C. joined forces to participate in a new Olympic race-walking relay event which is held over a marathon distance.  The male does 10k then the female, back to the male and finally the female completes the final 10k to finish the event.  Between them they clocked 3 hours 11 minutes for the distance which was an excellent time and saw them come home in second place 31 seconds behind the winners Slovakia.

€2,435 was collected at the Winter League Charity night before Christmas in aid of St John’s Hydrotherapy Pool fundraising committee and at the St Stephens Day run hosted by Dungarvan G.A.A. club another €2,760 was raised for the same cause.

January 2024

The 35th edition of the Kiely Monumental Colligan Cup took place at the Colligan Venue with Patrick Hurney of Abbeyside the first person to cross the line after the clock struck zero.  First lady home was Madeleine Hearn while the Victor Mullins trophy for first newcomer went to local man John Cass.

In early January we had 2 winners on the International stage when Lucy Holmes travelled with the Irish Under 23s to a Celtic International Cross Country/British  event held in Renfrew in Scotland Lucy was first home in the over 20 category while Kate Veale was once again at a race event held in the Algarve, Portugal.  Taking part in a 5k event there Kate was first home in a time of 22.42.  Kate also won the 3k event at the AI indoor Race Walking event held in the National Indoor arena at Abbotstown in Dublin.  Her winning time here was 12.42.75

At the National Senior/Masters Indoors the 2 Gough’s Terri and Joe were once again on duty with Terri taking home 3 more gold medals to add to her collection.  This time in the O/75 60 and 200mts and the shot. Joe collected another National title this time in the O/70 800mts in 2.27.77.

February 2024

The John Treacy Dungarvan 10 Mile Road Race, our flagship event of the year went ahead on Sunday February 4th and once again we had a record number of finishers in just shy of 3,000 runners crossing the finish line.  It was a hugely successful day for our club but it could not happen without our army of volunteers, our stewards, pacers, medical staff, our own hard working committee and of course our outstanding ourdoor trio of Conor, Jamie and John who make everything safe for us all on the day.  They put in long hours before during and after the event, unseen work but vitally important for everyone’s safety.

For the record the winners this year were Oisin Spillane Ennis Track A.C. and Ciara Wilson DMP A.C. while the John Treacy Team Challenge prizes were won by Brothers Pearse A.C. (men’s) and St Finbarr’s (ladies).  €6,000 was presented on behalf of the runners to the Kevin Bell Repatriation fund which is once again an outstanding amount of money going to charity.

The winter league/John Treacy celebration night held in the Park Hotel was once again a great success as our sponsor Kevin Forde presented the many prizes (over 90) on the night to the various prizewinners.  This year’s winners were Grainne Moore on the short course while Cathal Dwane took the long course title.  Stats show there was an average number of 307 finishers each night over the 10 weeks the highest ever in the 29 year history of the league.  Padraig Healy made a special presentation on the night to John Mc Grath for his many years of service to Athletics Ireland. 

At the Munster Masters Indoor T & F Championships held in Nenagh Joe Gough took gold in the O/70 800 mts setting a new Munster record in the process while Terri Gough brought home 3 more gold medals in the 60 and 200mts and the shot.  Joe went on to retain his O/70 National Cross Country title when he travelled to DKIT campus in Co. Louth to run the Intermediate and Masters All Ireland Cross Country.

At the National 50k Championships of Ireland held in Donadea, Co Kildare we had 3 athletes competing, Stephanie Ilsley was second O/60 on the day and won a silver medal while Paddy Brunnock recorded a 21 minute pb clocking 4.29.51.  Terri Gough completed yet another marathon distance on the day.

Paul Kennedy travelled to Drimoleague Co Cork to take part in an IMRA hosted event.  The 23.5km event is not for the feint hearted but Paul had a super race finishing 3rd overall making the long trip worthwhile.

At the National Universities Championships held in Abbotstown Lucy Holmes was once again representing her MTU college and finished 2nd in the 1,500mts in a superb 4.28.70. 

At the National Senior Indoor T & F Championships held in Abbotstown we had 5 athletes taking part, Doireann and Eabha Hickey, Dermot Cummins, Lucy Holmes and Kate Veale.  Kate had a great day and posted another pb for the 3k distance recording 12.27.82 and takes up second place on the Irlsh roll of honour for the 3k walk relegating Olive Loughnane to 3rd place with only Gillian O Sullivan ahead of her now.  It is also good enough for 4th place in the world indoor times for the year to date.

Doireann Hickey finished 9th in the same race while Eabha Hickey was unlucky enough to DQ on the day as she was close to the finish.  Dermot Cummins taking part in the men’s 3,000mts was unfortunately spiked and had to retire from the race.

Pat Hennessy travelled from Sydney to Osaka in Japan for only his second marathon and he took 3 minutes off his Sydney time recording 2.27 this makes Pat the 5th fastest West Waterford Athlete over the marathon distance.

Kate Veale travelled to Zaragoza in Spain for the Spanish National 20k Race-Walking Championships and despite illness Kate came home with a new pb time of 1.37.35

March 2024

At the Munster Road Championships held in Dundrum, Co Tipperary it was a successful day of racing for our club with Niamh O Donovan winning a bronze medal in the O/35 category and Eveleen Drohan a silver in the O/45.  West Waterford ladies finished 2nd club O/35 and 3rd County and along with Niamh and Eveleen we had Grainne Moore, Elaine Langley, Angela Tobin, Linda Foley, Tara Ni Rheachtagáin, Madeleine Hearn, Sinead Ni Fhaoláin and Ornaith Keane.

We also had a mens team competing on the day and it is fantastic to be represented at these important championships.  Our men’s team was led home by Damien Murphy, followed by Marc Flavin, Conor Hennebry, Dermot Gough and Patrick Bergin.  Joe Gough once again took gold in the O/70 category and on behalf of the club we would like to thank Padriag, Tara and Kelly for looking after the teams on the day.

Kate Veale was in action once again at the British 10k Race Walking Championships and once again set a new pb moving her up to second in the list of 10k times posted by a female Irish athlete walking 46.03 a new pb by all of 2 minutes and 44 seconds.

At the Inter Varsities Cross Country West Waterford A.C. had 2 athletes representing the UL side who told gold team medals and these were Mark Blackwell who finished in 62nd place and Gearoid Coffey who placed 89th.  Well done to both men.

At the IMRA half marathon in Killavullen, Co Cork Anne Moore took part in the challenging event with 1.130mts of climbing and was delighted to finish 2nd lady on the day.

Joe Gough travelled to Torun Poland to take part in the European Masters Indoor Championships and once again Joe did what Joe does and came back to Owning with 2 more gold O/70 medals for the 800 (2.23.40) and 1,500mts (5.27.83)

Kate Veale was rewarded for all her hard work and achievements by taking the February Waterford Sports Award in association with WLR and the Granville Hotel and finally the Liam O’Donnell’s organized run/walk in Aglish raised €3,247 for Crumlin Children’s Hospital.


This is a report on all the club’s activities during the year but what this report does not mention is the hard work put in each and every week of the year in particular by our dedicated group of coaches and helpers who each week make themselves available whether it is beginners, couch to 5k, Regulars and Improvers and also our ladies group who also meet together each week.  We have a dedicated group that includes Jim Fleming, Tom Leahy, Dermot Ryan, Claire Kennedy, Linda Guilly, Mick Concannon and Michael Coakley and Deirdre Daly.  If I have omitted anyone I apologise.  Thanks also to Sophie Stefanoff who organized an 8 week circuit course before Christmas.  All this including events for Ladies Day and the new Fit 4 Life course are very important as they offer something to our members. 

Membership for 2024 stands at 319 today which is already higher than 23 and 22 while last year we directly donated €20,000 to various charities and indirectly to many other clubs and societies in contributions from our races something we can be very proud of.  I would like to thank the local papers for their support, all our loyal sponsors, James and Kelly for keeping our social media so active and up to date and of course our stewards and volunteers at all the races.

I want to thank all my fellow officers for once again supporting me throughout the year.  Each and everyone plays their part in the running of this club and it is a busy club with so many events during the year.  This would not be possible without the contribution from all the committee members.  Finally I wish the incoming committee well in the year ahead

Ann Dunford

Secretary West Waterford A.C.

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