In their bare feet

In their bare feet

Mick Rice is well known to anyone involved in Galway running over the past 7 or 8 years.  His latest project is a book on the history of legendary local club Derrydonnell AC and is launching next Friday night.  I think in many ways Derrydonnell AC can be a great example to Craughwell AC in that it proved that a small village CAN compete with the best in the country if all things go well, and the story is all the more impressive because of it..

 Press release below:

Contact: Mick Rice, 16 Ard Aoibhinn, Athenry, Co. Galway.
Tel: (087) 2896989
‘In Their Bare Feet’ – A History of Derrydonnell AC
Book Launch – Friday 25 November, Raheen Woods Hotel, Athenry at 08.30pm

"For some, any mention of the name ‘Derrydonnell’ will bring to mind traffic-reports on the radio on cold winter’s mornings.   For others – perhaps those with longer memories – the name of Derrydonnell will evoke images of cross-country running  and dancing under canvas during August. Those lucky few will recall that Derrydonnell AC was perhaps the most celebrated  athletics’ club that Galway ever produced. The club won county, provincial and national championships  almost without number over a period of nearly twenty years during  the 1950s and ‘60s. The names of Derrydonnell’s star performers gained household currency all over the West of Ireland as a result of their championship winning exploits. Individual athletes like Willie Morris, Mick Molloy, Tommy Madden, Kevin Ryan and Willie Cannon gained near legendary standing amongst followers of the sport, not alone in Galway, but all over the country.


As is perhaps inevitable, times have moved on and younger men and women have come forward to take the place these Derrydonnell stars. Although the Derrydonnell athletics’ club is no longer active, its achievements remain as a tribute to the vision, tenacity and talent of those who ran in its famous green colours. Amazingly, the club remained unbeaten in the Galway Senior Cross-Country Championship for a period of fourteen years between1956 and 1969.

On Friday the 25th of November 2011, at 8.30pm, a history of the Derrydonnell AC, entitled ‘In Their Bare Feet’ will be launched in the Raheen Woods Hotel, Athenry. The book, which has been written by Mick Rice, a member of Athenry AC, is generously illustrated with vintage photographs of the various club teams and individuals that brought such honour to their club and county and which recounts in detail the adventures that gave rise to the legend. With contributions from the athletes themselves and a number of prominent athletics journalists, the book will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in Galway’s sporting heritage. Many of the athletes who ran with the club, including Tommy Madden, Willie Morris and many others will attend that launch. Master of ceremonies will be Frank Greally of Irish Runner Magazine  "

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