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A Little Bit of History:
Since the 1920’s and 30’s, in my father’s time, there has been cycling in Emyvale with a few hiccups along the way. Tom Donaghue, my father, Peter McMahon, and P.J. Logan, from Dungannon (father of Adrian,) were chums and competed in cycle races and Pole-vault all over Ulster, sharing the winnings but with the War after 1939 the club disappeared. In 1950 Jimmy Skinnader, Seamus Cadden and Jack Donaghue reformed the Emyvale Cycling Club and organised road races which is where John Colton made his name. After a few years the club again disbanded but then along came a great bunch of cyclists led by Paddy Lavery, John Colton and John Joe Gorman, who reformed an Emyvale Club, later to become St. Christophers. Countless All-Ireland and Ulster Senior and Junior titles came to the club. !963 was a great year for the club and, with Tony and Kevin Majnone, Liam Colton and Patsy Kelly on board, St. Christopher’s was a leading club in Ulster. Tony Murphy then brought more honours to North Monaghan especially when he finished 4th in the French Grand Prix of 1966 though he had changed to another Cycling Club at this stage. The Emyvale club then added a huge number of young blood including Patsy and Dessie McKenna, Brendan McKenna, Michael McKenna Knocknasave and Michael McKenna, Knockakirwan, Jim McShane, George McCarron, Michael Hackett, Sean Kelly, Peter Morrough with Dessie becoming the youngest ever competitor in the Rás Tailteann. Another decline arrived in the late ‘60’s which was surprising as in February 1968 Paddy Lavery and Francie McQuaid had organised a visit to Emyvale of the greatest-ever Irish Cyclist at the time by the name of Shay Elliott. Shay was the first Irishman to take part in the Tour de France; the first Irishman to win a stage in the Tour; the first Irishman to wear the Yellow Jersey; and the first English speaker to take part in the Tour of Spain. He addressed a huge crowd in the Emyvale Scout Hall covering topics such as diet, training schedules, sprinting, racing techniques, and coaching. More than cyclists attended and there was a long session of questions and answers at the end. Shay offered to come down to Emyvale for a weekend to take coaching sessions with youth. Unfortunately that never came to pass and Shay Elliott passed away in 1971 at the age of 36. The early 70’s also saw a resurgence of cycling in North Monaghan and the Club members were bringing home title after title with Michael Mulligan winning Junior titles, Stephen Crotty winning the biggest Classic in Navan in 1979 and also finishing 4th in a Stage of the Rás. Noel Halton won an All-Ireland 10kn track title, Francie McQuaid won the Aghagallon Cup and Tony Murphy was winning titles and putting on impressive displays in the Rás. In those early days of the 50’s and 60’s there were three different organisations representing Cyclists in Ireland and the Irish Cycling Federation was set up to replace the CRE in Southern Ireland. Meanwhile the Northern Ireland Cycling Federation looked after the interests of Northern Ireland cyclists and the NCA was a 32 county organisation. There was bitter rivalry between all three as to which team could select an Irish team for international events. However there were moves to bring the sides together and this was progressed during the meeting in Emyvale Scout Hall in 1968 with Shay Elliott. Others present at that event were: P. McGee (NFA); Willie McKenna (Macra); Jack Donaghue (Emyvale Development Association); Paul Gormley (Youth Club); and Eoin McMahon, Emyvale GAA, as well as representatives from the ICF and NCA. It was not until the late 80’s that agreement was reached and Cycling Ireland became the recognised association for Ireland. During those decades there were bad times and Ireland’s name in cycling circles was tarnished as a result and even the Taoiseach of the time became involved. However good will and Sport conquered and unification followed. More of that HERE but this article is just to record a little bit of history of the North Monaghan area and to say how important it is to remember how we have arrived where we are today.
All Content Copyright emyvale.net
Since the 1920’s and 30’s, in my father’s time, there has been cycling in Emyvale with a few hiccups along the way. Tom Donaghue, my father, Peter McMahon, and P.J. Logan, from Dungannon (father of Adrian,) were chums and competed in cycle races and Pole-vault all over Ulster, sharing the winnings but with the War after 1939 the club disappeared. In 1950 Jimmy Skinnader, Seamus Cadden and Jack Donaghue reformed the Emyvale Cycling Club and organised road races which is where John Colton made his name. After a few years the club again disbanded but then along came a great bunch of cyclists led by Paddy Lavery, John Colton and John Joe Gorman, who reformed an Emyvale Club, later to become St. Christophers. Countless All-Ireland and Ulster Senior and Junior titles came to the club. !963 was a great year for the club and, with Tony and Kevin Majnone, Liam Colton and Patsy Kelly on board, St. Christopher’s was a leading club in Ulster. Tony Murphy then brought more honours to North Monaghan especially when he finished 4th in the French Grand Prix of 1966 though he had changed to another Cycling Club at this stage. The Emyvale club then added a huge number of young blood including Patsy and Dessie McKenna, Brendan McKenna, Michael McKenna Knocknasave and Michael McKenna, Knockakirwan, Jim McShane, George McCarron, Michael Hackett, Sean Kelly, Peter Morrough with Dessie becoming the youngest ever competitor in the Rás Tailteann. Another decline arrived in the late ‘60’s which was surprising as in February 1968 Paddy Lavery and Francie McQuaid had organised a visit to Emyvale of the greatest- ever Irish Cyclist at the time by the name of Shay Elliott. Shay was the first Irishman to take part in the Tour de France; the first Irishman to win a stage in the Tour; the first Irishman to wear the Yellow Jersey; and the first English speaker to take part in the Tour of Spain. He addressed a huge crowd in the Emyvale Scout Hall covering topics such as diet, training schedules, sprinting, racing techniques, and coaching. More than cyclists attended and there was a long session of questions and answers at the end. Shay offered to come down to Emyvale for a weekend to take coaching sessions with youth. Unfortunately that never came to pass and Shay Elliott passed away in 1971 at the age of 36. The early 70’s also saw a resurgence of cycling in North Monaghan and the Club members were bringing home title after title with Michael Mulligan winning Junior titles, Stephen Crotty winning the biggest Classic in Navan in 1979 and also finishing 4th in a Stage of the Rás. Noel Halton won an All-Ireland 10kn track title, Francie McQuaid won the Aghagallon Cup and Tony Murphy was winning titles and putting on impressive displays in the Rás. In those early days of the 50’s and 60’s there were three different organisations representing Cyclists in Ireland and the Irish Cycling Federation was set up to replace the CRE in Southern Ireland. Meanwhile the Northern Ireland Cycling Federation looked after the interests of Northern Ireland cyclists and the NCA was a 32 county organisation. There was bitter rivalry between all three as to which team could select an Irish team for international events. However there were moves to bring the sides together and this was progressed during the meeting in Emyvale Scout Hall in 1968 with Shay Elliott. Others present at that event were: P. McGee (NFA); Willie McKenna (Macra); Jack Donaghue (Emyvale Development Association); Paul Gormley (Youth Club); and Eoin McMahon, Emyvale GAA, as well as representatives from the ICF and NCA. It was not until the late 80’s that agreement was reached and Cycling Ireland became the recognised association for Ireland. During those decades there were bad times and Ireland’s name in cycling circles was tarnished as a result and even the Taoiseach of the time became involved. However good will and Sport conquered and unification followed. More of that HERE but this article is just to record a little bit of history of the North Monaghan area and to say how important it is to remember how we have arrived where we are today.
A Little Bit of History: