It was a busy weekend for Irish athletes, with lots running in Seville and some breathtaking action in Abbotstown. Lindie Naughton reports. 

A thrilling men’s 1500m final proved the highlight of the All Ireland Senior Indoors Championships, held at Abbotstown on Saturday and Sunday (February 17-18).

A tactical race ended with Cathal Doyle (Clonliffe Harriers) flinging himself across the line to hold on the challenge of young pretender Nick Griggs (CDR AC).  It it seemed almost impossible to separate them although Doyle – who  needed treatment for his arm afterwards – was given a time of  3:49.11 and Griggs one of  3:49.15. Third in 3:50.91 was 18-year-old Lughaidh Mallon (Lagan Valley AC).

For a second year,  Carla Sweeney (Rathfarnham WSAF AC) won the women’s 1500m title. Her time of 4:21.61 put her comfortably clear of Ellie Hartnett (UCDAC) who finished in 4:24.40.

Louise Shanahan of Leevale AC, Cork, crosses the finish line to win the senior women’s 800m final. Photo by Tyler Miller/Sportsfile

Over 800m, Louise Shanahan (Leevale) regained the title she had won in 2022, with a time of 2:03.54. Georgie Hartigan (DSD) was second in 2:05.35 and Susie Nestor (UCD AC) third in 2:09.56. Cian McPhillip (UCD) clocked 1:52.79 when winning the men’s 800m, with Dara Donoghue (Lucan Harriers) second in 1:53.14 and Mark Milner (UCD AC) third in 1:53.18.

Over 3000m, Clare Fagan (Mullingar Harriers) out-sprinted Niamh Kearney (Raheny Shamrock) for the women’s title, finishing in 9:33.35; Kearney clocked 9:33.47. John Travers (Donore Harriers)  won the men’s  3000m for a fourth time with a time of 8:13.17. Second in 8:17.58 was Mitchel Byrne (Rathfarnham WSAF AC)

More indoors

Earlier in the week, Cathal Doyle had  put himself top of the current Irish 1500m rankings when running a personal best time 3:39.10 at the Belgrade meet in Serbia on Tuesday evening (February 13).

Also competing in Belgrade were Louise Shanahan and Georgie Hartigan who finished second and fourth in the B 800m with times of 2:04.34 amd 2:06.06 respectively.  In the men’s 400m, Jack Raftery (Donore Harriers) finished third in 47.53 secs.


At the Terrier DMR Indoor Challenge at Boston University MA on Friday (February 16),  Abdel Laadjel (Donore Harriers) finished 16th in the mile in a PB 3.59.89. Laadjel is only the fourth member of Donore Harriers to break the four-minute barrier the other three are Basil Clifford, Eamon Coghlan and John Travers.  

In the distance medley relay (DMR) itself, Louis OLoughlin, also Donore, ran the 800m leg for the Auburn Tigers team,  with the team finishing third in a time of 9:24.43, which was a new college record. Providence College finished second in the women’s DMR with Alex O’Neill (Ennis TC) helping the team to a time of  10:44.07.

Sophie O’Sullivan (Ballinamore Cobh AC) was running the women’s mile and knocked six seconds off her previous best when finishing fifth in 4:33.30.


Winner of the women’s 4km at the Rás na hÉireann Cross-Country, Lawlesstown, Dunleer, Co Louth, on Sunday was Fiona McKenna in a time of 16 mins 41 secs. Maebh Eakin of Dunleer AC was second  and first junior in 16:56 and Orla Duffy  of  Dublin City Harriers third in 16:59. DCH was the winning team.

In the men’s 6km, Cian McDonald of Ballyroan  Abbeyleix and District AC was the winner in 22 mins 8 secs. His clubmate Jack MacMahon was second in 22:49 and Daniel O’Brien of Lusk AC third in 22:59. Ronan Wogan of Raheny Shamrock took a break from his time-keeping duties with MyRunResults to finish fourth  and first M45 in  23:23. Abbeyleix and District AC was first team.

Colm Parnell and Laura McDonnell were the winners at the Central Bank 4-Mile Cross-Country in Kiltipper Park, Dublin on Saturday (February 17). Parnell’s time of 24 mins 45 secs saw him finish comfortably clear of Robert Frewen, second in 25:08, with  Mark McDonald third in 26:11.

Laura McDonnell finished 12th overall in 28:10; Clare Sullivan was second woman in 29:40 and Saoirse McGrath third in 30:39. Best of the teams in Grade 1 were Bank of Ireland, ahead of Uisce Éireann and Eir, with the Engineer group winning grade 2 from HSE and Irish Life.


Ryan Creech (Leevale AC)  ran a personal best 2:12 28 for 58th place at the Seville Marathon on Sunday (February 18)  improving on his  time of 2:13.03 set in the same last year. Best of the Irish women was Ann-Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC) who was third W40 in 2:33.31.

Conor Duffy (Glaslough AC) clocked  2:22.07, well off the 2:17.11 he ran in Berlin last autumn. Other Irish finishers included Anthony O’Brien 2:22.13, Gerald Forde (Kilkenny City Harriers)  2:23.19; Conor McCauley (Leevale AC) 2:23.37 (sixth M40); Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) 2:24.18 (third M45), Ray Hynes (Mullingar Harriers) 2:25.40, Eoin Taggart (Clonliffe Harriers) 2:26.16, Michael McMahon (North Cork AC) 2:26.22, John Shine (Leevale) 2:29.51 and Mathew McMeekin (Sligo AC) 2:30.04.

Of the Irish women, Grace Lynch (DSD) clocked 2:42.26 while Adrianna Mulligan (Longford AC) ran a personal best 2:47.23 and Joyce Wolfe (Leevale) was second W45 in 3:05.12.


On Sunday, Shane Spring (Raheny Shamrock AC) won the Enniscorthy 10km,  in Co Wexford on Sunday (February 18) in a time of 32mins 25 secs. Liam Naughton (DCH AC) was second in 33:11 and Dermot Gorman (Carrick-on-Suir AC) third and first M40 in 33:30.

Becky Woods, and ex-Clonliffe athlete who has been making a quiet comeback to athletics after a long break, was first woman in 36:12.  Sli Cualann AC took both men and women’s team titles. 

Tudor Cebotaryi (Tinryland AC) was the winner  in a time of 32:26 at The Great Duckett Run 10km in Co Carlow. Lynda  Fay was first woman in 47:24.  Pat Burke (Tinryland AC) won the 5km in 17:19; Aileen Lynch (St Abban’s AC) was first woman in 20:51.

At the North Cork Road Trail/Road 5km in Doneraile Park,  Donal Coakley (Leevale AC) was the winner in 16:45. First woman was Michaela Flynn (North Cork AC) in 20:05.

John Meade (St Finbarr’s AC) and Hannah Steeds (Leevale AC) were the winners at the Tommy Ryan Memorial 5-Mile, in Carrigaline, Co Cork. Their times were 26:50 and 28:48 respectively.

On Saturday, Mick Kelly (Tinryland AC) won the Two Mile House GAA 5km/10km in Co Kildare in 16 mins 54 secs. Many times masters champion Anne Gilshinan (Slaney Olympic AC) was first woman  and first W50 in 19:49

Jack Sinclair (Roadrunners AC) led home 626 finishers at the Run Forest Run Castlewellan 10km; his time was 36 mins 28 secs. Fifth and first woman was Dearbhla Cox (Annadale Striders) in 38:07.

On Thursday, Dermot Gorman (Carrick-on-Suir AC)  in 15 mins 34 secs and Sandra Bernie (Croghan AC) were the winners at the Gorey Night Run in Co Wexford. Both are in the over 40 age group. 

A bit of confusion about which way to go at the finish added extra drama. Photo: Lindie Naughton

Meet and Train tactical battle

Race winner (in something of a tactical battle!) at the Meet & Train Women’s Cross-Country League round in Tymon Park, was Lisa Gaughan (DSD).

She ran a time of 11 mins 49 secs for the 3km race on pretty soggy ground.  Second was Deirdre Lyons (Frontrunners), followed by Sportsworld pair Veronica Burke and Michelle Burke (who we suspect may be sisters…).

Early leader Caroline McCaughey (Donore) finished  fifth. Huge thanks to Esker AC and Blackrock AC the organisers, to South Dublin County Council for its active and enthusiastic support of community and club athletics and to Fiona Shine (Crusaders) the current M&T co-ordinator.

Looking forward to the fourth and  round already – March 3 at Abbotstown (11am). Give it a go if you haven’t already.

Photo: Lindie Naughton