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News 2012

Sad News

On Saturday 29th December Macdara Glynn, our much loved former chairman, passed away after a brief illness borne with typical good humour to the very end. Mac, as he was known to all, was Ciarán and Colm’s Dad and our sympathies are extended to his wife Assumpta and his family Macdara, Catriona, Ciarán and Colm for their sad loss.

Mac made a wonderful contribution to the club as chairman and friend to all. He, with Pat Bracken, steered the club through major change and set up the current club structure. He had great skill in outlining goals and getting people to work together to deliver on projects whilst making the process as enjoyable as possible for all involved.  He was instrumental in raising funds to secure boats, ergometers and other equipment and in facilitating the construction of the new gym and dressing rooms.

Mac was very much a people person of great warmth and charm with a great sense of fun who established a tremendous rapport with all involved in the club, particularly the rowers. He had a great belief and faith in young people and in their capacity to develop and become fine young adults.

He was actively involved in many other activities including rugby, cub scouts and with many charitable organisations.

Ni fheicimid a leithéid arís


The Annual Club Dinner 2012

The rowers, coaches and guests attended the annual club dinner on Thursday, 25th October at the Westwood Hotel in Galway. This year was special. We were delighted to welcome as special guest Fr. Martin Curry S.J., the president, coach and backbone of the club for many years until he stepped down in 1999.  In Martin’s presence we all had the pleasure of acknowledging and showing our appreciation of the contribution of two very important people in the club’s recent history: Pat Bracken and Macdara Glynn.

Pat Bracken took over as president of the club from Martin Curry in 1999 and for over a decade after, embodied the club. (More....)

Pat Bracken and Fr. Martin Curry S.J. with the Anderson and other cups at the slip of the Jes Rowing Club with the Corrib river and the old railway bridge behind them.

School Principal, Mary Joyce, with Pat and Nuala Bracken.

Macdara Glynn followed Pat as chairman of the club committee, a role he filled with distinction and style. (More....)

Macdara and Assumpta Glynn.

Each year during the annual dinner the rowers are able to formally thank the coaches for their dedication and hard work over the year and say goodbye to their fellow rowers who will not be rowing in the coming year. As such, the evening is always a happy occasion with a tinge of sadness.

This year we thanked the retiring Club captains, Ailbhe Murphy and Anthony Noone, for the excellent leadership and support they gave to the club throughout the year. 

2012 Club captains Ailbhe Murphy and Anthony Noone.

The chairman of the Club committee, Evan Molloy, was pleased to announce that Anthony Noone had been nominated as Club person of the year.

Evan Molloy with Anthony Noone, Club person of the year.

A selection of photos from the evening

Twenty-one fine young adults: everyone of them is, or was, a Jes rower.

Liam Molloy with a few of the lads he has helped develop into excellent rowers.

Pat Bracken

Pat took over as president of the ‘Jes’ rowing club from Fr. Martin Curry SJ in 1999 and for over a decade, embodied the club. His most tangible achievement was the new clubhouse, first begun in the 2002-2003 season. It is double the size of the old and has amenities like a gym with weights, ‘ergs’, dressing rooms and hot showers. It remains a testament to his vision, persuasiveness in getting financial backing from Coláiste Iognáid and the Jesuit order, and ability to surmount teething problems like finding alternative accommodation for the club.

His example, as we vividly remember it, is a less tangible but no less important legacy. At a time when parental involvement was not nearly as well developed as it is nowadays it should not be forgotten that so many jobs fell on his broad shoulders. For a man who never ‘sculled’ or ‘swept’ himself, he had an unerring grasp of the complex logistics of travelling to regattas and getting back again, boat-packing, trailers, bus hire, rotas of parents to drive cars, accommodation, feeding, and so on. He patiently negotiated the sometimes conflicting demands and needs of children, parents, and coaches: he would listen gravely, or give that impression, and proceed to do what he thought best anyway. It usually was. We remember the reassuring and unflappable presence of a big bear of a man in the sleepy pre-dawn hours of a summer’s morning, as he sent his charges to Farran, Fermoy or any of the other unlikely little places on the rowing map of Ireland. He cared for the young men and women of our club, unsentimentally but sincerely, individual foibles and follies and all. He shared their triumphs but, as was more often the case, he was there to remind a dejected crew that they went out to compete, to be the best crew they could be. (Back....)

Macdara Glynn

Macdara recently stepped down as chairman of the club committee, a role he filled with distinction and style for a number of years. He will be missed. Chairman Mac created a delegated management structure that provides and will provide continuity and avoids the perils and pitfalls of relying too heavily on a small group of people. He had the unerring knack of judging who were the right people, whether committee members, coaches, or clubhouse rebuilding team, for particular jobs. He imperceptibly involved them more and more, all the while bolstering them with some of his enthusiasm and confidence. He had that all too uncommon attribute, common sense. He was unobtrusively efficient. He could call on a wide range of contacts in the city and county, not just in the rowing subculture, but everywhere.  Mac, you made it look easy but it wasn’t. (Back....)


Jes rower awarded UCD sports scholarship

Congratulations to Jes rower Andrew Bell who has been awarded a sports scholarship by University College Dublin.

Andrew, who finished school in the Jes in 2012, looks forward to continuing his rowing in UCD, but will miss the CIRC crews and coaches and looks forward to a spin on the Corrib when he comes home to Galway.


Jes First Year Students take a look at rowing

The introduction to rowing for first years was run again this year from 27 to 30 August 2012. It was a most successful four afternoons, with 55 new students experiencing rowing for the first time – 28 girls and 27 boys.

Again we thank the coaches and senior rowers who happily give their expertise and time every day to pass on the joys of rowing. We hope that some of the new intake will become members of the club and go on to become champion rowers.

Some of the new rowers enjoying the good weather between rowing sessions.

Discovering what it is like to be in an octet.
A gaggle of boats. Before they know it, they will be the senior rowers helping the new ones.

Learning correct technique on the erg.

Some of the senior rowers, whose expertise and friendliness is vital to the success of the week.

This shared experience of the older and younger rowers is an important part of maintaining the excellent club spirit that has existed for many years.


Jes student wins rowing gold for Ireland

Andrew Bell, a 6th Year Jes student in 2012, has won a gold medal for Ireland at this year’s Home International Rowing Regatta, held in Cardiff in mid-July.  Andrew and Patrick Boomer from Methodist College Belfast won the Junior 18 double scull event, with England coming second.

Andrew (right) and Patrick Boomer just after receiving their gold medals.

Andrew also rowed for Ireland at last year’s Homes in Strathclyde, Scotland. He is following in the footsteps of former Jes athletes who have rowed for Ireland.  In recent years these have included Olympian Cormac Folan, World Under 23 Lightweight Silver Medallist Niall Kenny; and Aifric Keogh, Zoe Mannion, Eddie Mullarkey and Keith Duffy, all of whom represented Ireland in Junior 18 rowing while students at the Jes.


The Annual Barbecue

The CIRC barbecue and blessing of the boats took place as usual the day after the national championships – this year the 17th July.

This enjoyable evening has now become one of the rowing traditions in Galway, with some 200 people attending. The Jes rowers welcomed their parents and families, coaches, and former Jes rowers – many of whom are now rowing for the National University College in Galway. The Club also enjoys welcoming their friends and neighbours from the other Galway rowing clubs.

Once more, the Club thanks John Humphreys, SJ for blessing the boats and for his warm words of encouragement for the Club and its contribution to the life of Coláiste Iognáid. We also thank him for his strong and continuing support of CIRC over recent years.

John Humphreys, SJ blessing the boats

Some of the past and present Jes rowers, their coaches and their families and friends who attended the BBQ


The Jes Rowing Club has a fun table-quiz evening

On 20 April the Jes rowers, coaches and guests attended a most enjoyable table quiz at the Westwood Hotel in Galway.

We all thank the fund-raising committee for their hard work in organising a very successful evening.  MacDara Glynn was again a marvelous quiz master with a wide range of challenging questions.  He is indeed the host with the most.

We also thank the many people who kindly donated generous items for the spot prizes.  I must report that the winning table consisted of four Jes teachers.  How they were able to score more points than their students remains a mystery.

Our thanks also go to Aidan Goulding who prepared an excellent collage as a backdrop to the Crystal Trophy that the Jes recently won. The trophy was awarded to the Jes for being the overall winning school at the 2012 Irish Schools Rowing Championships.  We are very proud of the skill and team spirit displayed by all the Jes rowers at these Championships.

Two Club captains with the trophy and collage. Una Phelan (left), 2010 captain, and Ailbhe Murphy, 2012 captain.

Some of the tables (and the people at them)



Where are they now?

Don Tallon, the father of Jes rowers Rose and Kate, has sent us a note on where the two girls are now, and their current rowing endeavours. We thought it would be of interest to put this information on the website and encourage others to send us similar updates on earlier Jes rowers.

We thank Don for the note and his kind words on the club, and agree with him about the commitment and dedication that the sport instils.

From Don Tallon

(Drafted in February 2012)

“Rose rowed in first and second year (2002-2003) and Kate rowed from first year (2004/5) for about 4 years until she got injured (after the champs).

Rose was recently chosen to row for Cambridge University against Oxford University in their annual varsity challenge at Henley in March. We put her success down to the wonderful introduction to rowing and subsequent training and discipline that she received in the Jes during her first two years there - if it hadn't been for CIRC she wouldn't have taken up the sport. While we are so proud of her, as parents, we are as equally indebted to the Jes and CIRC for their continued dedication to enabling Rose to get the most out of life, which you are obviously continuing to do for the many dozens of children that appear at the CIRC boathouse, week-in, week-out.

Henley before the boat races against Oxford in March 2012. Rose is 4th from left (sun glasses on head, blond hair).

My appreciation for CIRC's contribution to Rose's achievements is strengthened by the fact that Kate is now rowing for New College Oxford W1 crew and loving it.

Kate hasn't yet reached the heights of inter-varsity rowing, but her commitment and dedication to her crew (again fashioned during her years at the CIRC) will be in evidence tomorrow morning as she gets up at 5.45 a.m. to cycle the two miles to the NCBC boathouse at Godstow, north of Oxford.”

Kate with her crew, Women's First VIII, New College Oxford, taken earlier this year at the Oxford inter-collegiate races on the Thames in Oxford. Kate is second from left, front row with white sun visor.  The boat club colours were conferred on New College Boat Club by the King of Sweden in 1912. (That would be an interesting story).


Photos from Oz

Further photos from Ciaran Glyyn who is coaching rowing in a girls’ school in Sydney. The photos show the conditions that poor Glinny has to endure.

Two photos of the upstairs gym in the rowing club. The third one is the sheltered bay on Sydney Harbour where we train. We row out between the boats and train in front of the mansions on the hill on the right.