Weekly Notes – 22nd Feb 2021

Magnificent Cian: Sport really can be great for lifting the spirits and the incredible performance by Cian McPhillips on Saturday last did just that. Cian’s time of 1:46.13 at the Elite Micro Meet in Dublin elevated him to world class with it being the sixth fastest ever 800m indoor run by an under 20 athlete. A national junior and under 23 record along with a qualifying time for the upcoming European Indoor Senior Championships are fantastic achievements for 18-year-old Moyne CS student Cian. Congratulations also to race winner Mark English (Finn Valley AC), who just edged ahead of Cian at the finish line, on his new national senior record of 1:46.10. It was good to see Cian’s training partner John Fitzsimons (Kildare AC) also achieve the European standard with his third place run. Coach Joe Ryan had the lads prepared superbly and credit to the group for training away so diligently over the winter months in these uncertain times. They showed no race rustiness given that their last outing was back in August. Well done to Athletics Ireland for staging the event and providing our top athletes with the opportunity to perform.

Europeans: The European Indoors will take place in Torun, Poland from March 5-7 and Athletics Ireland will be sending a very strong group of athletes. The women’s 800m has seen numerous recent impressive performances. Among them is Nadia Power (Dublin City Harriers) who is coached by Longford’s Enda Fitzpatrick. Nadia broke the Irish record last week with 2:00.98 and, although her record only lasted four days, she is in very good form ahead of the championships. It is great to see Enda’s work being rewarded and he is firmly established as one of Ireland’s leading coaches.

Bond Sales: Many thanks to all who have so far purchased a bond to help us finance the costs of developing our proposed indoor facility. We have already reached over one-third of the target. We are still a little short of where we need to be and are asking anybody with an interest in athletics and sport in Longford to consider buying one of our €2,000 bonds. These will be repaid over 10 years and bondholders will also be entered in a quarterly prize draw. Bonds will be secure and repaid in full. Please help us if you can. Bond enquiries and requests to purchase can be emailed to

Virtual Challenges: Our 6-week athletics challenges continue this week for juvenile members. Updates will be posted on the club Facebook page and the virtual challenge WhatsApp group. The Virtual Ireland Run takes place, for all ages, during the week of St. Patricks Day. Virtual distance options are 5k, 10k and half marathon for adults and a 3k for children. Register on with the choice of purchasing a t-shirt and medal available also.

Membership: 2021 membership is open and registration renewals have been emailed out to last year’s members. Interested new members can register at

Fees are €25 for juveniles and €30 for seniors. For more information, please email It is hoped to resume club training immediately once the current restrictions are lifted.

National Junior Indoor Record for Cian McPhillips

Wow! An incredible performance by Cian McPhillips on Saturday in the 800m at the Elite Micro Meet in the National Indoor Arena. His time of 1:46.13 is a new National Junior Indoor Record and is comfortably inside the qualifying standard for the European Indoor Senior Championships in Poland in 2 weeks’ time.

Cian finished in second place behind Mark English whose time of 1:46.10 is a new National Senior Indoor Record. Congratulations to Finn Valley AC athlete Mark. The race was paced through 500m by Kevin Woods (Crusaders AC) with swift 27-second laps setting the race up for a quick time. Third place was John Fitzsimons (Kildare AC) and John also achieved the European standard. Great running lads.

Well done to 18-year-old Cian on producing such a fantastic run! He has been patiently training away since his last race in August yet showed no race rustiness. Congratulations to Cian’s proud family and also great credit to his coach Joe Ryan for having Cian so well prepared.

Bond Sales on Target


longford ac bond sales

We are on target with our bond sale initiative but we need your continued support to stay on track. We have raised €72,000 in the last three weeks in bond sales thanks to the support we have received so far from the people of Longford and beyond.

Please help if you can.

We are making good progress toward getting ready to start construction on our planned new Indoor Athletics Training Facility in St Mel’s College. This facility will have the potential for much further development in the future and could become a class leading athletics venue.
We are still a little short of where we need to be and are asking anybody with an interest in athletics and sports in Longford to consider buying one of our €2000 bonds. These will be repaid over 10 years and you will be entered in a quarterly prize draw. Your money will be secure and repaid in full.

Please help if you can.

Our completed project will be close to €1.5 million in value. If we fail to get it started in the next few weeks approximately €750k in grant aid and other inputs will be lost to Longford. We know there are many supporters of running and athletics in Longford with a great appetite for finally having proper athletics facilities in Longford, just like in most other counties. We are very close to reaching our goal. It is within our grasp.

Please help if you can. Email for more information.

Longford AC Virtual Ireland Run

It’s 6 Weeks to our St Patrick’s Day Virtual Ireland Run.

Set a goal, pick your distance and get ready to do your Virtual IRELAND RUN from anywhere in the world.

And you’ll be supporting grassroots Irish voluntary club athletics.

Register here

longford ac virtual run

Indoor Training Facility – Plea for Funding Assistance

As you are aware, Longford AC has spent over two years fundraising to build our own indoor training centre in Longford. Our efforts have culminated in us:

– raising €120,000 in our club raffle
– securing €500,000 in LEADER funding
– securing planning permission for our facility in the grounds of St Mel’s College Longford
– successfully tendering for a building contractor (who is ready to start)

As of January 2021, in order for this project to succeed we need to secure an additional €280,000. Our finance committee has exhausted all avenues of securing this additional funding. As such we hope that a basic loan scheme – in the form of repayable bonds – will help us secure this additional finance.

We have a long list of people who have brought us this far and to whom we are very thankful – club members, the people of Longford (at home & abroad), Longford County Council, councillors, LCRL, TDs, senators, lovers of athletics and sport in general… But the reality is we need one final push to ensure the project will be a success. So please – we really need YOUR help.

How You Can Help

  • Longford Athletics Club will sell bonds as a way of raising the final sum required for this project. A bond is simply a loan to Longford Athletics Club
  • Each bond has a value of €2,000. Of course, any loan above the minimum amount would be greatly appreciated. We know this is alot of money, and it’s hard for us to ask for such a sum at this difficult time. But this is an investment in our town and young people… and you will get your investment back.
  • The club guarantees to repay each bondholder €200 per annum over the 10 years from the issue of the bond.
  • There will be a legal agreement signed by Longford Athletics Club to ensure bond holders are guaranteed repayment of their bond.
  • All bond holders are in with a chance to win €200 every quarter over the 10 year term.

If you are interested in assisting with this incredibly important project, or discussing the scheme, which will have such a positive impact on our community, then please contact one of our committee members. Be assured, there will be no hard sell.

Donal Mulligan – 089 2346530
John Fitzpatrick – 087-2334600
Sean Crossan – 087 2639825

How to Purchase a Bond

1. Download the Bond Scheme Application Form

2. Print it off , complete and sign the application section at the bottom.

3. Email a scanned copy back to us at or post to

Longford AC
C/O Donal Mulligan
Ardagh Village
Co Longford
N39 A6F7

4. You will then receive details for completing your bank transfer.

5. Following confirmation of your bank transfer you will receive a signed copy of your Bond Certificate.

Level of Urgency

Please note that there is a level of urgency on obtaining this funding. Our LEADER funding criteria stipulates we need to have a certain level of funding in our bank account before we start development – hence the request for this loan. We would ask that if you can assist us that you contact us immediately (and by 26th February at the latest).

All Hands on the Track/Deck

Finally.. the club has only a finite number of club members – seniors and juniors…. Please do not leave it to others… Everyone needs to play their part. Please contact Donal, John or Seán if you can help us.

Donal Mulligan – 089 2346530
John Fitzpatrick – 087-2334600
Sean Crossan – 087 2639825

Our Vision

New Indoor facility (circa 80m x 20m) with Tartan running surface to include changing rooms, toilets, meeting room and storage areas with a small outdoor car park

Indoor facility with dedicated field event equipment such as throws area, high jump and long jump

Happy Christmas and New Year To All!

Wishing a very Happy Christmas and New Year to all our members and their families. Thanks to all who attended training during the year and hopefully you enjoyed and benefited from running with a group.

Many thanks to our coaches for their time and effort given in 2020.

New membership and renewals will be available in the New Year ahead of the resumption of training.

Details regarding registration for 2021 will be confirmed in early January.


Juvenile Training will not go ahead tomorrow Friday 18th December due to COVID restrictions.

Training for seniors continue and members are asked to refer to the club WhatsApp group for updates.

We will confirm details regarding 2021 member registration in early January.

Club AGM 2020

The club AGM took place via Zoom on Sunday evening last, November 29th. Thanks to all who attended.

In his Chairperson’s address Donal extended thanks to all the club coaches, volunteers, the Facilities Task Force, parents and athletes for their efforts in a challenging year. Gratitude was also expressed to all who helped with the fundraiser for the proposed indoor facility. Also, thanks to the Longford Leader for their support throughout the year with the coverage the club received in print and online editions.

The committee of elected officers for 2021 is:

  • Chairperson: Donal Mulligan
  • Vice-Chairperson: John Fitzpatrick
  • Secretary: Edel Nolan
  • Treasurer: Barry Sheil
  • PRO – Juveniles: Paul Grealy, PRO
  • Seniors: Barry Sheil
  • Registrar: Colman Reilly
  • Children’s Officers: Sinead Creegan & Sean Crossan.

Training to Resume

Following the easing of restrictions, training for juvenile members will return on Friday, December 4th at 6.30pm on the astroturf. Members will be allocated to the same pods as previously. Parents are asked to please complete the online health questionnaire form on behalf of their child.

Training for seniors resume on Thursday, December 3rd and members are asked to refer to the club WhatsApp group for updates.

Annual General Meeting 2020

The club Annual General Meeting will take place via Zoom on Sunday November 29th at 6pm. For those interested in joining the meeting, please email in advance of the 29th to receive the log in details. To nominate oneself for an officer role on the club committee, please state the position of interest in the email.