The oldest rowing club in the country and a club that is so old that its foundation predates the bridge in the county town, Carrick-on-Shannon Rowing Club celebrated their 175th anniversary in fine style on Saturday, August 20, in the Bush Hotel.
Speaking at the celebrations, Club Captain Nigel Murtagh said “Carrick Rowing Club was founded 175 years ago in this very hotel. It is difficult to comprehend the span of 175 years, to put it in context this club has existed through major historic events such as the great famine, the two World Wars and the War of Independence.
“The club was even in existence before the bridge was built in Carrick. It has endured many depressions and recessions and with work, effort and commitment it will continue to do so.”
Past members and friends of the club travelled from such places as Belfast and London. The night began with a fine meal in the Bush Hotel followed by some speeches from attendees.
Stephen Smith from Lagan scullers club represented northern clubs and spoke fondly of his times at Carrick regatta, an event that has for generations featured competitors from these clubs. He thanked Carrick RC, Tony Kane and Gabriel Cox for the memories.
Eamon Coakley, President of the Connacht Branch of the Union, also spoke fondly of his memories of Carrick RC over the years and commended the club on all it’s achievements over it’s 175 years.
In his Captain’s Address, Nigel Murtagh not only spooke of the past but looked forward to the future as he revealed that the Rowing Club are building an additional boat house and, in conjunction with Lough Rynn and Leitrim County Council, developing a venue capable of holding full regattas - “With the development of Lough Rynn, in co-ordination with the Council and Bord Failte, we will have a venue capable of hosting full status regattas in six lanes. Work is to begin on that soon.”
Reviewing the club’s activities over the past year, Nigel spoke of the hosting of the Head of the River event, which incorporated the National 4 Blades championships, and the annual Regatta and added “We have 32 rowing members in the club at present and they all made a very good account of themselves this year. We will be losing some of our junior athletes to College this year and to those guys I just wanted to say thank you for all your efforts in the club.”
To read the full story and for full pictorial coverage of the celebrations see this week’s Leitrim Observer.