About Us

Failte go Loughrea Athletic Club. The Club was founded in 1968. Loughrea is located approx twenty miles from Galway city on the N6 Galway to Dublin motorway. The club is famous for its annual road race in September and has been graced by athletes the calibre of Lord Sebastian Coe, Paula Radcliffe, Brendan Foster, Sonia O’ Sullivan  and Eamon Coghlan. It caters for Female, Male  and Juvenile Athletes.  

The club grounds are situated on twenty-seven acres of lush green fields in Bushfield, approx three miles from the town. It was purchased from local businessman and Wool Merchant John Hickey. The facility caters for the local Community Games and is also used by parish Soccer Clubs Lakeside Celtic and Loughrea Rams. Local GAA clubs including Sarsfields Hurling Club and Saint Brendan’s GAA club also use the facility. Summer camps and the Manning Cup (which is a local Athletics meet for National Schools) also take advantage of the grounds. Above all it is a superb training facility for the Loughrea Athletic club. 

The Inaugural meeting was held in Sgt. Ryle`s house at Bride Street in 1968. The founding fathers were Chairman Martin Smyth, Vice Chairman Martin Broderick RIP, Hon Secretary Joe Grace RIP, Assistant Secretary John Ryle, Treasurer Michael O’ Brien and Assistant Treasure J.P Cusack RIP. 

Loughrea AC is a very active club. Today it is enjoying the largest membership in the history of the club, due in no small way to the success of World Silver medalist Olive Loughnane. Olive achieved her Silver Medal in  the 20 kilometre walk at the World Championship in Berlin in August 2009. She is still a loyal Club member and was honoured by the club in 2010 with Honoury life Membership of Loughrea Athletic Club. Another major attraction to encourage people to partake in club activities, has been the formation of an Adult Fit For Life Group. This is Co-ordinated by club members Siobhan Glynn and Marie Reilly. They train on Tuesday and Thursday nights with many other club members on the streets of Loughrea, proudly wearing the Clubs Blue and Yellow colours. They achieve that feel-good factor of Fitness, Health, and Sport in general. 

During its forty year history, stalwarts in the club from an administrative point of view have been Colm Moorhead, TJ Beatty and Martin Smyth. Colm Moorehead has the distinction of having been Club Chairman for twenty three years. TJ Beatty served as Hon Secretary in excess of fifteen years. Martin Smyth was our first Chairman and is today`s current Treasurer. They are all still active members of the club, and they have guided the club over the years. They are affectionately referred to as the Three Wise Men!

Other great club achievers include the current Club Coach Mary Barrett, who represented Ireland in Canada at the World Veterans Championship in the Pentathlon, and was the recipient of both Silver and Bronze medals. Up-and-coming young athlete Laura Shaughnessy, has also worn the Irish singlet at the European Junior Cross Country Championship 

There have also been many National Honours bestowed on numerous club athletes at Juvenile, Senior and Veterans categories over the years. 

Club members also compete in many Marathons, and Loughrea Athletic Club is proud of Marathon runner extraordinar Jarlath Fitzgerald, who in December 2009 ran his 100th Marathon in Barbados. He is the Nephew of former Irish Rugby Captain Ciaran Fitzgerald. Pride runs in the clan as Jarlath wears the Blue and Yellow club colours with the same passion as Ciaran wore the green. 

The future of any club depends on a sound youth base and policy to develop their up-and-coming young athletes. The club is fortunate to have on board Barry Beirne, who has taken our young athletes under his wing and along with Club Coach Mary Barrett and fellow members, ensure the future of the club is in good hands. 

No club can survive without the goodwill and support of its locality. Loughrea Athletic Club are blessed to have the support and co—operation of fellow sporting organisations who help each other during major sporting events with stewarding etc. Also important are the parents and families of all club athletes. Paramount to the success of our club is the financial support and goodwill that is given to the club by the Lions Club, and the business community of the town of Loughrea and its environs.  

The Officers, along with their Committee, ensure the smooth running of the club and will continue to plan and develop the short, medium and long term interest of the club so that athletics, health and fitness will always be part of the Town of Loughrea and surrounding area.

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