The Very Beginning.
In Lucan in the 1960s running on the roads was a rare sight. This was apart from the lone figure of Tom Byrne who would be seen on the roads around Lucan, Newcastle and Coolmine. Tom at the time competed for Dublin City Harriers and in 1966 and 67 won the Dublin senior Cross Country Champs. A feat only equalled by Eamonn Coughlan years later. When the new estates were built in Hillcrest and Arthur Griffith a number of people with an interest in Athletics moved to the area and came together and a conversation was started on the possibility of starting a Lucan Club.
Tom with his running history and George McIntyre who had moved to Arthur Griffith was running with Clonliffe Harriers. Brian Carty in Hillcrest got his athletic appetite from his brother Gerry who was involved with Metropolitan Harriers and Seamus Costello in Hillcrest who had run for Tipperary. A discussion on whether to join the NACA which was affiliated to the GAA or BLE the international body led to enquiries to both bodies. It was during these discussions that a secret meeting between these two bodies was organised in the Spa Hotel a meeting which eventually led to these two bodies coming together to form AAI.
A meeting was held in Lucan on 24th Oct 1978 at which it was decided to set up an Athletic club affiliated to Board Luathcleas na hEireann, the Internationally recognised Athletics Board in Ireland at the time now AAI. The club would cater for the Juvenile and Senior athletes, male and females living in the Lucan area. A meeting to select a committee was called by Brian Carty and Seamus Costello for Tuesday 14th Nov, in the hall beside Esker church and so the seed had been sown.
At the meeting on 14th November attended by Bill Coughlan (Eamon’s father) then President of BLE and a committee was elected.
President Sgt. Fahy Registrar Colm Murtagh
Vice Pres. Fr. McCarthy and Bill Coughlan. P.R.O. Liam Dunne
Chairman Brian Carty Vice Capt. George McIntyre
Sec. N. Flynn Capt. Tom Byrne
Treas. Seamus Costello
Training was organised for Tuesday Church Hall Esker 7.30
Thursday/Friday Boys National School Lucan Village 7.30
Sat/Sun. Car Park in Griffeen Park 11am.
The Club registered the colours of red shorts with a red singlet, which changed to black shorts in 1981 and later to the red singlet with the black diagonal strip in 1988.
In 1978 the club was given the use of the pitch beside the car park in Griffeen Park and a grass track was developed and maintained there until a more permanent home could be found. During that time the club grew and held Open Sports which attracted hundreds of Athletes from clubs near and far.
With the Coaching of Tom Byrne and the dynamics of Brian Carty, the club thrived and with little else, in the area, the club built up to 200 and began to make their mark on the National scene. As the club grew in numbers issues with the availability of the grass track started to arise as the club had to give way to the football team which played inside the track. The limitations were starting to be an issue and plans were formed to develop a permanent Track.
The land was set aside and in September 1983 work started on the current site to build an all-weather track, provided the club could provide £36,000 towards the cost of the facility. Members were expected to help shoulder the burden with cake sales, race nights, raffles, road races bucket collections and sponsored events. Over a three year period, the £36,000 was raised or £1000 a month for 36 months, not a shabby effort in a time when money was scarce.
More to come ………………………………..