Denis Hogan snr R.I.P

Denis Hogan

We are saddened to learn that Denis Hogan Snr passed away suddenly at his home in Co Limerick. Denis senior was a wonderful ambassador of our sport, pictured above is Denis in his beloved Avenger competing in Saint-Gouéno France.

On behalf of us all here at Caora Dubha we extend our sincere sympathies to the Hogan Family, we will miss this wonderful character from our sport.

Thanks to Paul O’Connell for the funeral arrangements.

Reposing from his home in Barnalick Adare Friday from 5 to 8pm.

Funeral Mass in Adare church at 11am.

Those that wish to form a Guard of Honour after the mass are asked to bring their helmets.  

Mondello Test Day

Joe Courtney Reynard

Mondello’s paddock was practically
full for the valentines weekend test day, the test session attracted a whole host of different cars and classes and as usual Caora popped in to record the event,

pictures are in the gallery
and we’ll add more later.

Our thanks to the Mondello marshals & Crew for a cracking day of testing…


Ballyvaughan Hillclimb Weekend

Sylvie Mullins Gould GR37

In just a few short weeks the Irish Hillclimb & Sprint championship will make its annual trip to the picturesque village of Ballyvaughan Co Clare, this year the Ballyvaughan Hillclimb weekend takes place on the 25th – 26th of April.

This is one of the do not miss weekends of racing that features two of Ireland’s most Iconic hills and besides, Ballyvaughan is renowned for its hospitality and excellent sea food. Action gets underway early on Saturday morning with some of the fastest race cars in Ireland going head-to-head in the stunning Burren.

Over the course of the weekend some very powerful machinery
will compete for championship points on two of the most challenging; yet technically different hills. The Corkscrew is traditionally run on Saturday, and Ballyallaban hill on Sunday, both of these hills are regarded by any drivers to be among the most challenging and entertaining.

Robert Dwane Falcon Mini

The Corkscrew Hill; well the name says it all! With its succession of tight hairpin bends it is a real technical challenge for the drivers. Speed is but one part of the equation; you really need very precise smooth driving to get the best out of this hill, Local driver Sylvie Mullins in his 600+BHP Gould GR37 holds the record for this hill and he is stunning to watch in action.

The Corkscrew is best viewed from midway on the Hill, here you have commanding
views of the hairpin bends below you. Parking is restricted to the top of the
hill and space is limited and we advise you get there early. Please obey the
Marshals directions they are there for your safety.

Simon McKinley Lant RT2

On Sunday the drivers take on Ballyallaban hill, and although the hill has been shortened (Booo!) it is still a hill with a fearsome reputation of being a car-breaker. The road surface is very abrasive and bumpy, and in places drops of thirty-feet or more lie
beyond its granite stone walls. The tight hairpin bends are off camber and very bumpy and the drivers really have to work hard to keep all four wheels planted on the road and the smallest of mistakes can be very costly indeed.

There are lots of safe viewing spots on Ballyallaban hill, but again we recommend you get there early and obey the Marshals instructions at all times.

The Ballyvaughan Hillclimb weekend is a very family friendly weekend of motorsport, there is lots to see and do that will keep the smallest member of your crew entertained. A walk around the paddock Sunday morning on Ballyallaban is highly recommended, it’s an excellent way to get up close to some of the stunning cars competing on the hills including some very rare historic cars. Drivers are only too happy answer questions about their cars and you’ll find out all sorts of Hillclimbing information and trivia too.

A word of warning, the paddock is a busy spot and young children should be supervised at all times, if you are taking pictures please do keep a discrete distance from the cars and allow crews to work away unhindered.

Why not visit the Aillwee caves, they are just a short distance away from the bottom of
Ballyallaban Hill, or perhaps a walk across the stunning Burren where some of Irelands oldest Megalithic tombs are to be found.  If you are feeling a bit peckish Logues Lodge in Ballyvaughan has an excellent menu and it’s a very cosy spot to rest your weary

I highly recommend taking the coast road from Galway to Ballyvaughan as the views are simply stunning.

For more information, news, views and lots more visit the Irish Hillclimb Web page

Want to take a peek at the cars in action? Well pay a visit vantage Point Video

Christmas Rally Sprint

Action from the Carlow Motor Club Traditional Christmas Rally
Sprint is now online.

The paddock in Mondello was bursting at the seams for the ever
popular Xmas Sprint. There was an amazing array of Machinery that included some
of the top mkii Escorts in Irish Rallying, WRC cars, Rallycross etc etc. Track conditions were very slippy; perfect for some sideways and every ways action.

Check out the Gallery.

A Big Thanks to all of the Marshals and Carlow crew for an excellent fun filled day of crack.

Happy New Year To you all…




2014 Review

Irish Hillclimb & Sprint 2014

Half the Turkey is gone already…it’s nothing new for this house!

Well I’ve put a little slideshow together looking back on the year that was, and once again we would like to thank you all for the wonderful entertainment throughout the Year.

To all of the Marshals We say A BIG THANK YOU! for all the hard work; our sport would not run without the wonderful effort you put in.

In particular I’d like to thank Denis Hogan jnr the Irish Hillclimb & Sprint web master for his help and support promoting our little space on the web. McKinley motorsport for all their wonderful support and excellent cups of Tea, Granddad (Rory Stephens), Dermot Nolan, Gary (Garoline) Cunningham, The Courtney bros, Eanna Carroll, Senan O’Connor, Robert Dwane, Scott Milligan, Phil Price, Greg Guille, David Hunter, Mike Melia, Tommy Murphy and the Hillclimb Committee. And the list goes on and on, and On! Thank You All!

To all our friends in Saint-Gouéno & Harmoye France, and Patrick Weber and the folks in Eschdorf Luxembourg we thank you again for the wonderful hospitality and friendship that you extend to us. We wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas and we look forward to being in your company in 2015.

To all our friends we wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas and the very best of luck for 2015. We look forward to seeing you all at the start line. for all Hillclimb & Sprint info.



FIA Hillclimb Masters

Simon McKinley

Well… what a way to finish off the Hillclimb season, the Hillclimb Masters was an event of epic proportions. Side-by-side on the grid the top drivers lined up; from Italy, from Austria, from Switzerland and Ireland of course too.

Drivers like Simone Faggioli of Italy a multi European Hillclimb champion, Nicolas & Geoffrey Schatz of France, Eric Berguerand of Switzerland, to name but a few.

So how did our guys fair? Well… pretty dam good! Team Ireland finished in sixth position in the Nations Cup, when you consider the machinery of the opposition that’s an incredible result.

We have just started upload some of the action from the event and I think the pictures speak for themselves.

Our sincere thanks to all the Marshals, and especially Patrick Weber for all his help…

 Results Here:

So the hills are over for another year, but don’t forget the Big Bash in Carlow on November the 1st in the Seven Oaks Hotel. Contact Paul Doyle on 086-0262015 or Ken Treacy on 087 6854587 for tickets.

A big Thank you to Denis Hogan of for the help and support throughout the year.


Hillclimb Masters 2014

Team Ireland

Robert Dwane Falcon Mini

Nicolas Schatz Norma M20FC-BMW

Next Saturday and Sunday week will see Team Ireland go
head-to-head against Europe’s top drivers in the inaugural running of the FIA Hillclimb Masters. Over the last few weeks the drivers have been busy stripping and rebuilding their cars to maximise their performance.

There are now six drivers representing Ireland at this prestigious event which includes Robert Dwane the winner of Class 3A and the fastest junior driver. Robert is a very talented driver and he will be driving his Mini Falcon.

Motorsport Ireland has appointed Tommy Murphy the chairman of the Hillclimb and sprint committee as captain of Team Ireland and he has selected Simon McKinley, Deirdre McKinley, Rory Stephens and Eanna Carroll to contest the Nations Cup.

Ireland will be up against drivers like the French champion Nicolas Schatz; Nicolas will be driving a Norma M20FC-BMW and his brother Geoffrey will also be competing in his Reynard 95D-Mugen.


Tommy Murphy: Team Captain

Simon McKinley Lant RT2

Deirdre McKinley Reynard

Rory Stephens Radical SR8

Eanna Carroll Honda Civic Turbo.

Joe Courtney Fiat Cinquecento

Just reading the entry list for the event is a jaw-dropping exercise. This event will host the very best drivers and some of the most powerful machinery currently competing on the hills of Europe. 

Courtesy Patrick Weber

From all of us here we wish Team Ireland the very best of

EVENT LINKS for more
information about the Irish championship.

European Hill Race Eschdorf - Lux Facebook Page by Patrick Weber

Eschdorf – Fia HillClimb Masters 2014 FaceBook Page

Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)



FIA Hill Climb Masters

Team Ireland

Pictured above is five out of a possible team of seven Irish drivers who will be departing in October to Eschdorf, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to take part in the FIA Hillclimb Masters.

From left to right: Joe Courtney Barnaderg Co Galway, Rory Stephens Dublin, Deirdre McKinley Naul Co Dublin, Irish Hillclimb champion Simon McKinley Naul Co Dublin and Eanna Carroll Loughrea Co Galway. Photo Taken at Knockalla Hill Co Donegal.

The event takes place on the 11th – 12th of October and it will feature some of the fastest drivers in Europe and their amazing Hillclimb cars. The star of team Ireland  has to be the spectacular Simon McKinley, Simon is the current Irish Hillclimb & Sprint champion and multiple record holder. McKinley’s driving style is simply awe inspiring; it’s as if the laws of physics do not apply to Simon. He is one of Ireland’s most stunning drivers to watch in action.

Ireland too may well be the only team with a husband and wife competing; Deirdre McKinley has notched up numerous class wins in the championship, and is one very quick lady in her Reynard.

Rory Stephens will compete in his outrageously good looking BurnFree Radical SR8; Rory is another exceptionally quick driver. He makes driving at speed deceptively easy looking as he effortlessly glides his fire breathing monster through the tightest of corners.

Joe Courtney from Barnaderg Co Galway will be driving his Fiat Cinquecento; Joe took the title for this one make championship after a tense battle over the final rounds in Donegal this weekend gone. And he is looking forward to the challenge of driving in Eschdorf.

Eanna Carroll from Loughrea Co Galway will drive his very powerful Turbo Honda Civic; this is a proper scary fast car that has earned him numerous class wins in Ireland and in France too.

I almost forgot our youngest team member baby Rory McKinley, baby Rory is the newest edition to the Irish Hillclimb & Sprint family and perhaps a future champion like his dad Simon.

We wish Team Ireland the very best of luck for the event. for more information about the Irish championship.

European Hill Race Eschdorf - Lux Facebook Page by Patrick Weber

Eschdorf – Fia Hill Climb Masters 2014 FaceBook Page

Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)


Knockalla Hillclimb 2014

Irish Hillclimb Champion Simon McKinley

Ian Quinn

I have updated the action from Knockalla; and again I want to thank Danny and all of the Marshals for a wonderful weekend of motorsport.
There was so many people coming and going out of closets all weekend it got very confusing, but…well, it was a wonderful weekend of fun!


This year has had its Hi & lo’s; we were all devastated by the sudden and untimely loss of our dear friend and competitor Ian Quinn, Ian has left a void that will never be filled.

It has been wonderful to watch you all in action both on and off the roads; our pictures tell only a tiny part of a wonderful story that is the Irish Hillclimb & Sprint championship.


To our friends in St Gouéno and La Harmoye France we thank you again for the hospitality and friendship extended to us. We will be with you again in 2015.

We wish the very best of luck to Simon, Deirdre, Rory, Joe and Eanna as they prepare to head to the
FIA Hill Climb Masters in Eschdorf Luxembourg in a few weeks time. I know you guys will do us, and Ireland proud. We wish you a safe journey, and as we say over here ‘Keep her Lit’.

Finally I would like to thank all of the Marshals; without you these events would not be possible, and your hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated. We look forward to seeing you all in 2015.

Event Pictures: