Lark in the Park

by Administrator 23. January 2012 08:16

Mondello Park that is...

IRCA Marshals Day took place again in Mondello Park, it was a cool fine day that greeted the drivers and Marshals, from early dawn drivers and marshals made their way from all corners of Ireland to Mondello.

Action on the track was fast and furious, front ways, back ways, sideways, and every other ways, was the order of the day as the drivers put the pedal to the metal and made some folks very happy indeed. And likely scared others. But it was all in a good cause, the evidence is in the Gallery for all to see, and a bit of video as well..

Thank you all for a wonderful day in Mondello, we'll see ye in Galway...






Ar nós na gaoithe the photographic Book.

by Administrator 21. January 2012 11:11

Here it is!, after much head scratching and hours of reviewing pictures, Ar nós na gaoithe The Irish Hillclimb and Sprint championship photographic book is here, there are 38 pictures from various rounds of the championship. If you picture is not in the book please understand I was limited to 38 images to try and keep costs down as much as possible.

I decided to go with as they offer better options for printing, The soft cover is €20.95 + P&P, Hard Cover image wrap is €29.95 + P&P and hard cover dust jacket is €27.95 + P&P. Postage works out at about €6.00 Euro or so.

Delivery takes about 7-10 days, which is pretty quick, you can preview the book on line before buying...Caora is not profiting from the sale, the price you pay is the cost of printing and shipping the book.

We hope you enjoy it



Simon McKinley for France

by Administrator 19. January 2012 13:40

Simon McKinley has been invited once again to France to compete in the prestigious Saint Goueno Hillclimb Masters in Brittany; French spectators were left speechless at Simon's speed and car control. Never before had they seen such control over a car at such high speed, they cheered every time the champion took to the hill.


But you know, you don't have to go to France to see the Irish Hillclimb Champion in action, just go along to a round of the championship and see Simon in action, he's guaranteed to leave you speechless too..Check out the Irish Hillclimb page for info on the 2012 events


Ar nós na gaoithe

by Administrator 8. January 2012 15:56

I hope to get a sample copy printed in the next few days to see how it looks, for now here is a sample of what it may look like.I'm waiting on a copy to proof it for errors.

After that I'll post the details of where it can be bought and how much....

Caora Dubha will not be making money off this…

 List of Drivers in the Book, One driver per page...

1.    Simon McKinley

2.    Paul O'Connell

3.    Dermot Nolan

4.    Sylvie Mullins

5.    Rory Stephens

6.    John Byrne

7.    Brendan Keane

8.    Trevor Cullen

9.    Joe Courtney

10.    John Mahon

11.    Seamus Morris

12.    Eanna Carrol

13.    Mike Melia

14.    Ian Quinn

15.    Frank Byrnes

16.    Denis Hogan

17.    Frank Nutthall

18.    Alan Kessie

19.    Trish Daly

20.    Deidre Delaney

21.    John Bradley

22.    Nigel Byrson

23.    John Laffey

24.    Brendan Harper

25.    Dermott Quigley

26.    Matt Dunne

27.    Siobhan McCann

28.    Adrian McCallion

29.    John Farrell

30.    Trevor Shannon

31.    Tommy Murphy

32.    Dean Laffey

33.    Colm Dunphy

34.    John Whitley

35.    Ray Cunningham

36.    Enda Byrne

37.    Ed Cassidy

38.    Joh Keatley

I hope to bring the book with me to get ye all to sign it…

I’m looking forward to see you all in action during the year…

Support Marshals Day if you can on Jan 22nd


  Front Cover



Sample Page


Carlow Christmas Rally Sprint Dec 27th

by Administrator 28. December 2011 10:24

The traditional Carlow Motor Club Christmas Sprint in Mondello Park attracted a large entry as usual, from all parts of Ireland crews made this annual pilgrimage to shake off the Turkey and take a well earned break from the umpteenth    showing of Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory.

The chicane just before the bridge was under attack right from the word go, drivers who seemed unhappy with its layout quickly modified it. While others simply took a different line through it and around it.




Irish Hillclimb champion Simon McKinley and fellow competitor Rory Stevens had fun in their fiat Seicento, its about 500BHP short of their usual Hillclimb chariots. But it looked like the lads were having loads of fun.




From the picture below I’d say Simon put the Box Of Daz washing powder to good use, his racing suit looks uncharacteristically clean!




All in all, it was a good days Racing.. More Pictures in the Gallery ...

We hope to see ye all again for Marshals Day 2012 Happy Newyear to all


2011 Irish Hillclimb Prize Giving

by Administrator 13. November 2011 07:42

It was a night of fun, frolicking and frippery in the Talbot Carlow hotel for the Hillclimb Crews, its that time of year when all that mayhem and high octane action gets rewarded.

This year Formula Libre Ireland also held their end of year prize giving, making a memorable night of excellent fun and shenanigans.

Needless to Caora Dubha were there to capture the moments, the rest of the pictures are in the Gallery.

From us all here, we sincerely thank all of the competitors’, Marshals and clubs for another wonderful year of high speed action.

Hope to see ye all again soon, all the best for 2012…





Aisbhreathnaigh (to look Back)

by Administrator 30. August 2011 18:03
In just a few days time the final round of the 2011 Connaught Engines Irish Hillclimb Championship concludes in Donegal, the location, the spectacularly scenic Knockalla Hill. And so, as we look back on another high octane high speed year, where records were spectacularly smashed, and some  cars too. We ponder briefly at Last years  battle that went down to the wire between Paul O'Connell and Simon McKinley on this very hill, Paul had a very scary off that ended his chance of victory, Handing the championship to Simon McKinley.



Wexford Fethard-on-Sea 26th March 2011 

 Day one Wexford:

Wexford kicked off the 2011 championship and Simon McKinley blasted right out of the starting blocks, throwing down the gauntlet to one and all, battle raged on day one between Simon and David James in his ultra fast Evo, with John Byrne in his Jedi nipping at their heels. Paul O'Connell in his older Delta finished forth on the day.





Wexford Day two Duncannon:

Again Simon blitzed the opposition as he stamped his authority on the 2011 championship, even a late charge by Paul O'Connell was not enough to pip Simon. Paul was followed home by John Byrne in third, with Joe Courtney in his OMS Hornet finishing fourth.






Round three The Corkscrew Hill: 


Corkscrew, deceptively technical, synonymous with legends such as Richard Young, and a Mecca for spectators;  And nothing prepares the senses for the sound of V8 growling on the start line. Before launching into heavenly a symphony as the car blasts its way up this Tarmac stairway.

Sylvie Mullins in his Judd powered Gould set a pace that even Simon McKinley could not match, spectators jumped to their feet every time Sylvie and Simon took to the hill, their speed was amazing, their driving seemed to defy the laws of physics. Even  Frank Byrnes in his V8 Pilbeam could not match the outright speed of Sylvie and Simon. 

Sylvie won by a mere blink of the eye from Simon, with Frank Byrnes finishing third. Joe Courtney in his OMS Hornet finishing fourth. 





Round four Ballyallaban Hill: 


  On Sunday the action moved to Ballyallaban Hill, arguably the most feared hill in the championship, and the location of many spectacularly off road excursions; its bumpy  abrasive tarmac, and  2.2 miles off camber corners with granite like shark teeth. Lie in wait to catch out drivers who push that bit too far, or foolishly underestimate this hill. 

From early morning spectators made their way up the hill, eager to find the best vantage point, as drivers prepared in the paddock for the days battle.

From the word go Simon McKinley set a mind binding pace, you could visibly see Simon wrestle with the wild horses as he made his approach to the carpark, the car getting visibly sideways,  corrected by cat like reflexes from Simon. On his second run Simon smashed his previous record by over a second, setting a new Hill record for a second year in a row. It appears the laws of physics don't apply to Simon; at times, he appears to be able to bend space and time at will. Either way, spectators and competitors alike were astounded by his times. Frank Byrnes finished the day in second, even he could not match Simon's pace. With Brendan Keane in his Swallow R14 coming home third.

Once again Ballyallaban Hill claimed her victims, Ian Quinn in his Mini had a very scary moment when the bonnet flew open on the fastest part of the hill, the Mini suffered substantial damage from the hard granite walls,  thankfully Ian was shaken, but unhurt. later on in the day the Nolan car got out of sorts after the carpark and it too suffered heavy damage. Again Thankfully, the driver walked away from the car, looking back just briefly to study the carnage wrought on the car.  

Once again Simon McKinley was crowned King of this Hill in Ballyvaughan, adding yet another paragraph to Irish Motorsport History & The McKinley Legend. 

Carrick-on-Suir Rounds 5 & 6. 

Simon McKinley continued his onslaught on the championship in Carrick-on-Suir, again he blitzed the opposition,  nobody it seems has an answer to McKinley's speed, Simon took the win on day one with Brendan Keane coming home in second. And third place went to Rory Stevens in his wonderful looking & sounding Radical. 




Day two ended almost exactly as day one, Simon again took the win, and stamped his authority on the Championship, He was again followed home by Brendan Keane in second. With third place going to John Byrne.

With Simon now six for six, it was unlikely the champion would be overtaken in points, never mind on the road!



Rounds 7 & 8 Carlow: 

Round 7: Ardskull 

Once again Simon delivered another devastating blow to the other competitors as he continued to astound everyone with his speed, much head scratching in the paddock by his fellow competitors failed to deliver an answer. Or even halt his relentless championship march. He was followed home in second by John Byrne in his Jedi in second, with Brendan Keane taking third. 




Round 8: Bagenalstown 

Bagenalstown sprint is another unique round of the championship that runs practically in the middle of a town, this  allows spectators unhindered views of the high speed action, and after a bit of tweaking to the chicane alongside the river the action commenced, again Simon McKinley annihilated the rest of the crews, his speed past the swimming pool was simply breathtaking. Yet again John Byrne was second. With Rory Stevens coming third in his Fab looking Radical.

The championship is all over bar the shouting it would seem, as we head to the final round..


Before we head to Donegal I thought it pertinent to once again mention the Irish Festival of Speed that was held in the grounds of the Adare Manor Hotel; it was (is) without doubt one of the most historic events in Irish Motorsport to date, It opened up a new audience to the Hillclimb competitors. And the  the Hillclimb folks gave the spectators a display they would not soon forget. Simon of course stole the show, his sideways, tyre smoking display resulted in loud cheers from the fans, each run. A new legion of Hillclimb fans have the names McKinley, Stevens, Mullins, Nolan etc, etched in their minds. And we may yet see this event as a round of the championship. 




So as the clock ticks down to Donegal, why not join us on Knockalla Hill and witness some of the fastest machines in Ireland go head-to-head, at this picturesque Hill. 

We'll see you on the start line. 






Irish Festival of Speed

by Administrator 1. August 2011 13:20

Some of the finest Automotive Porn was on show this weekend at the Irish Festival of Speed in the grounds of Adare Manor, we witnessed grown men crying into their wallets, while still more prayed for a win on the Euro Millions. So that they might be able to purchase some of the exotic machinery on show.



The Irish Festival of Speed was possibly the greatest historical automotive event ever held on the Island of Ireland, almost a hundred years of Motorsport History was on display, and raced during the event. These  eloquent ladies of Motorsport gave us a glimpse of the past, usually only seen behind a rope in a museum. Owners and drivers were only to happy to answer questions from the public. Children were delighted to have their picture taken in theses rare cars.



The Irish Hillclimb competitors put on a excellent show for the spectators, but it was plain to see that Hillclimb Champion Simon McKinley was the favourite, Simon took to the Escort and gave them what they wanted. Loads of sideways action percolated with plumes of tyre smoke. In the Lant, He showed just why he is champion, his speed was incredible everywhere on the track, I am beginning to think there are no breaks on his car. And if it has breaks, Simon never uses them.



But it was not all about Racing, all around The Manor grounds Owner clubs & their member cars were on display, Alfa Romeo, Mini's, BMW, Fords etc were all there, owners were busy chatting, swapping stories of their cars. 


  Some of the finest examples of modern sport cars were also in attendance too, Ferrari's, Aston Martins etc drew crowds around them, but few would have a wallet deep enough to afford one of these modern marvels of engineering. But all is not lost, Heritage Sports Cars had a sample of their  Cars on display, and you can Hire A Ferrari from €250 with insurance included. And spend a day experiencing what it would be like to own one. Gatso Camera Tickets extra!!




As the day drew to a close, we looked back one more time to relish the very sight of this gathering and ponder its historical significance.

Pictures from the event are in the Gallery, Video will be added later...




by Administrator 9. July 2011 06:31

The sudden & untimely death yesterday, of Hugh Conlon, one of the founder members of Galway Motorsport Marshals Club, and the club secretary for many years, was greeted with sadness and disbelief.

As the sad news filtered across the airways, the wider Irish Motorsport family stunned by his sudden death, are slowly coming to terms with the loss of this wonderful ambassador of Motorsport.

Hugh was a active member of Galway Motor Club, and he will be best remembered for his role of Chief Time Keeper at GMC Events, always a friendly smile, Hugh had  time to chat to everyone.

Over the years, he served in the many and varied roles as a Motorsport official throughout Ireland, just like his role as a timekeeper, you could set your watch by Hugh, if he said he'd be at the Rally Stage at 5am. You could be sure of that.

Motorsport has lost a wonderful ambassador, and we have lost a very dear colleague...

The Committee and Members of Galway Motorsport Marshals Club offer our sincere sympathies to the Conlon family at this very sad time.

May You Rest in Peace Hugh...


Suddenly. Formerly of the O.P.W., Galway. Deeply regretted by his family, brothers Peter and Tom, sisters Margaret (Hernan), Nellie (Carr), Kathleen (Cummins), relatives and friends.

Rest in Peace
Reposing at Aras Naofa, Renmore, on Monday evening from 5pm, with removal to St. Oliver Plunkett Church, Renmore, arriving at 6pm. Funeral mass on Tuesday at 11am, with burial afterwards in Tubberclair Cemetery, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, arriving at 2pm approximately.

Family flowers only, please. Donations if desired, in lieu, to the Post Polio Support Group.


Date published: Saturday, July 09, 2011
Date of death: Friday, July 08, 2011





Mondello Rallycross June 2011

by Administrator 13. June 2011 06:17

What I love about Ireland is no matter where you go it always feels like home, nine times out of ten its raining  just like at home!

Mondello's round of the British Rallycross Championship had a wet start on Sunday morning, and competitors found the going very slippy  much to the delight of the spectators.


Slippy conditions on track resulted in some excellent sideways (every ways) action, door to door action was present in all classes of races. The smallest of gaps was all that was needed to tempt drivers to lunge left or right as they battled for much needed points. A nudge here, a push there is just a drivers way of saying I want to pass you. Its the kind of action that's synonymous with Rallycross.

The off road buggy's were a favourite with the spectators, and the action was fast and frenetic when they were on track, they are spectacular  to watch..



Pictures are in the Gallery.. 


A big thanks to Mondello's Marshals...


Powered by BlogEngine.NET
Theme by Mads Kristensen

About the author

Caora Dubha Irish Motorsport Photography