Legendary coach John McDonnell to be honoured in Ballina Sat July 2

A plaque will be unveiled in Ballina on Saturday next July 2 honouring legendary coach John McDonnell.

“John McDonnell was born into a family of nine children on a farm in Woodville, Crossmolina in Co Mayo on July 2, 1938.

Football was his first love and he only got into running when one of his brothers spotted his talent. He then joined the local running club and continued running when he moved to Dublin to attend technical school where he learned to be TV cameraman. He won six titles at the Irish championships in the late 1950s and early 1960s in the 1,500m , 3,000m and 5,000m races.

McDonnell qualified to run for Ireland at the 1960 Olympics when he was 22 but for financial reasons, a full team wasn’t sent to Rome. McDonnell was among the athletes left at home. “It’s something I’ve gotten over, but it’s not something that I’ll ever forget,” said McDonnell in 1998. An Achilles tendon injury prevented him competing in the 1964 Olympics Games.”

Read full article from Irish Times https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/john-mcdonnell-track-and-field-coach-of-exceptional-ability-1.4608940

And more on this including details of Saturday’s unveiling here:

https://westernpeople.ie/2022/06/30/legendary-athletics-coach-to-be-honoured-in-native-mayo/

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