Donore Harriers reeling from huge loss of beloved coach John

DONORE Harriers Athletic Club is, this week, reeling from the sad passing of their sprints and hurdles coach John Geoghegan last Saturday.

John, who died after a short illness, was a hugely influential and much-loved figure in Donore and has left behind a devastated family and club.

John Emily Geoghehan at National League final at Tullamore 1

The late John Geoghegan with his daughter Emily

His work with Donore, both on and off the track, for more than ten years now has helped the club evolve into a serious power in Irish sprinting and field events through his development of top young athletes, the likes of Aoife Lynch, Paul McDermott, Alex Clarkin, Lara O'Byrne, Jack Raftery, Daragh McAuley, Zak Higgins, Lucy Hurley, Eva McPartlan, Sean Lawlor, Jack Rudden and a host of others. 

Paying tribute to John and his massive contribution to the progress Donore has enjoyed in recent years, long time member and former club President Maurice Ahern said “The club has been fortunate over the years to have had brilliant coaches and John Geoghegan ranks with the best of them as a gentleman and an exceptional coach.

“John’s daughters Emily and Alice joined Donore as juveniles and competed in BLOE Track and Field events.

“John offered to help in the coaching of our young athletes and attended AAI courses, moving swiftly through the various levels and achieving the highest coaching qualifications.

“He developed a very good group of boys and girls, who went on to become Dublin, National and Schools champions. Some of them qualified to compete at European Junior level, with several making finals.

“John was pivotal in the club’s efforts to convince Dublin City Council of the need to develop a track for Donore Harriers.

“Following the laying of the track, John and his coaching team developed a young sprinters and hurdlers group, many of whom have since graduated to the senior ladies and men’s teams.

“He was adored by his athletes, who, through wet and dismal conditions, turned up loyally for training, knowing that John’s priority was to coach them to success.

“Our condolences to his wife Oonagh, daughters Emily, Charlotte and Alice, mother Rita, siblings, relatives and friends. He will be greatly missed by us all.”

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