BY JOHN NEWMAN
HER native parish of Durrus and Bantry Athletics Club can indeed be proud of the athletic achievements of 15-year-old Caoimhe Harrington.
On Tuesday, at the Gresham Metrepole Hotel, Cork, main sponsors, the talented athlete was presented with the December 2014 Cork City and County Youth Award, in association with John Buckley Sports (award sponsor), in the presence of City Lord Mayor, Cllr Mary Shields, and County Mayor, Cllr Alan Coleman, together with Caoimhe’s parents Michael and Deirdre Harrington and grandmother Eileen Cronin.
Cllr Shields lauded Caoimhe’s achievements as she said: ‘you are a great role model for our youth and a credit to your coaches, Marie Hurley and Michael Harrington, and family’.
Cllr Coleman, having pinpointed the huge focus on ladies’ team sports, stated that ‘it’s important that individual sports people got their moment in the spotlight and I have no doubt that one girl from Muintir Bhaire will become an outstanding athlete for club and country’.
Former international athlete John Buckley spoke glowingly of Caoimhe’s success: ‘It is very difficult to win an All-Ireland cross-country at underage, I never did, but to win four consecutive All-Ireland championships is something very special’.
Chairman of Cork Athletics Board Pat Buckley, with his wife Eleanor, stated that Caoimhe was both an extremely talented and courageous young lady, and a huge credit to the sport of athletics.
Guests were welcomes by Mr Roger Russell, Hotel General Manager.
Caoimhe, who is a Junior Cert pupil of Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí, played Gaelic football with Muintir Bhaire’s U12 ladies’ team, winners of the then U12 West Cork League. She has two sisters, Sophie and Rebecca, and one brother, Fionn.
Caoimhe became involved in athletics at the age of eight. Her main interest is cross-country and she has won many individual titles, both Athletics Ireland and secondary schools’ championships, and is currently on the Athletics Ireland Munster Middle Distance Development squad.
In 2014, Caoimhe donned the Irish vest for the first time when she represented Ireland in Junior Girls’ School International Cross-Country championships in the UK, competing against athletes from the UK and Ireland, which she won.
Also in 2014 she won junior girls’ All-Ireland 2,500m in CIT; U16 4,000m All-Ireland in Dundalk with a brave finish; came second in the U17 (up an age) in the 4,000m at Santry.
Just last Sunday, represented Ireland in the Celtic Games U17 4,000m, she finished fourth overall against athletes from Wales, Scotland and Ulster, held in Dunboyne, Co Meath, and was also the first Irish athlete past the finishing line in her race.
While cross-country is her main interest, Caoimhe has also competed in track events, winning county and provincial championships.
Truly an athlete for the future, her career should be of interest, both on the national and international stages.