A SHORT HISTORY AND OVERVIEW OF THE CLUB
Carrick Wheelers Cycling Club was founded in Carrick-on-Suir in 1954. In its early years race promotion was an important part of the club’s activities, and it promoted its first major national event on St. Patrick’s Day 1955, an event that has continued up to the present day.
A significant year in the club’s history was 1967 when the then club chairman, Tommy Sheehan, promoted a beginners league in the town, and this brought a large influx of young boys into the club who would go on to be very successful senior team, but also formed the backbone of the club’s committee in the years to come.
The club has been hugely successful at national level over the years, and no less than twenty eight club members have represented Ireland at international level. Individual names and victories are too numerous to mention, but they include wins in the National Senior and Junior Road Race Championships, the FBD Milk Rás and Junior Tour, and European Junior Track Championships as well as all the major one day classics throughout Ireland.
However, despite the great individual victories that club members have achieved, it is victory for the team that is most prized by Carrick Wheelers, and teamwork and a “one for all” attitude has always been the hallmark of the club. This has lead to memorable team victories in the National Senior and Junior Road Championships, the Rás with the Tipperary Team and recently dominating the Veterans Road Championships.
Sponsorship is important in every successful club and in 1981 the club became Cidona Carrick Wheelers through the support from local drinks company Bulmers Ltd. of Clonmel. This sponsorship was to become one of the most successful and longest lasting in Irish cycling, and through the dedication and promotion of the team name by the club this sponsorship grew significantly over the years and lasted a record twenty four years until 2004. This was followed immediately by the construction company Dan Morrissey Ireland Ltd of Carlow, who stepped in with a substantial sponsorship in 2005, and Dan Morrissey Carrick Wheelers continued with great success up to 2010, when the end of Ireland’s construction boom brought an end to this sponsorship.
It has always been made clear to our sponsors that Carrick Wheelers is first and foremost a cycling club and not a racing team, and by this we mean that the promotion of the sport of cycling in Carrick-on-Suir and the surrounding area is our primary objective and not just having a successful racing team. We place a major emphasis on race promotions and continue to organise beginners leagues for young children, and with the current growth in leisure cycling in Ireland we are now expanding our activities into this area. We plan to work hard to continue to develop the sport of cycling in our area, and maintain Carrick Wheelers proud tradition as one of Ireland’s most famous cycling clubs.
By Bobby Power.