After watching its slightly more prestigious neighbour - the Scratch Cup - make headlines recently with its 50th birthday, the Mullingar Open Snooker Championship is to have its 32nd running next week.
The draw took place for the tournament this week, and will include at least four former winners, including last year’s, Devan Clarke (24 ) from Castletown Geoghegan.
The Open was originally conceived by JJ Darby and Mick Kane in early 1981 and Jimmy Devine of JD’s Bakery sponsored the first ever event some 32 years ago. Since then the tournament has become one of the toughest events to win in the Midlands.
Since 1981 the Open has had only eight champions, the most successful being the present chairman Mick Kane with an impressive 11 wins.
“His boss Ciaran O’Brien of Cleaning Contractors Ltd of Dundrum has continued his company’s sponsorship again this year and we are in his debt,” said club secretary, and four-time winner of the Open, Ger O’Connor.
“Sponsors are the life’s blood to any sporting event and Ciaran has been our pillar for many years now,” he added.
The Open begins on Monday May 13, in the St Mary’s Snooker Club on Bishopgate Street, and entry is still available over this weekend.
Entry fee will be €10 and ranking and merit points will be recorded on the senior ranking list for the season.
The club would like to remember the first ever runner-up in the 1981 Mullingar Open Snooker Championship - Benny Columb - who was laid to rest since last year’s Open.