Mullingar’s sailing club gears up to celebrate 50 years

Mullingar Sailing Club is 50 years old this year and will be celebrating with a commemorative publication to be launched in May.

Anyone who was involved in the club since it was born in 1964 on the site of what is now the Newbury Hotel, is invited to send their photographs and memories for inclusion to Veronica Lucey.

“We’re looking for anyone who was involved with the club, both junior and senior members to share their stories and photographs with us,” says Veronica.

It’s hoped that the book will be launched early in the summer, so Veronica is urging those with any kinds of memories to get in touch with her at [email protected] or call (086 ) 3764464 as soon as possible.

With past members going on to sailing adventures from Cork to the Baltic (with adventurer Thor Heyrdal ) and Hawaii, and many locals participating in sailing classes and regattas, there are a thousand fascinating stories to be told.

Commodore Kieran Milner is confident that many people living in Mullingar may still be in touch with former club members who have moved away.

And he is equally confident that they have great memories to share from lively times on Lough Owel or travelling away to regattas.

A lot has changed in fifty years.

There was no public access to Lough Owel until the mid to late 1960s when the county council bought land.

And while there is now a state-of-the-art log cabin clubhouse at Cullionmore, there was a time when the club had just a caravan, and later, a mobile home which shattered to pieces during a bad storm.

Mullingar Sailing Club now has around 40 members, with active sailors aged from 10 years old to into their 80s.

It’s also the second largest GP14 club in the country, which refers to the general purpose, 14ft dinghies which the sailors race on the lake each Sunday and Wednesday during the season between April and October.

With the grandchildren of founding members now joining the junior ranks, there are generations of history to be remembered and reminisced upon.

There are also many members of the armed forces stationed at Columb Barracks or cadets who visited Mullingar who received sail training with Mullingar Sailing Club and Kieran, who was a member of the defence forces, says Mullingar had a special place in their hearts.

The courses ran for 10 years until the barracks closed, and were run three or four times a year.

The club also hopes to hear from the hundreds of adults and children who took part in training courses.

“While we have lots of photographs from recent years with smart phones and digital cameras, what we’d really like are some older photographs and some from the junior courses over the years.”

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