ANDY EIFFE the man who started Ratoath/Rathbeggan Community Games over forty years ago was remembered when the athletics competitions took place recently at the Ratoath Athletic club track in Jamestown.
Since Community Games started in Meath in 1971, Ratoath /Rathbeggan have been ever present and today it is one of the best organised areas in the county giving children up to the age of 15 an opportunity to participate and represent their area in a wide range of sporting and cultural activities.
During his lifetime Andy Eiffe made a huge contribution to the sporting and community life of his beloved Ratoath. In his younger days Andy was a great athlete and was a Meath 100 yards champion as it was then. He also played GAA with Ratoath. Andy really came into his own a sports organiser/ administrator. He was mentor to generations of young GAA players in Ratoath. He was a Director/Secretary of a Ratoath Development company which brought soccer, GAA & Pitch and Putt together at the Codliss on the Skyne Road. As well as bringing Community Games to Ratoath he was also one of the founder members in the early 1970’s of an athletic club in Ratoath called Oliver Plunketts which is the forerunner to the current Ratoath Athletic Club. Later he was instrumental in purchasing the land at Brownstown for the GAA club where their great facilities are now located.
Community Games and ANDY EIFFE were a perfect fit. In the early days of the games in Ratoath under Andy’s stewardship there was a great success for Ratoath children at both county and national level. Among those who were successful were Andy’s two sons Sean & Brian. Sean was a great GAA footballer and represented Meath at minor and junior level. Brian was a serious runner and won national titles in the 100 meters at various age levels in community games. He later was an international standard sprinter in the 1980’s.
Andy died in June 2000 but he has left a massive legacy of community involvement and achievement. Tragically less then eighteen months after his own death, Andy’s eldest son Sean was killed while working as a member of An Garda Siochana as a Detective Sergeant on duty on an operation at Abbeyleix, Co Laois. The GAA grounds in Ratoath are named after Sean.
Andy would have been very proud of the numbers and the standard of the 2014 community games athletics competition. This group will be the strongest in years representing Ratoath/Rathbeggan in county finals in Cushionstown in June. The rise in the standard of athletics reflects the rapid growth and great coaching provided by Ratoath Athletic Club. The club is flourishing and is now has the largest membership of any sporting club in the area for children under 16.
There huge numbers in the younger age group with a 4,5and 6 categories with many of the participant’s athletic debutantes. In the girls events the most competitive race of the night was the girls under 12 100 meters where Ella Healy prevailed in a great race. Aimee Doherty was a pillar to post winner in the 600 meters at the same age group. Also at this age group Emma Scattergood and Aoife Rutherford won the long jump and ball throw events respectfully. Laura Kelly had a double in the under 10’s winning the 100 & 200 meters. There was fierce competition in the under 14 age group also. The versatile Karen Hayes took 800m and then doubled up in the Puc Fada. Emma Coroner also doubled up at this age group winning gold in the hurdles and long jump. Lara Power took gold in the Shot Putt and last year’s community games national under 12 100 meters champion Ivie Okomo won the u 14 100 meters although she was pressed hard right to the line by Aine Cooney. It was great to see such large numbers of girls in the under 16 age group where Katie Lewis took the 100 meters and Aine O’Connor looked very impressive winning the 1500 meters despite very bad weather conditions which affected the end of the programme.
The overall impression - dare one say it - of the boys competition, was that it was not quite as competitive as the girls. Normally in Community Games the competition tapers off in the older age groups. In the under 16 boys this was certainly not the case with a dead heat in the 100 meters between Brian Kieran and Peter Kilgannon. The 1500 meters was a through run race in dreadful weather conditions where winner Philip Marron looks a real prospect although the runner up Alex Hunter kept him honest with his usual doughty display. Matthew Buckley dominated the under 14 category with three golds and was especially impressive in the 100 meters. Tom Kilgannon dominated the under 12 age group also with 3 victories. Special mention to Sean Murphy who won the Puc Fada. This lad pucked the sliother 90 meters (where the ball stops) - not bad for an eleven year old. Stars of the future could have been unearthed in the under 10 and under 8 age groups with Kyle Witter with three wins at under10 and Cian Maye with two wins at under 8. Sean Buchanan won the under 12 ball throw while at under 14 Krisada Cooke took the honours in the Shot Putt and Dara Casey emerged victorious in the Long jump.
It was a great night of Athletics at the Jamestown venue. The Community Games committee remembered ANDY EIFFE with a short ceremony during the competition. A citation was read and presentation from the Community Games Children of 2014 - represented by Katie Doherty and Tom Kilgannon - was made to Andy’s wife Alice who was accompanied by her daughter Meave Flood.
Ratoath /Rathbeggan Community Games 2014
Girls Results- Girls U4-1. Sienna McCarthy 2. Doireen O’Sullivan 3.Megan Lane: Girls U5 – 1.Cara O’Neill; 2. Daisy Mae; 3. Sarah Murphy; 4. Erin Grace; Girls U6 – 1. Ava Scarrett, 2. Melissa Connolly, 3. Rachel Hyland, 4. Louise Byrne;Girls U8 1.Katie Doherty 2.Molly Kearns 3.Erin O’Reilly 4.Caroline Byrne; Girls U8 80 m-1.Katie Doherty 2 .Kate Raftery 3.Erin O’Reilly 4. Molly Kearns & Emily Malone; Girls U10 100m -1.Laura Kelly 2.Bronagh O’Sullivan 3.Ava Fay 4.Aibha Forde; Girls U10 200m-1.Laura Kelly 2.Laura Smith 3.Niamh Murray 4.Ciara Coroner; Girls U10 60m Hurdles-1.Eilis O’Farrell 2.Bronagh O’Sullivan 3.Laura Kelly 4.Laura Smith; Girls U12 100m -1.Ella Healy 2.Aoife Rutherford 3.Emma O’ Connell 4. Aimee Doherty; Girls U12 600m -1. Aimee Doherty 2. Ella Healy 3.Emma Scattergood 4.Molly O’Toole; Girls U12 Ball Throw-1. Aoife Rutherford 2. Molly O’Toole 3.Matilda Ruhan; Girls U12 Long Jump-1. Emma Scattergood 2. Laoise Murphy 3.Orla Hayes; Girls U14 100m -1.Ivie O’Kome 2.Aine Cooney 3.Emma Coroner 4. Lara Power; Girls U14 800m-1. Karen Hayes 2. Kate Smith 3.Maria Rogers 4.Sophie Dunne; Girls U14 Shot Putt-1. Lara Power 2. Karen Hayes 3.Nicola Breslin 4.Rachel Doherty; Girls U14 Long Jump-1. Emma Coroner 2. Karen Hayes 3.Lara Power; Girls U14 Long Puck-1. Karen Hayes 2. Aoife Kelly 3. Rachel Doherty; Girls U14 80m Hurdles-1. Emma Coroner 2. Lara Power 3. Maria Rogers 4. Aine Cooney; Girls U16 100m -1.Katie Lewis 2.Aine O’Connor 3.Kate Byrne 4. Lauren Kelly; Girls U16 1500m -1. Aine O’Connor 2. Jennifer Bradley 3.Alba Walsh
Boys Results - Boys U4 – 1. Michael Murray, 2. Jacob Brady, 3. Max Wyatt, 4. Cillian Owens & Matthew Maher; Boys U5 – 1. Sean O’Sullivan, 2. Adam Forde, 3. Ben, 4. Luke Rafferty; Boys U6 – 1. Dennis OLara, 2. Matthew Lynch, 3. Sennan Lynch, 4. Cormac O’Flaherty; Boys U8 60m – 1. Cian Maye, 2. Fionn Heffernan, 3. Louis Finglas, 4. Jack Kelly & Aaron Bisselle; Boys U8 80m – 1. Cian Maye, 2. Fionn Heffernan, 3. Louis Finglas, 4. Robert Hayes; Boys U10 100m – 1. Kyle Witter, 2. Michael O Hoka, 3. Christopher Dunne; Boys U10 200m – 1. Kyle Witter, 2. Sam Carey, 3. Christopher Dunne; Boys U10 60m Hurdles – 1. Kyle Witter, 2. Cian Crawford, 3. John O’Connell, 4. Christopher Dunne; Boys U12 100m - 1. Tom Kilgannon, 2. Brian Kiely, 3. Brandon Barnes, 4. Oisin Kelly; Boys U12 600m – 1. Tom Kilgannon, 2. Oisin Kelly, 3. Fionn Drummond, 4. Tony McCann; Boys U12 Long Puck – 1. Sean Murphy, 2. Will Lanigan, 3. Sean Goggan; Boys U12 Ball Throw – 1. Sean Buchanan, 2. Tom Kilgannon, 3. Oisin Kelly, 4. Will Lanigan; Boys U12 Long Jump – 1. Tom Kilgannon, 2. Fionn Drummond, 3. Oisin Kelly; Boys U14 100m – 1. Matthew Buckley, 2. Krisada Cooke, 3. Dara Casey, 4. Fergal Kilgannon; Boys U14 800m – 1. Matthew Buckley, 2. Harry Bailey, 3. Dara Casey, 4. Fergal Kilgannon; Boys U14 80m Hurdles – 1. Matthew Buckley, 2. Krisada Cooke, 3. Dara Casey; Boys U14 Shot Putt – 1. Krisada Cooke, 2. Evan Maher, 3. Daniel O Hoka, 4. Ross Healy; Boys U14 Long Jump – 1. Dara Casey, 2. Krisada Cooke, 3. Tomas Brady; Boys U16 100m - 1. Brian Kiernan & Peter Kilgannon, 2. Stephen Shaw, 3. Gareth Doyle & Paddy Petrovich; Boys U16 1500m – 1. Philip Marron, 2. Alex Hunter, 3. Peter Kilgannon