History Behind Ahern’s BMW/OPEL Kerry RÁS Team

Killarney Cycling Club members are delighted to announce that they are to enter a Kerry Team in the An Post RAS 2014 and in partnership with Castleisland based Ahern’s BMW/Opel.

The An Post Rás is an annual, eight-day, stage race around Ireland. The race is Ireland’s number one cycling event and will take place from May 18-25 2014.

This is the third year of An Post’s sponsorship of the celebrated Rás Tailteann, which is more commonly known as The Rás. The epic race began in 1953 and has been held every year since. It is one of Ireland’s top sporting events bringing world class sporting action and a significant economic boost to towns and villages nationwide.

The Rás has a worldwide reputation of being a gruelling challenge in the elite, international calendar. The open racing style allows amateur, county and club riders to pit themselves against domestic and international professionals.

Kerry Aherns BMW/OPEL Rás team will consist of five riders and a support crew of three under the management of Brendan Cassidy, secretary of Killarney Cycling Club.

The An Post RÁS starts in Dunboyne, Co. Meath on Sunday  May 18th and consists of eight stages in an anti-clockwise circuit of Ireland finishing on Sunday 25th May.

Team members: Matt Slattery, John Mannix, Mike Lucey, Benny Cassidy and Cathal Moynihan. Manager – Brendan Cassidy; Soigneur – Brendan Slattery; Physio – Cian Hogan and Mechanic – Mike Shaughnessy.

Killarney Cycling Club would also like to thank the following sponsors:

KWD Recycling; MG Electrical; Renewable Energy Centre, Killarney; Big Little Bike Shop;  Kaynes Bar and Bistro; Whelan Refrigeration; Killarney Adventure Race and Killarney Credit Union.

 RÁS Historians

RÁS historians in Kerry will find it entirely appropriate that the name Ahern is to take its place in the great race again this May.

The name is as synonymous with the big event as: Breen, (Eamonn) Brosnan, (Brendan and Johnny) Drumm, (Johnny) Fitzgerald, (Paudie) Mangan, Gene and John and Murphy, (Mick).

Dan Ahern had two runners-up, Rás Tailteann  placings during the most competitive and toughest period of its history. His credentials as a ‘Man of the Rás’ are well beyond argument. In the 1960 event he had three stage wins and ended the week as runner-up to the great Paddy Flanagan of Kildare.

1960 RÁS Tailteann Stage Winners:

Stage 1:  Dublin To Cavan, 92 Miles.   D. Ahern (Kerry) 3-22-00

Stage 2:  Cavan To Castlebar, 109 Miles.  P. Flanagan (Kildare) 5-04-00

Stage 3:  Castlebar To Tuam, 110 Miles.  S. O’Hanlon (Dublin) 4-25-00

Stage 4:  Tuam To Thurles, 110 Miles.  D. Ahern (Kerry) 3-50-00

Stage 5:  Thurles To Killorglin, 120 Miles.  D. Kenny (Exiles) 5-05-00

Stage 6:   Killorglin To Killarney, 98 Miles.  D. Ahern (Kerry) 4-10-00

Stage 7:   Killarney To Kilkenny, 131 Miles. L. Dunne (Meath) 5-40-00

Stage 8:   Kilkenny To Dublin, 100 Miles.    S. Dillon (Dublin) 4-13-25

Three years later, in 1963, Dan Ahern was still making waves at the highest level and now the opposition included the fearsome Polish team of that era.

The Rás was sponsored at this time by The Farmers’ Journal and this snippet from a week-long report by Tom Keogh puts Dan Ahern’s achievements in perspective. You’ll understand why it is so appropriate then that the Ahern name is up there with the best of them in the 2014 RÁS.

Rás Tailteann 7th. July -14th-1963:  RAS STAGE FOR AHERN

Dan Ahern of Kerry, who was beaten in the sprint to the line on two occasions by the Pole, Zbijniew Glowaty, got sweet revenge on the sixth stage of Ras Tailteann, which finished in Clonmel yesterday.  Ahern, a 23-year-old dairy farmer from Castleisland, was the first man over the line, followed by race leader, Glowaty, with Carrick-on-Suir rider, Patsy Wall, placed third.

The biggest cheer of the day, however, came for local boy 16-years-old Johnny Lonergan, who finished fourth and inches ahead of the Pole, Malkiewicz, with Liam Baxter, of Kildare, in sixth place.


All were well timed at 3 hours 55 minutes for the 94 miles run from Killarney.   As a result, there is no great change as regards general classification.  Glowaty remains at the head of the table, but now his lead has been cut from 2 minutes 22 seconds to 1 minute 52 by Ahern.

The first twelve men in the general classification still remain there, though there are slight changes –Chojnacki moving up from fifth to third where he displaces Mikolajczyk; Wall coming up two places to fourth: Linde dropping one place to fifth, and Mikolajczyk dropping from third to sixth.

Dave Kenny of the Exiles and Christy Kimmage of Dublin remain at 7th and 8th  respectively, while Liam Baxter (Kildare) and Jim Kennedy (Dublin) exchange places to 9th and 10th respectively.


The best feature yesterday from the Irish point of view was, of course Ahern’s eclipse of the Pole on the way to the line, but for a yellow jersey to stay up with the leaders, as Glowaty did all day, was a fine achievement.


1-Glowaty (Poland), 34-09-17.

2-D. Ahern (Kerry), 34-11-34.

3-M. Chojnacki (Poland), 34-15-34.