The 49th Annual John Drumm Cup will take place on Sunday April 27th in the Currow, Scartaglin and Castleisland areas. It will see some of Ireland’s top cyclists trying to get their name on this prestigious cup. The list of winners is impressive and includes RAS Tailteann greats such as the first winner Gene Mangan, John Mangan, Paul Griffin and the new star of world cycling, Sam Bennett. Last year’s winner, Paidi O’Brien is due back to defend his title as are previous winners Richard Hooton and Michael Fitzgerald.
It is obvious that the likes of O’Brien, Hooton and Fitzgerald will be up to the task of landing this prestigious trophy. Also they will have the kilometers of the recent Kerry Group Ras Mumhan in their legs.
The action kicks off with the underage events. The underage is the local 4 mile circuit with a hill at the start of each lap. The senior route is again unchanged this year and is mainly flat with a drag before the finish. It’s a course that always provides attacking racing. By four o’clock the winner for 2014 should be known and according to race organiser John Breen, “bring on the sunshine and a great couple of hours for all grades,” said John.
The action kicks off with the underage events. The underage is the local four-mile circuit with a hill at the start of each lap. The senior route is again unchanged this year and is mainly flat with a drag before the finish. It’s a course that always provides attacking racing. By 4pm the winner for 2014 should be known and we are looking forward to a great days racing.
Sign On and Other Details
Sign on opens for all Categories at 10am with the Underage racing starting at 11 and the Senior events at 1pm
Race HQ and Start is the Currow Hall with the finish being approx 800m on the Castleisland side of the circuit
The Full Programme
11am Under 16 – 36km (6x6km circuit) Prizes first 6 with first unplaced under 15 and first unplaced girl
11.02am Under 14 – 18km (3x6km circuit) Prizes first 6 with first unplaced under 13 and first unplaced girl
11.04am Under 12 – 6km (1x6km circuit) Prizes first 6 with first unplaced under 11 and first unplaced girl
Sign On Closes at 12.30pm and managers meeting / car draw at 12.30pm.
THE BALLAD OF LOCAL CYCLING HERO, JOHNNY DRUMM
Former Ras Tailteann cyclist, Eamonn Breen made a nostalgic journey in 2009 to meet Jackie Hartnett composer of ‘The Ballad of Johnny Drumm’. Mr. Hartnett lives at Dromtrasna a few miles outside of Abbeyfeale just off the main Limerick road.
Johnny Drumm was killed in a tragic farm accident on September 4 -1965. The previous June he had competed in the Rás Tailteann -finishing third in the opening stage into Monaghan, second in stage three from Nenagh to Killarney and again second on the gruelling Ring of Kerry stage, lying second overall during the week to eventual winner Shay O Hanlon he finally finished fifth overall.
Jackie Hartnett is a cycling poet and enthusiast and to this day cycles regularly, some of his previous ballads include: “Rás Luimní” – a famous line was: “It’s fine to be young and fine to be free – And it’s fine to be cycling in Rás Luimní”
Another poem concerned a clash of fixtures in Castleisland in May 1964 – the Munster Fleadh Cheoil and the 100 Km Munster Cycling Championship, both events were hugely successful.
Early in 1966 Thady Walsh, Eamonn Breen and James Drumm visited Jackie Hartnett and requested him to compose a ballad about Johnny Drumm. Shortly afterwards the ballad was in print. Tralee native and former All-Ireland handball champion, Nicholas Kerins of Killarney Road, Castleisland is famous for his rendition of the ballad and indeed it is often to be heard around the district whenever local songs are sung.
The Ballad of Johnny Drumm
(By “Éire Óg” (Air : The Croppy Boy)
Good men and true in the NCA
Your Castleisland star we mourn today
John Drumm is gone- in the grave he is lying,
The Rás Tailteann hero from Tobermaing
The Banshee cried around Glounsharoon,
When he passed away on that afternoon
He died at home on September 4,
The best all-rounder at Donoughmore.
Pat Neary and Drumm have passed away,
Two faithful sons of the N.C.A.,
For his brother James I have made this song
And young Thady Walsh will bring it along.
Twas in Kilkenny he showed them how,
An Irish farmer should drive a plough,
To plough the sod all the tractors come
But the champion ploughman was Johnny Drumm.
In the great Rás Tailteann he made his name,
With Dan Ahern of All Ireland fame,
He won for Kerry in the gold and green,
I saw him cycling with Eamonn Breen.
The Ring of Kerry he did not fear,
As he forged ahead on his climbing gear,
He fought Shay O’Hanlon day by the day,
And often crashed in fierce affray.
He burst a tyre in a race at Sneem,
But he beat the rest of the Kerry team
God be with the days when Jack Drumm was flying,
The champion bikeman from Tobermaing.
Remember Drumm of the Desmond Club,
No more he rides with his gears and hub;
For a racing cyclist we kneel and pray,
God bless John Drumm and the N.C.A.