The O’Doherty Cup is presented to the winner of the Cyclesports GP A1 / A2 race.
This NEW cup has been presented to Dungarvan cycling Club by members of the family of the Noel and Annie-Mai O’Doherty.
Extract from club notes, March 2016:
Dungarvan Cycling Club is proud to announce that the inaugural O’Doherty Cup will be presented to the winner of the upcoming Open Race which will be hosted by DCC on Sunday, April 3rd, 2016. The O’Doherty family have had a close association with our club since its re-forming in 1997, and we wish to express our sincere gratitude to the family for their very generous contribution to this event. In essence, this superb cup commemorates the immense contribution of Noel and Annie-Mai to the club, and will be presented annually to the winner of the A1-A2 race.
Noel passed away on Christmas Eve 2011, and Annie-Mai in July 2013. The following is a tribute to both. Ar dheis Dé go raibh siad.
Noel first became involved in cycling, when his eldest son Eamonn, began racing with Cidona Carrick Wheelers, in 1987. Over the next few years he became a member of the committee, and in later years he was honoured with the position of Honourary Vice-President. During this time a number of cyclists from Dungarvan were involved with the club in Carrick, and Sunday morning winter spins were a big deal. Unfortunately for these riders there were no coffee shops open on a Sunday back then, so refreshments came from the O’Doherty kitchen. Annie-Mai’s fruit cake and almond slices were legendary. Also any tools required for maintenance purposes were always carried in the boot of the car. During the racing season, Sunday mornings were spent packing the car with spare tyres, tubes, wrenches, spanners, track pump, and of course the customary sandwiches, flasks of tea, and spare water bottles, in case any of the boys needed them. On reaching wherever the race was being held, Eamonn who had travelled on the team bus was located and, everything was checked to make sure he was ready to race. At this point the rest of the family were dropped on the side of the road to watch the racing, while Noel drove after the race, carrying out service duties to whomever needed it.
It was in this role that Annie-Mai thrived, encouraging all the cyclists from the
sidelines and picking them up, when they fell down. During the week the O’Doherty house was like a clubhouse for all the local cyclist’s, they would call for Noel’s mechanical and sporting expertise, and Annie-Mai’s hospitality and of course her advice on all things personal, educational and social.
Noel was very much involved in the Dungarvan Myleen Pottery Duathlon, which ran in October 1997 and 1998. This involved a run from the Old Glass Factory gates, around Mapstown, onto the bikes for a route of Whitechurch, and then another run around Mapstown. This event took months of organisation in which Noel was involved along with many others, one of whom comes to mind is Tony Ryan, who was very involved with West Waterford Athletic Club at the time, and was compare onthe day the events were run, while Noel, meticulously took care of the timing of the event.
When Dungarvan Cycling Club formed in 1997. Noel was on hand to support all
aspects of the club, from giving advice on the organising of club spins, safety on the road, mechanical help or any other support required. Noel’s organisational skills were very much to the fore with the weekly timetrials held in Dungarvan. Whether it was the Whitechurch circuit, the timetrial to Cappoquin, or the Strikes Hill Climb, he seemed to have the ability to be on the start line when a rider began the cycle, and be there when they crossed the finish line. He encouraged every rider, from the expert to the novice, and always had time for anyone who needed it. Every night after the event the kitchen table would become an office desk, where Noel, Willie Hogan and Seamus Connolly, would work out everyone’s time for the night, and also their starting position for the following week, with of course copious cups of tea, provided by Annie-Mai.
Another thing Noel was known for was his love of photography. Not a race or social gathering went by, where Noel didn’t have his camera to hand, and many a moment in the history of both clubs he was involved in, were captured.
In later years, when illness forced Noel to give up the activities that he enjoyed so much, he would look forward to the visits from the boys, or hearing from Eamonn, who was still involved in the club. He also enjoyed the annual Sean Kelly Tour, and was really pleased to see how many Dungarvan Riders were taking part. In fact this writer remembers taking a photo at the 2011 SKT of a group of DCC riders at the finish, which included Eamonn, and one person shouting ‘Ah Mammy wants a picture of her boy’, to which I replied ‘no, Mammy wants a picture of all her boy’s’, you see most of this biography does contain a lot of Noel’s involvement in cycling for almost 25 years. However without the support of Annie-Mai in the background, all that Noel was able to do over the years for the club, and the riders, would not have been possible.
Noel and Annie-Mai’s family are delighted to sponsor this trophy, and keep the tie between the O’Doherty name and cycling in Dungarvan going for the future