Carraig na bhFear AC


Cork Athletics' Leading Lady

Noreen Murphy 1950 - 2024

Noreen Murphy was a founding member of Carraig na bhFear Athletic Club having taken up the position of secretary as part of the inaugural club committee back in 1980. A driving force ever since, Noreen fulfilled many roles within the club including Chairperson for many years and latterly Club President. Noreen brought her can-do attitude to all aspects of club activity and was central to the club hosting the National Juvenile Cross Country Championships in 1991, the Junior and Senior Inter-County Cross Country Championships in 1999 and the National Intermediate and Masters’ Championships in 2006.

For decades Noreen stood on the fields of Coláiste an Chroí Naofa in all types of weather coaching club athletes, fostering a passion for the sport and guiding young girls and boys to success. Noreen proudly oversaw many huge triumphs for the club including County, Provincial and National Cross-Country successes, US scholarships for her own daughter Michelle, Valerie Lynch and Patricia Dorgan, and in recent years a flurry of Track and Field achievements.

A huge advocate for women's sports, Noreen supported the Cork Mini Marathon since its first running back in 1982. The Mini Marathon wasn't always as popular as it is today. In an interview 2007 with the Irish Examiner, Noreen reflected on the 10,000 runners competing and recalled, "I remember running down the street to the race in 1985 just grabbing people to try and make up the 300 runner mark. And to see the crowds here today is just wonderful."

Noreen Murphy was hugely involved with the East Cork Athletics Division and in recent years was made patron of teh organisation. Noreen’s involvement in Athletics in Cork for 40 years culminated in a particularly proud moment in January 2004 when she was elected the first female Chairperson of Cork Athletics County Board.

Some of Noreen’s last outings with the club included a visit to the Mardyke in Spring 2023, when she attended the inaugural Noreen Murphy Challenge Cup between Carraig na bhFear AC and Cork City AC, and last summer Noreen was on hand to witness a new generation of young athletes being introduced to the sport through the club’s Athletics Ireland Summer Camp.

The messages (including a number from Olympians) that poured in after the passing of Noreen made clear what a hugely positive impact Noreen had the many people who met and had the privilege of knowing her. Her undoubted contribution to the sport of athletics is widely accepted but notably it was for her kindness that most people remembered her.

Rob Heffernan wrote, “What an incredible woman and friend, you’ll be sadly missed Noreen.”

Sonia O’Sullivan wrote, “Very sorry to hear the news about this lovely lady that I know since back in juvenile athletics and cross country. May Noreen rest in peace and thinking of her family at this time.”

Marian Heffernan wrote, “Very sad day for athletics. Deepest sympathies to Carraig na bhFear AC and the Murphy family. May Noreen rest in peace.”

A life lived to the fullest, Noreen’s significant legacy will continue to inspire us all.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam uasal.

Tadhg Crowley

Faye O'Riordan features on Run Republic

The following article was published on the Run Republic website on 27 March 2024. 

At just 15 years old, Faye O'Riordan of Carraig na bhFear AC is already making headlines in the world of Irish mountain running. Despite her young age, Faye has shown remarkable talent, competing against seasoned athletes and achieving remarkable success in IMRA (Irish Mountain Running Association) races. Earlier this year, Faye showcased her prowess as part of Carraig na bhFear AC's National Senior Indoor League campaign, where she played a pivotal role in the team's impressive 5th place finish. Competing in the 3km events, Faye held her own against senior athletes with international experience, proving that age is just a number when it comes to her athletic abilities. Schooled in St Angela’s College, Faye is guided by the experienced hand of coach Rhona Lynch. Rhona, herself a decorated athlete with achievements including a Cork County Senior Cross Country title and representations for Ireland at O35 XC level, brings a wealth of experience to Faye's training regimen, ensuring she is well-prepared for the challenges ahead. Faye's journey to success has not been without its setbacks. In 2022, she suffered a setback due to a broken bone in her foot following a fall during school hurdles and a re-brake in the Musters cross country. Undeterred by this setback, Faye demonstrated her resilience by not only finishing the races but also making a remarkable recovery. Despite lingering nerves in 2023 about re-injuring herself, Faye persevered, eventually reaching the All Ireland cross country without the looming fear of her previous injury resurfacing. Her foray into mountain running came as a natural progression, with Faye finding solace and joy in the trails alongside her father. Venturing into the IMRA leagues, she quickly made her mark, securing her first victory at the Bweeng Trail in 2022 on the short course. Undeterred by challenges, Faye embraced longer courses, relishing the encouragement from fellow runners. The 2024 season has seen Faye continue to shine, with standout performances including a remarkable first-place finish for females at Glengarra Woods and a commendable 5th overall and 1st Junior F at Bweeng Trail. Currently ranked 3rd overall in the Coillte Winter/Spring Trail League with one race remaining, Faye's determination and talent are evident with each stride she takes. Despite her impressive achievements, Faye remains humble and focused on her goals for the future. Expressing a desire to tackle the renowned Carrauntoohill Classic, she is undeterred by age restrictions, showcasing her hunger for new challenges and experiences in the world of mountain running. As Faye O'Riordan continues to carve her path in the world of athletics, her story serves as an inspiration to young athletes everywhere, reminding them that with dedication, resilience, and passion, anything is possible, regardless of age. Keep an eye on this rising star as she continues to leave her mark on the Irish mountain running scene.

Featured Image: Valerie O'Sullivan 

Carraig na bhFear GAA 5k

It’s back! The Carraig na bhFear GAA 5k Road race returns on Wed 1st of May at 7:30pm. A fun event for all the family, there will be prizes for 1st, 2nd,3rd Male and Female, with refreshments afterwards

Head to eventmaster to register -

Plan your Year!

Plan your year of competition with our new fixtures page that highlights the big races each month across Track & Field, Road, Cross Country, and Trail & Mountain! 

Photography on this home page by Michelle Whooley, Jo Martin and Garry Geoghegan. 

Carraig na bhFear Athletics Club. Founded 1980.