21 hours ago
TEENAGE AUSTRALIAN RUNNER DOES YOUGHAL PROUD
By Christy Parker
An Australian teenager with the strongest of Youghal connections is emerging as one of her country’s brightest athletic prospects.
Leah O’Brien recently equalled the fastest sprint time ever achieved by a Western Australian girl in her under-14 age group. The 13 year-old achieved the accolade during a 100 metres qualifying heat in the annual Australia National Championships in Sydney. The time of 12.19 was just.15 outside the national record.
The young runner proceeded to demolished the field in the U-14 100 metres final in a time of 12.37, before following up with further gold in the 200 metres, her time of 25.12 just .20 off the national record. Notably, both wins surpassed the times of the Under-15 winners
Leah had travelled nearly 4,000 km from her home in Perth for what was her inaugural participation at the nationals..
She is the daughter of Dave O’Brien and granddaughter of retired Youghal mini-bus operator David O’Brien and his wife Eileen, a retired hairdresser, who live in Shambles Lane.
In a world increasingly and depressingly prone to the virtual, the background to her story is an inspiring trail of proper adventure.
Dave left Youghal for London in 1994 and in due course became ensconced in the Fox and Grapes bar & restaurant in Wimbledon. The bar served as a sort of Youghal embassy for a period, after the flag had been first raised by Noel Power of South Main Street.
One day in 1996 two Australian girls, on a traditional Australian jaunt ‘overseas’, arrived looking for work.
Both girls were named Megan. By then the establishment’s manager, Dave hired them both, possibly to stop one serving free beer to the other if he didn’t, or maybe he just liked the name Megan.
Wimbledon is synonymous with mixed doubles and so in time it came to pass that Dave married one Megan and barman Emery Greer, also from Youghal, married the other. Both couples now live in Australia.
In 1999, courtesy of a Morrison visa, Dave and Megan departed for the US, where in time they would co-own two restaurant pubs in New Jersey, along with Dave’s sister Anne-Marie and Youghal’s Pádraig Hennessy. Pádraig is nowadays proprietor of Clancy’s and Anne-Marie works there.
Of the many impressions accumulated in America, working in Manhattan when the twin towers were
razed in September 2001 is a day forever imposed on Dave’s memory. “Anne Marie and I were working in Fitzpatrick’s hotel in Manhattan”, he recalls. “Then Megan arrived and we left. It took us five hours to reach the boat station to cross over to New Jersey, because everything was closed. It was a very scary day. That night we went to Pádraig’s bar and got drunk”.
Far better memories were made in 2004 when the couple married in Pelican, north of Sydney. In 2008 they became parents to triplets Leah, Conor and Cian and again in 2010 when Cullen came along.
Up sticks and Down Under
By 2014 the icy winters had accentuated thoughts of sun-baked Australia. The family began the process of selling their two residential properties and two businesses and saddled up the horses (figuratively speaking!) for Australia. They soon settled in Perth, where Megan’s sister Justine was living. “The weather is fantastic!”, Dave muses. “Its nearly winter now and its still 27 degrees!”
Dave bought the franchise for an alcohol-licensed restaurant called Huxta Burger. He employees 14 staff, who dispense gourmet burgers in a premises with a capacity for 70 seated diners. He cycles the ten minutes to work. Life is good. His application for citizenship is progressing.
Meantime reminders of his origins abound. “The kids’ dentist is from Blarney”, he begins. “Our doctor is from Dublin, a near neighbour is a Galwegian and I play soccer with four Irish lads. I also work near a hospital with loads of Irish doctors and nurses -my sales actually went down when they left for home to help with Covid!”
At age nine, Leah was persuaded by friends and observers to take up running, having made a strong impression at school carnival races. Starting at 70m and progressing to 100m, 200m and 400m, the rewards came quickly, with medals and State titles amassed through her age categories.
The Sydney championships, with an attendance of thousands and which were live streamed nationally, has catapulted her into a new orbit. “I didn’t think I’d reach this stage so soon”, she reflects. “But I was second in the rankings prior to the championships so I knew I had a chance if I gave it everything. It feels
great!”, she declares.
Theirs wasn’t the only Youghal representation at the Sydney races. “Our cousin, Susan O’Brien, whose dad Mick used to own the Hilltop, is married to an Australian also and she brought her family to support Leah”, reports Dave.
In a strange anomaly, Australians sometimes run faster in hotter weather! “As the temperature drops the muscles cool” Dave explains. “And the track gets fractionally slower too”.
The teenager trains thrice weekly with her club West Track, in the salubrious surrounds of the Western Australia Stadium, where most of her competitions are also hosted.
Her proud father describes the runner as “quite modest, but very determined”. Thus far the pressure that accompanies success washes over her like a bomb, as Aussie surfer like to term a large wave. “If I feel pressure I feel a little nervous and therefore I try harder”, Leah reasons.
Down the track
The immediate future heralds a season of school races and, all going well, qualification for the nationals again.
Beyond that – way beyond that – the target, naturally, would be an Olympics. With dual citizenship, she has options but would certainly choose Australia over America. She has visited Youghal, but representing Ireland, where she’d first have to live for three years to gain citizenship anyway, is not an option. She would still qualify for a civic reception in the town hall though!
She is already famous in Shamble’s Lane, where David and Eileen are “extremely proud” of their granddaughter’s success. “Its lovely for all the family”, says David. “And we will continue to follow Leah’s running career from this side of the world but the most important thing is that she enjoys what she is
doing . The results are always second to that”.
As for Dave, Megan and family, “when the kids are older we may well move again”, says Dave, “not sure where yet though”. Wherever they go, none of them will move as fast as Leah does!
Courtesy East Cork News and Advertiser and Youghal News
Pic 1 Leah O’Brien competing in 2021 Australia Nationals in Sydney
Pic 2 Leah powering to glory in the 2021 Australia Nationals in Sydney
Pic 3 The O’Brien family, L to R: Megan, Cullen, Leah, Cian, Conor and Da … See MoreSee Less
Well done young lady 👍 and well done Christy Parker, excellent reporting, one of the best written reports/stories I've seen on fb. 👍
Julian Mark Fitzgerald show Anne Marie
Great story, Congrats to all!!
Brilliant read well done all
Brilliant read well done to Leah and your proud family 👏👏
Well done Leah what a great story. I'm sure your Gran and Granddad are super proud.
What a great story.best of luck to Leah.and the O’Brien family.☘️🇮🇪🇦🇺
Wow congratulations Leah and all the O’Brien’s (Angela)
What a great story well done all the O'Brien family young and old can he very proud 👏
Fantastic achievement?Leah. Well done. Great story 👏👏👏
Many congratulations Leah! We're all super proud of you. 🏃♀️
Well done Leah.
3 days ago
Having A Whale Of A Time In Youghal.
All smiles outside the famous Moby Dick’s pub in Youghal, County Cork. After a long, hard lockdown, pubs are back open again. Pictured are proprietor Kevin Linehan in the centre welcoming back his customers in the glorious sunshine on Saturday 12th June 2021.
Tisha Flanagan, Hannah, Noel Desmond and Jimmy Flanagan were delighted with the outdoor service from the new ‘Moby Dick Hatch’ provided by the Linehan family and courteous staff. The pub is one of the town’s most famous pubs and caters for the locals and tourists alike.
Best of luck to Kevin and the crew on board Moby Dick’s as the tourists season begins to ramp up in the maritime and heritage town. As their slogan says "Go to Moby Dick’s for a whale of a time."
More information below from the Moby Dick website: www.mobydicks.ie/
Also visit the Moby Dick Facebook page: Moby Dicks
Moby Dicks Pub is situated in the centre of Youghal, Just off the N25 Cork/Waterford/Rosslare road.
Youghal is a very historic walled port town with numerous interesting sites to see. It is also a modern vibrant town with two blue flag beaches. In the heart of it all is Moby Dick’s Pub with its unique water front setting. Little wonder then that John Huston and Gregory Peck based themselves in Moby Dick’s Pub for the duration of the film.
In this peaceful and luxurious setting you may again relive the sea yarn of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick surrounded by memorabilia.
Teas & Coffees, Soup & Sandwiches, Toasted Sandwiches. Irish Coffee is our Speciality. Coach Tours & Large Groups always Welcome. … See MoreSee Less
Great to see you Kevin. Will catch up when I can travel to Youghal!
Best of luck Kevin, will create a lovely atmosphere by the quayside for tourists & locals alike!
Lovely write up ☺️😁 🐳
Great to have Moby Dicks open again Kevin,,best of luck ??
Fab delighted to see a bit of normally
Hope you had a great time xx
Great to see you open again
So lovely to see all the happy, smiley faces. Miss you all.
YoughalOnline.com updated their cover photo.
4 days ago
Beautiful vintage Youghal strand – over 3 miles of golden sand and blue flag beaches. Considered one of the best beaches in the South of Ireland for its natural beauty and panoramic views. It’s one of those big wide beaches with plenty of room for everyone to relax in the sun. Bring your own beach towels, sunscreen, and picnic gear, and you’ll be all set for the day.
There is even a song written about it called "Sweet Youghal Bay" by Mai O’Higgins. Youghal has three main beaches which adjoin each other. The Front Strand which runs parallel to the promenade. Then Claycastle beach and Redbarn beach – both awarded blue flags 2021 status for water cleanliness and availability of amenities.
Youghal proudly boasts to having the longest ocean front wooden boardwalks in the country. … See MoreSee Less
And Billy Daly from Cork Hill with the Donkey and pony rides. I remember helping him out Nice memories
my home town beautiful
4 days ago
Aoife Cooke Supported By Youghal Business Alliance In Her Preparations For Olympic Marathon
To compete in the Olympic Games is the dream of every sports person because ‘once an Olympian, always an Olympian’.
Aoife Cooke, whose pedigree is steeped in the history of Youghal athletics, achieved that dream of becoming an Olympian when winning the Cheshire Marathon last April in a time of two hours, 28 minutes and 36 seconds, comfortably inside the qualifying standard of 2:29:30. It was also a whopping personal best by almost four minutes and makes her the fourth fastest Irish woman in history behind Catherina McKiernan, Fionnuala McCormack and Carey May and ahead of Sonia O’Sullivan who is now relegated to fifth on the all-time list.
“I was confident enough I’d be within the 2:29:30,” Aoife admitted afterwards, saying that the long runs had gone really well in training. “I was wrecked at the finish, but then I gathered myself and the realisation set in. The second half I found it tough, the legs were hurting and it was a mental thing but I told myself to keep the head, that I didn’t have long to go.”
The next step in her Olympic journey took her to Utah in the USA for 8 weeks of altitude training before flying directly to Sapporo in Japan for the Olympic Games. Aoife is presently covering up to 115 miles each week in training and is very happy with her progress. Prior to her departure Aoife said “Training is going really well and I’m coping well with the high volume. I’m looking forward to the training camp in Utah and focusing on the Olympic Games which has been a lifelong ambition of mine.”
Aoife has been a very prominent member of Youghal Athletic Club winning many county Munster and All-Ireland titles as a juvenile and adult athlete.
Youghal Business Alliance are proud and delighted to support Aoife in her journey to the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Picture: The presentation took place outdoors at one of Youghal’s most famous landmarks – the Youghal Lighthouse. Making the presentation were: Ger Flanagan, Chairman Youghal Business Alliance (YBA), Killian Daly, (YBA), Ger Motherway, Treasurer of (YBA) and Anne Barry, Secretary of (YBA).
Photo: John Hennesssy … See MoreSee Less
Sign-of-the-times. The Gigi’s sign at the entrance to the old Hilltop Hotel, Youghal. Gigi’s was one of the most popular nightclubs in Youghal back in the 1980s and 90s. People travelled far and wide to get to Gigi’s – the mecca of pop music and dance entertainment.
The golden age hits of synthesizer music and energetic anthems. With big hair and tight clothes to epic guitar solos and incredible voices, the 80’s is considered to be the greatest era in music. Whitney, Michael Jackson, Madonna, The Cure, Bowie, George Michael, Duran Duran, Cher, Cyndi Lauder were all in fashion and boomed out of the best ‘HiFi’ sound systems with dazzling lights and smoking mirrors. James O’Keeffe was one of the resident Dj’s playing all the popular tunes.
It was a time when the Youghal nightlife landscape was completely different from what it is now. A time when social media hadn’t yet made us so image-conscious that we’d be afraid to let loose on the dancefloor. Drinks deals and promotions meant that a night on the town was relatively inexpensive and sometimes – if you were lucky- a nod on the front door made for great nights – and blurry memories.
Sadly the club closed its doors around 20 years ago. As Duran Duran’s John Taylor once said: "It’s sad but clubs are transitional places, they’re not museums. Things change." … See MoreSee Less
The best teenage disco, it was brilliant, and the smoke machine lol we used to be choking but still trying to look cool 😎😎😎
Good times it was some spot
I remember coming back from London in the summer and at Christmas. Kevin Power's and Gigis afterwards. It was so popular that those who couldn't get in had to go to the Rugby Club. Some local wag called them refugigis!
Best weekends, best memories down in gigis, I'm so glad we grew up in this era, I'd love to bring it all back, all us midleton girls spent our weekends hitching the roads to get down to gigis, the laughs we had, 3 nights at the weekend we would be down there, I'd love to relive it all again. Best times, best music.
Youghal badly needs a new nightclub..
Brilliant place, highlight for me was playing there with Tap The Barrell before Bagetell
They were the best nights and the best decade of music
Carmel Walsh great nights !!
Fantastic memories great laughs oh to go back for a weekend 😅😅😅😅
It was like the Wild West there 🤠
I remember going to Gina and the champions one night with young Christy Hennesy and we ended up back in her place drinking brandy lol
Lovely memories we had some great timesxx
Great memories? 💖💕👍
Tina Cashman 😁 happy memories
The good 😌 old days great memories ❤️🥂🎉
Some of the best night & laughs always happy days brilliant memories💕💕
We have went from a buzzing town to the complete opposite..
Clodagh Walsh memories
Such fantastic memories here, Angela Odonoghue and Carrie Varian running the place 😊. The Spinning Wheel first and off to Gigis after, great nights ❤
Best times and many blurred memories of this place. If I could go back , I'd do it all again… Best times ever
OMG!!! That was a lifetime ago…some crack🤟🍻🍻
The best memories , loved it there and working in the Hilltop Hotel ❤
Mick Mulcahy Stephen McSweeney
Elaine Smith Aoife Russell
A Heart Touching Love Story About Eternal Love.
Photo of Moll Goggin’s Corner in Youghal, County Cork, taken back in 2008. The landmark location holds a special place in the hearts of local people because of its story of love found and lost, tragedy, and healing.
The legend of Moll Goggin has survived for hundreds of years. Moll Goggin is said to have been deeply in love with a young seafarer who had promised to marry her on his ship’s return to Youghal.
When Moll expected the ship to arrive she started her lookout vigil at the corner which gave the best view out to sea.
Sadly, the days of her watch stretched to months and then years with no news of the ship. Her vigil was so long and poignant that in the town and locality this corner of the headland became synonymous with the name. … See MoreSee Less
Such a shame to see how it has deteriorated,hopefully it can be restored to it's former glory,it's such a beautiful vantage point.💞
Hopefully it will be restored to its former glory sooner rather than later!!
Samantha Collins Aideen O Leary
6 days ago
THE HISTORY OF SALMON NET FISHING AND CUSTOMS IN YOUGHAL, COUNTY CORK.
Youghal man, Sean Murphy, talking about the – History and Heritage – Traditions and Customs – Beliefs and Culture – of salmon net fishing in Youghal and how it all disappeared "and with the stroke of a pen it was gone"
Topics covered are: Mounting and Mending the nets on the wooden cribs, Blessing of the Boats held on St. Brigid’s Day, 1st February, traditionally the start of the salmon season – Setting fire to a newspaper on board the boat as a signal to bring the ships safely into the harbour – The strong connection between the fishing community and the Youghal R.N.L.I. – The Holy Scapular – The Corpus Christi procession, The connection with the Youghal C.Y.M.S. – Luck and Superstition – The Weather.
Fishing familes and fishing berths – The Barry’s – Harrises’ berth – Hennessy’s – Murphy’s – Buttimers – Healys – The Rode – The Ditch – Mangan’s – Hickey’s – Yellop’s – The head of the Rock – The Scour – The Masters, to name but a few.
Fishing Folklore – and the hope that the centuries old fishing traditions and culture are kept alive and preserved for future generations.
Photos © Liam Burke … See MoreSee Less
YoughalOnline.com added 8 new photos.
7 days ago
Youghal Pub Memorabilia: "The door cost more than the pub!" – Bertie Dempsey
In this lot of pictures is the original auction poster for the sale of the building and land back in 1953 of what is now known as Bertie’s Bar Youghal. The late Bertie Dempsey bought the lot, lock, stock, and barrel for the crazy price of 440 pounds! Around 16 years ago Bertie’s son, Paul, installed a fire door in the bar costing 700 euro. On hearing of the price of the door Bertie said to his son, "The door cost more than the pub!". How times have changed.
Also included are various pictures some old and some new. Sadly some of the great characters are gone – but the pub lives on and Paul Dempsey and family and staff are really looking forward to your company now that the Covid lockdown restriction are easing to a lower level.
The popular pub (not the hated ‘Wet pub’ name whatever genius came up with that one) will be back open very shortly.
Visit Here for latest updates: Bertie’s Bar Youghal … See MoreSee Less
My personal go to Pub when I am home tbh … But then I have a personal connection with the Fam … Went to school with the terrible twins lol … Hurling with Paul … Oh and my Old fella was a fixture too lol … Bless him x
Gordon Coleman ,a fantastic entertainer ,….
Awe Gordon great singer xxx
I was born in the nursing home on Main Street, my mum was Maura Barry (Troy). I love this group makes me homesick 🇮🇪☘
Best of luck
PS …. If anyone believes that Paul was a Pussy cat on the Hurling field then think again lol … He was a horror haha … Look at ya smile then bounce ya down the field ! hahaha
"No better place to be than Youghal in the sunshine" – Mayor of County Cork.
The Mayor of County Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley enjoying her staycation in her hometown of Youghal with her friend Margo Kenefick pictured beside the sculptor of ‘Captain Ahab’ located at the tourist town’s quayside during the June Bank Holiday weekend 2021.
The Mayor has been extremely busy for the past year travelling the length and breadth of County Cork promoting and developing the county during her term in office – and what a great job she has done.
The Mayor took a well earned break for the June Bank holiday – signalling the start of the town’s summer tourist season.
The popular Mayor said; "No better place to be than Youghal in the sunshine"
The heritage town’s businesses, shops, restaurants, pubs, Regal cinema, sports and tourist amenities are slowly opening up as the Covid restrictions are slowly easing to a lower level.
Picture inset shows the town’s Blue Flag beaches which attracted huge numbers of visitors and the spectacular scenic view of the heritage town and Blackwater river. The Ferrypoint in the distance is filling up with campervans which have never been so popular and deemed one of the best summer holiday options. … See MoreSee Less
Looking fabulous ladies 💕💕
So glad the world is opening up and I can come back to visit the home of my Irish ☘️ ancestors! Staying in the Lighthouse is on my bucket list for sure.
Looking great enjoy ye day
June Bank Holiday Weekend 2021:
THE FERRYPOINT ACROSS THE RIVER BLACKWATER FROM YOUGHAL IN COUNTY CORK.
As staycations are coined to be the travel trend of the year, campervans are booming and many are heading out on the ultimate Ireland road trip for the first time. Campervans have been deemed one of the best summer holiday options, offering easier isolation while spending time outdoors surrounded by nature. This sudden popularity has been heavily reported in recent times.
Pictures: Campervans at the Ferrypoint on Sunday 6th June 2021. … See MoreSee Less
Bit of enterprise is needed at the ferry point..a ferry…a sign for dangerous swimming and a few bins.facilities .the water is no place for rubbish or any waste.lovely to see it though.
Yep it’s like the 80s again. Hope it benefits small businesses
Can’t wait to get down and enjoy Doyle’s fish and chips
Lovely to see them and a sign of the times, we are blessed to live where they want to holiday 💙
Lovely youghal looks beautiful