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Galway mourns passing of a modest Olympian

The world of Irish athletics – but his home parish of Oughterard in particular – has lost an icon this week, following the death of Olympic marathon man Mick Molloy.

Mick, one of only two Olympians to come from the village alongside discus thrower Cummin Clancy, was a modest, self-effacing man who travelled the world in pursuit of sporting glory – but never left his native place.

Fittingly his incredible collection of medals and trophies – national and international – are housed in the village’s community centre for ever more, so that his legend will live on in perpetuity.

Mick, who was 85, represented Ireland at the Mexico Olympics of 1968 and later set a world record time over 30 miles.

An athlete of endurance and incredible versatility, he was the holder of 15 All-Ireland gold medals from five miles on the track all the way up to the marathon.

He won the Galway Sport Star Award five times between the years 1966 to 1974 and was the Hall of Fame award in 1999.

Typifying his modesty, he saw no reason to have his enviable haul on public display but last year – thanks to his brother Chris and the efforts of local Cllr Tom Welby among others – the perfect location was found for a massive display cabinet, inside the doors of the community centre.

And Mick, although confined to a wheelchair because of a bad hip, was in fine form as he welcomed so many old friends and, indeed, old rivals for an afternoon of memories and stories of great sporting endeavour.


Mick Molloy setting the world 30-mile track record of two hours 44 minutes and 47 seconds, at Walton, near London, in 1974.

Read the full obituary of Mick Molloy in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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