Old Collegians Annual Dinner

The Old Collegians Dinner was held in the Westin Hotel on Westmoreland St on Friday 23rd of November. To coin a phrase popular amongst Club Secretaries reports from a certain vintage, “a great time was had by all”.

Our guests included the first ever Old Collegians Olympian, Sanita Pusure, Eamonn Lannoye and Claire Ní Reachtagain, captains of UCDBC and UCDLBC respectively,
Claire Lambe, UCDLBC’s Silver Medallist World University Championships 2012, national champions 
Dave Neale & Gearoid Duane (UCDBC inter 2x and 1x) and 
Amy Bulman, UCDLBC’s Inter 1X national champion.

It was a great delight to all that Liz Cooke could make it over for the dinner. Great too to see past members of UCDLBC attending in such numbers. Murrough O’Brien was presented with the Hanly Medal for his outstanding contribution to UCD rowing over the past many years.

UCDLBC sculler Claire Lambe – Silver Medal in World University Championships

Claire Lambe, Kirsten McCann and Nielke Elise Van Hoogenhuijze, medallists in the lightweight women’s single sculls at the 2012 World University Rowing Championships, Kazan, RUS.

We were delighted to hear of Claire Lambe’s success in the World Univestiy Rowing Championships, where she placed second behind Kirsten McCann.

For coverage of her race in Afloat.ie – click here

For coverage of her race in The Irish Times – click here

The Rowing Development Fund was in a position to make a donation to Claire to support her participation in the event, and Old Collegians wishes her in her final year of Mechanical Engineering, as well of course in whatever rowing brings her over the coming months and years.

14th November – Run in the Dark for the Mark Pollock Trust

Many Old Collegians will know of Mark Pollock, who rowed with Trinity College for a number of years in the 1990s. Mark lost his sight as a student, but went on to inspire many, as he strived to take on some of the world’s most daunting endurance challenges.

Tragically in 2010 he fell from a second floor window in Henley on Thames. He broke his back and the damage to his spinal cord left him paralysed.

To support his recovery the Mark Pollock Trust has organised a Run in the Dark event on 14th of November, for more details click here

Dublin Web Summit Outing

The Liffey on Neptune Regatta Day

Old Collegians Boat Club is happy to offer those travelling to Ireland for the Dublin Web Summit the opportunity to get out for an early morning spin in a eight on the river Liffey.

This offer is open to all attendees of the Dublin Web Summit, the only stipulation is that you must have at least one year’s experience of rowing.

Who knows, we may even be able to convince the Web Summit’s Marketing & Events Consultant Niall O’Toole to come out for a spin. Niall is a former Sculling World Champion and Olympic finalist, and knows this stretch of river like to back of his hand.

Please note – this opportunity is available for a limited number, on a first come first served basis. Those interested should email the club captain James Kelly at captain@oldcollegians.ie

The Liffey at Islandbridge

Seamus McHugh RIP

Seamus McHugh Deceased ob 30.08.2012 RIP

Seamus McHugh joined UCDBC in 1962 during the brilliant Captaincy of Austin Carty.  Recruitment have been so successful that four UCD maiden VIIIs travelled to Belfast in December for a Queen’s at home in a bus driven by John Gallivan, who had a dreadful time trying to control us when the bus was stopped at 2.00 am on the way home by “B” Specials.  Later in the month Seamus McHugh and Tom Kirby won the Butler Cup with some distance to spare in a large and competitive competition.  Seamus was a primary school teacher and had become the principal of a Primary School at the age of 19.  He was then studying Arts at UCD to become a secondary teacher. He was the youngest of 10 children and had grown up in the townland of Muckross in the Glenties in West Donegal and never lost his unusually soft and musical Donegal accent.

Austin continued his great work by having 3 VIIIs in the second term.  In those days the Porter’s lodge was on the left of the entrance at Earlsfort Terrace and the UCDBC Notice Board just beside it in the most prominent position of all club notice boards.  We eagerly awaited to find out whether we were rowing with the Flippers, the Flappers or the Floppers.  As there were lectures on a Saturday morning rowing took place in the afternoon, and similarly on Sunday as everybody went to Mass in the morning, there being no evening masses at that time.    By Summer we were down to two Eights and out of them one of the best ever Maiden iVs that rowed for UCDBC emerged.  Seamus McHugh at Bow, Tom Kirby at 2, Kevin Reade at 3 and stroked by Dave Buckley.  Seamus was 27, Tom was 20, as I think was Kevin Reade and Dave Buckley was in his final year engineering.  None had ever rowed before and none were particularly “sporty”.  It would be 8 years before there would be s similarly mature Maiden Crew that would be later named the Animals.

The IV went Cork Cappoquin and Fermoy, driven by Seamus in VW Beetle and came back victorious with a clean sweep of 3 wins.  It went on to win another three races at Carlow, Athlone and Waterford.  At Carlow they were so far ahead in the final that they stopped rowing well before the finish and glided in with perfect balance to the sound of a stirring Brass Band amidst glorious sunshine and cheering spectators who had attended in great numbers.

May he have glided into Heaven to the heavenly sound of Angels as he did on that magical day in June, 1963.

James Heney

Supporting Claire Lambe travelling to World University Championships


The committee of the Rowing Development Fund (RDF) is delighted to support UCDLBC oarswoman Claire Lambe as she travels to compete for Ireland in the lightweight double sculls, in the forthcoming World University Rowing Championships, which will be held in Kazan, Russia in September.

Claire, who is going into final year of Mechanical Engineering, is an exceptional talent who shows great promise for the future. She has competed for Ireland on a number of times, most recently placing 11th in the World Championships , and in July, placing 4th in the World Under 23 Championships (see above).

We wish here all the very best, and will keep this site updated with news of her competition.

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If you would like to contribute to the RDF to support the rowers of UCD, please send an email to captain@oldcollegians.ie.

Sanita Puspure in London 2012

C Final – 4th August
Sanita comfortably won the C final in the Women’s Single Sculls, almost eight seconds ahead of second placed Micheen Thornycroft. This result places Sanita 13th overall in the event. This was a a great performance to end her London Olympics – we are all very proud of her, and wish her and her family the very best for the rest of the summer. We look forward to seeing Sanita build on this performance over the coming months and years as she competes again on international waters!

Semi-final C/D – 2nd August
Sanita won her C/D semi final very comfortably this morning, coming in a clear 10 seconds ahead of the next sculler, Da Costa of Brazil. This means that she will race in the C final, in which scullers compete for the 13th-18th positions in the competition.

Looking at the times of the A/B semi finals also rowed this morning, it’s clear that on times alone, she ranks somewhere in the top 10. However as noted below, her Quarter Final was a particularly strong field, and as a result she didn’t make her way into the B final, which would have been for places 7th-12th. We wish her the very best for the C Final.

Quarter final – 31st July
Sanita put in a fine performance, narrowly missing out on progressing to the Olympic Semis. 
The first 3 home in the Quarter would go through with the Swedish and Czech scullers widely fancied to top the race having been World Champions in 2010 and 2011.

Sanita had been beaten by the American Sculler in the field earlier in the season and it was reckoned that the final qualification place would be between them, with Sanita needing to reverse the previous result.

Sanita had a fast start and was leading for quite a while, with the American back in 5th. 
The Czech sculler came through to win the race as expected but it was the US athlete who put in the best performance on the day, coming through to take 2nd at the expense of the Swedish sculler with Sanita in 4th by about 4 seconds, just missing out.

She gave it absolutely everything and it is telling that her time would have placed her 3rd in all 3 of the other Quarter Finals thereby quailfying her for the Semifinals 
(In fact she was 8 and 16 seconds faster than the 3rd place athletes in two of the other Quarters).

When Sanita looks back at the calibre of those drawn in her race and the times posted compared to the other races I am sure she will realise how well she acquitted herself. 
She did herself and us proud and hopefully she will have a real go at the C Final in which she would appear to be the stand-out athlete.

1st Round Heat – 28th July
Sanita placed third in her heat, comfortably qualifying for the quarter finals, which will take place on Tuesday 31st.


Sanita’s heat is at 1330 hrs GMT on Saturday 28th of July. Results will be posted here in due course.

A note of thanks from Sanita

There was a great response to the appeal to support Sanita in her Olympic bid. As well as donations received from members of Old Collegians, we received donations from current and previous oarsmen and oarswomen from clubs across the country. Sanita is very grateful for everyone’s assistance, and has asked that this message from her be shared.


Hi all,

I wanted to say you all a few words before leaving for London in two days’ time. Firstly I wanted to thank every one of you that have been supporting me since I joined the club, although it was only four years ago so many things have happened and changed. Never in my wildest dreams had I thought that I could qualify for London Olympics in just over three and a half years from having our youngest child and that I would be preparing now for the biggest event in any athletes sporting life. I always had that feeling inside me that I was capable of achieving something more and I did not want to spend the rest of my life thinking, what if?

I was taking one step at the time and the dream kept coming closer and closer and it didn’t look so unrealistic any more. Of course there were times when it was not easy and we had to face some difficulties, but I kept saying – “If you give up on your dreams, what’s the point in doing anything in your life!”. And I guess that’s what kept me going, the Dream.

A lot of what I did and achieved would not be possible without the support from people around me and especially from Old Collegians. I want to thank Phil O’Keeffe for coaching and guiding me back in to competitive rowing, Paul Romeril for helping out with the equipment, Murrough, James, Barry for being there and supporting. There is one man that deserves a very big thanks from me and it’s John O’Keeffe, ever since I joined Old Collegians he is always been there, helping me along the way. I know there are a lot more people that I have not even met but they have been supporting me on this incredible journey and I hope to meet you all one day and thank you.

I will do the best I can in London, I will fight for every place and hopefully make you proud.

Kind Regards,