Posted on January 10, 2012 by irelandwaterpolo
One of Ireland’s oldest and most successful swimming and water polo clubs are having a belated 90th birthday party in the opulent surroundings of Belfast City Hall on Saturday 28th January.
Founded in 1921 the Clonard club has enjoyed unequalled success including a record twenty-nine Irish senior cups in water polo along with multiple titles in Ulster and Irish swimming.They have also competed in Europe and in the 1960’s won the British Isles club championship.
Among a multitude of swimmimg champions two in particular stand out.Paddy McClure won the Irish 110 yards freestyle title seven times while Jim Hurson at various times was the holder of every Irish freestyle title from 200 to 1500 metres.
Billy Broderick,Pat Convery and Paddy McClure all represented Ireland at the 1924 and 1928 Olympics.
Numerous swimming relay titles were won by teams manned almost exclusively by water polo players.In the 1960’sthey were virtually unbeatable in the Blue Riband event of relay racing the 4×200 freestyle.Aidan McCorry,Barney McGrogan,Gary Murray,Kevin Armstrong,Charlie and Jim Hurson forrmed the backbone of rhese teams.
There has been a little bit of a slump in recent times but notice was given that they are well on the road to recovery when they won the Irish Junior Cup (under 19) just two months ago and are among the fancied teams for the Irish U.16 Cup which is being played at Laganvalley Leisureplex in Lisburn 20/22 Jan.
There has been a huge response from far and wide for tickets but there are still some places left.Contact can be made via the website www.clonardwaterpolo.org
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