2019 NEWS at

Merry Christmas!!
Upcoming Learn To Row camps
Donal Frawley R.I.P.
Ann Bowen R.I.P.
SMRC 2019/20 memberships
Urban Run registration is OPEN!!
SMRC Urban Run 2019
Remembering Ritchie
New contact info
Extended deadline for vacancies
SMRC Club strategy update & recruitment
SMRC 'Learn to Row' Summer camps
A big update for the summer
SMRC Easter rowing camps
SMRC HoR live results
SMRC at HP trials
SMRC HoR - event change
SMRC HoR - NEW DATE - Sunday 31st
SMRC HoR Cancellation
SMRC Head of the River launch
SMRC Head of the River 2019
Capsize drill video

Archived pages:
2018 | 2017 |2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 |2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Safety Statement


Merry Christmas!!

There was a great turn out for the Christmas jumper row, we had lovely weather and tasty snacks. Thanks to everyone for making it a special day. Wishing everyone a happy Christmas and a healthy new year.


Upcoming Learn To Row camps

St. Michael’s will be running a new 10 week Learn to Row for boys and girls aged 13-15. Land based training takes place mid week with on the water sessions on weekends. The 10 week trial is an ideal way for kids to experience regular training sessions - circuits, running, yoga, conditioning & ergometer sessions.

Drop us an email for more details via and we will have an open day/evening to meet everyone in person.


Donal Frawley R.I.P.

The President, Committee & Members of St. Michael’s would like to extend their deepest sympathy to the family & friends of Donal Frawley on his recent passing.

Donal was a very proud St. Michael’s man & it was fitting that one the gifts at his funeral included the book Band of Gold, the history of the club.

May he rest in peace.

Donal Frawley on


Ann Bowen R.I.P.

The President, Officers, Committee & Members of St. Michael’s extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Ann Bowen on her sad passing.

Ann’s family have a very strong history with St. Michael’s and she was heavily involved in fundraising within the club for a number of years. Her positive energy and enthusiasm had a knock on effect with everyone and everything she was involved with.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam.


SMRC 2019/20 memberships

Membership fees for the 2019/20 season at SMRC may now be paid using the link below. Thank you.

SMRC online membership payments



AGM - Friday 11th October 2019 @ 19.30h
St. Michael's Rowing Club Committee Room
O’Callaghan Strand

Members and Parents/Guardians,
You are invited to attend the 2019 St. Michael's Sporting Club AGM on the above date. Election of the President, Vice president and Committee, will take place on the night. All members are entitled to attend but only Full members shall be entitled to vote.

Nominations for President, Vice President and Committee must be submitted to the Honorary Secretary in writing by the 27th September. In the absence of nominations, the Chairperson may elect to take nominations from the floor.

Proposed rule changes and motions must be submitted in writing to the Club Secretary by the 20th September.

Any resolution to be moved at the AGM must be forwarded to the Honorary Secretary by the 27th September.

Kind Regards,
James Harrington, Honorary Secretary


Urban Run registration is OPEN!!

Please visit the dedicated Urban Run website for details.

We're very excited now and looking forward to a great day pounding the pavement in aid of Limerick Suicide Watch and SMRC fundraising. We look forward to welcoming you all at the club on October 6th.


SMRC Urban Run 2019

We're back again - Sunday October 6th @ 2pm. Same great 10k and 5k courses.

It's just 4 weeks away and registration details will be available soon. Please keep an eye on the dedicated Urban Run website.


Remembering Ritchie

Ritchie O’Brien. 22nd October 1959 - May 30th 2019, RIP.

In this tribute we want to remember our dear friend Ritchie and highlight his lasting legacy to all our lives as a friend, a colleague and a family man.

photo by Alice O' Sullivan.

Ritchie grew up on Old Park Road in Corbally, Limerick. His parents were Dick and Rita (Hardiman). His brothers Denis and Tom and sisters Marie and Marguerite. Corbally is a fantastic place for a young and enquiring young person to grow up in. With the nearby Shannon and Abbey River and vast open spaces there were ample scope for exploring, fishing, hunting, gathering and other such adventures that helped develop a love of the outdoors.

The nearby and newly built St. Munchin’s College was the way to secondary education and also introduced Ritchie to the sport of rowing. The history teacher Austin Reid started a rowing club at the school and so began a lifelong love of the sport that would also help bring Ritchie and Claire together. As a Junior rower, Ritchie, with the rest of the St. Munchin's crew went to St. Michael’s Rowing Club and there he really showed his talent, skill, hard work and dedication to his chosen sport. After secondary school Ritchie moved on to NIHE (which became UL) to study mechanical engineering. Ritchie was already a skilled craftsman and could turn his hand to almost any trade with skills inherited from his father. The family home has many fine examples of his handiwork. NIHE gave him the science and engineering ideas behind the mechanical world and thus a skillset to pursue a career in engineering, manufacturing and quality workmanship. After graduation from NIHE Ritchie took up a position in a new business incubator venture in Limerick called Workspace where he produced a number of very fine carbon fibre crafted sculling boats. We were his testing ground as we tried them out on the Shannon at St. Michael's. We were excited with the new opportunity that sculling would bring to our club. However Ritchie was not happy with the quality and cost basis to produce boats locally so he wound up the venture and broke up the boats much to our amazement at the time. He put quality and common sense first and said that they could not be manufactured reliably without a massive investment which was not forthcoming at the time.

Ritchie moved on to a long and satisfying career in various engineering roles around County Limerick leading him to becoming Buildings Officer at LIT for the past 13 years.

Throughout his working life Ritchie continued his involvement with Rowing at St. Michael's. He was crowned an Irish Champion in 1980 in the Intermediate Men's Eight and went on to row in Senior eights, fours, pairs and single sculls up to his retirement from the serious side of the sport in 1991.

A strong and abiding memory everyone who trained with Ritchie will have was his massive endurance. If you were out for a run, clipping along at a steady pace and dared to take it up a notch or step ahead a half yard Ritchie would match it. Whatever the pace was he could raise it and there was no end to his rowing, running, hiking or general work rate. Those who built houses with him say the same, endurance was part of what he was.

After senior rowing he continued rowing occasionally in master's boats and enjoyed several trips to London and Amsterdam for racing but mostly he turned to coaching. Ritchie's personality and patience lent itself very well to being a rowing coach and like all the other coaches in St. Michael's, he devoted his time and energy to the development of rowing and rowers. Ritchie nurtured some very good junior, intermediate and senior men’s and women’s championship crews through the years. many of them going on to win multiple championships and international representation. Ritchie did not want to be on committees but preferred to give his skills and time to coaching and helping crews whatever way he could. Ritchie worked crews hard, got them very fit and rowing well. Those who were coached by Ritchie will remember him as a man of dry wit with a peculiar sense of humor and hold very fond memories of him.

On the technical side of coaching, Ritchie could set up the rigging for an eight from bow to stroke with great speed and accuracy while others would be thinking about it. Ritchie often lent these skills to other clubs.

Ritchie met Claire Murphy, an Athlunkard rower, at Shannon's Home Regatta. They were married in 1986 and settled in Roo East, Ardnacrusha, Co Clare where they built a house that became their lifelong family home. Remaining close to family meant a lot to Claire and Ritchie and it is no coincidence that her sister Brenda and Timmy Mullane live next door, Tom O’Brien lives across the road and Mark Murphy lives just up the road.

It was family that mattered most to Ritchie. His wife Claire and children Meadhbh, Mark, Kate and Cillian meant the world to him. Whatever demands work, personal life or rowing put on him the priority was always their needs first. We all knew Ritchie as a fairly quiet, modest and strong man and he certainly came across that way. However, when he spoke about his family and what each of them were doing, he would discuss them freely and honestly, was always positive and focused on what they wanted rather than what he might want for them. Sport and education were important to Ritchie and Claire to enable their children to be themselves and to create their opportunities in life. Like so many other families they have spent years driving the lads to swimming, hurling, rugby, rowing and school to create that environment.

At the National Rowing Championships held in Cork on 12th-14th of July and the follow-on celebrations on the Monday night it felt very strange and sad not having Ritchie there. However his children were well represented there and we could only admire their inherited strength of character to be there. That strength of character is Richie’s legacy that will live on in his family and all who were privileged to have known him.

May he Rest in Peace.

From all Ritchie's friends at the club...


New contact info

Please note, there is now a new email address to contact the club coach:


Extended deadline for vacancies

Due to this being a busy holiday period for man, we have extended the deadline for our job openings to August 23rd - 5pm.

Full details are published below.

Thank you.



If you are interested in running for election for the position of Captain (2019/20 season) please reply to James Harrington via email at by Friday 30th August 2019.

Kind regards,
James Harrington,
Honorary Secretary,
St. Michael’s Rowing Club.


SMRC Club strategy update & recruitment

Exciting times in St. Michael's as we implement further actions from our strategic planning 2018-2023.

* St.Michael's Rowing Club in Limerick is currently recruiting for the position of Club Coach. This is a full time paid 2 year position that will allow the successful applicant the opportunity to work in a full time coaching role in one of Ireland’s premier rowing clubs. All details and job specification are available via email from the club secretary, James Harrington, please email for the job specification and application details. Closing date for applications Friday August 23rd at 5pm.

* St.Michael's Rowing Club in Limerick currently wish to source a service provider for its learn to row programmes. All details, job specification and remuneration rates are available via email from the club secretary, James Harrington, please email for the job specification and application details. Closing date for applications Friday August 23rd at 5pm.

* St.Michael's Rowing Club in Limerick is currently recruiting for the position of a Club Administrator and Marketing role. This is a part time paid 1 year position that will allow the successful applicant the opportunity to work in a dynamic and exciting role in one of Ireland’s premier rowing clubs. All details and job specification are available via email from the club secretary, James Harrington, please email for the job specification and application details. Closing date for Friday August 23rd at 5pm..


SMRC 'Learn to Row' Summer camps

SMRC will be running 4 ‘Intro to Rowing’ Summer Camps for kids aged 11+.

Camp 1 is now full but there are plenty of spots left in Camps 2, 3 & 4. We’re offering a €25 discount for anyone attending a 2nd camp, so a 2nd camp will be €75 instead of €100.

* Mon 05/08 - Thurs 08/08
* Mon 12/08 - Thurs 15/08
* Mon 19/08 - Thurs 22/08

Camps cost €100 per attendee (see above) and each weekly camp is rounded off with a BBQ for the kids & coaches. The sessions each day last approx 4 hours with a little bit extra on day 4 for the BBQ.

For more details including starting time, or to book a spot in the camps, you can email us at


A big update for the summer

* Due to the time involved in updating this site in HTML code, we focus mainly on social media updates, Facebook, Twitter (both of which you can view on the right side of this page without having to be a user) so that's where you can get the latest news & information.

On the water:
Champions of Ireland! At the National Championships, our Men’s Club 4 + have won the final in a very tight race just holding off NUIG by .3 of a second. Huge congratulations to Jonny Cuddy, Ryan Spelman, The legend himself - Dec O’Connor, our junior 16 superstar Diarmaid Hartney & cox Caireanne Rose O’Gorman.Well done to coaches Aidan & Orla from the entire club. Well Rowed St. Michael’s.
And how about our women’s junior 14 8x+ who dominated their race to win by 1.5 lengths, some distance to win by over 1000m. Well done to Siun, Abbie, Aibhe, Sarah Mc D, Sarah O’C, Elena, Ella, Iris & Rachel & to their coaches.
A brilliant and exciting race from our superstar Eabha Benson, to take silver in the women’s junior single scull championship of Ireland. Great things to come from this young rower.

SMRC goes International - in a big way!
Congratulations to our 7 junior rowers & 2 coaches selected to represent their country at the upcoming international regattas:
Home International Men’s junior squad:
Diarmaid Hartney
Ronan O’Gorman

Home International Women’s squad:
Caireann Rose O’Gorman (cox)
Ellen Murphy
Megan O’Byrne
Eabha Benson
Aidan McEvoy (Coach)

Coupe de la Jeunesse women’s squad:
Chris Kirwan
Olra McEvoy
A fantastic experience for all these rowers and coaches. Congratulations from everyone in the club.

But wait, there's more...
Even more good news on the international representation with Sheila Clavin & Nell Hartney selected to compete on the Women’s Lightweight 2- at the Home Internationals. Did you know;
This brings our Irish Jersey total this year to 9 rowers & 2 coaches. We have two brothers & sisters competing for Ireland - Ronan & Caireann Rose O’Gorman and Diarmaid & Nell Hartney.
This is Sheila Clavin’s 7th Irish Jersey

Well Rowed St Michael’s


SMRC Easter rowing camps

St. Michael’s will be holding two ‘Introduction to Rowing Camps’ over the Easter holidays for any kids aged 11-15 who are interested in trying out the sport.

At just €50 for the two day, 4 hours per day training camps are an ideal way for kids to see what the sport of rowing is all about. We’ll cover rowing technique, land based training programme, rowing boats, equipment & water safety as well as ergometer racing & the all important rowing on the water in our training boats (weather permitting of course!). The camps can then lead into either our week long rowing camps in the summer & our 10 week Learn to Row memberships which kick off in September.

Spaces are limited so book your place now. For more information or to book a place please email


SMRC HoR live results

The results of the 2019 Head of the River are available here


SMRC HoR - event change


SMRC HoR - event change

Unfortunately the Head of The River which was planned for next Sunday is cancelled. There was a very low entry due to date change which wouldn’t make the event viable. We are running an ‘at home’ event in its place & our organising committee are in touch in clubs. We look forward to having a good day on the water and welcoming our neighbouring clubs.


SMRC HoR - NEW DATE - Sunday 31st of March

We've set a new date for our Head of the River 2019, so please tell all your friends and get crews, volunteers and spectators warmed up again. We look forward to a great day on the water, weather permitting of course.

** Please note: Entries close at 7pm TONIGHT.

Prospectus | Safety Statement

SMRC HoR Committee


SMRC HoR Cancellation

Due to the deterioration in the weather and the poor forecast for Saturday, St. Michael’s has no option but to cancel this coming Head of the River Event on Saturday 16th. March.

We apologise and hope to reschedule this event in the coming weeks and we hope to see you then.

The good news is that we're still running the bar at the clubhouse from 2pm so please join us for Wales v Ireland on the big screen and Treaty City brews and toasties. Nommmmm...

SMRC Head of the River Committee.


SMRC Head of the River launch

John O'Sullivan (SMRC President), Kevin O’Connor (event committee Head Of The River), Sinéad Lynch (Olympian Rio 2016), Rocky O’Shea (The Commercial/Sponsor), James Brinn (former SMRC member) © Caleb Purcell Photography All Rights Reserved

Thanks to Rocky O'Shea at The Commercial Bar and to Treaty City Brewery for helping us launch this year's Head of the River, and also for sponsoring a pop-up bar at the clubhouse for Saturday's racing. We'll have plenty of appropriate athletes hot food, baked goods, and now, some of the country's finest craft beers, made right here in Limerick City.

Speaking of baked goods, please contact Captain Richie to volunteer your much needed baking skills, or to help with marshalling, parking, photograhy, anything at all. We need to make a big impression, so we need your help.

Thank you -
SMRC HoR Committee

Kevin O’Connor (event committee Head Of The River), Stephen Cunneen (Treaty City Brewery/Sponsor), Sinéad Lynch (Olympian Rio 2016), Rocky O’Shea (The Commercial/Sponsor) © Caleb Purcell Photography All Rights Reserved


SMRC Head of the River 2019

Following on from last year's very popular Head of the River, we're bringing rowing back into the city again this year.

March 16th is the date and the entries are rolling in. Full event information is published on the Rowing Ireland event page here. We are expanding our hospitality this year and will have the Wales v Ireland game on a big screen at 14:45 so stick around and enjoy the afternoon with us.

We look forward to welcoming crews from all over the country and wish them all an enjoyable and challenging spin.

Real time race info will once again be provided using the Raceclocker system, links will be here and on social media on the day.You can see last year's results here.


2018 Archived page

All last year's information from this home page is now taking a rest at the 2017 archive.


Capsize drill video

Recommended viewing now that everyone is back on the water:
Capsize drill video

Download the SMRC Code of Behaviour here

SMSC Rules - updated November 24th, 2017

SMSC policy document
(inc. Rowing Club safety rules and regulations)

Rowing Ireland Safety Statement

SMRC online membership payments