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ROAD RACING Last Updated: 30 Jul 2020 - 12:43:47 PM

IRISH CYCLING PROTEST MAKES HEADLINES AT 1972 MUNICH OLYMPICS
By Peter Purfield
25 Jul 2020,

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An RTE Radio 1 documentary aired today about a protest by the National Cycling Association (NCA) at the 1972 Munich Olympic road race.

Having come into cycling in 1974, after this event which I was unaware of. I think it might be good to give a bit of history to how this all came about...

First we need to look back to the past (pre 1988) when there were three cycling bodies in Ireland.

1. NCA - The National Cycling Association was a 32 county organisation, with members from all over Ireland, it held a full calendar of events during the season with the Rás Tailteann stage race being their premier event.

2. ICF - The Irish Cycling Federation was a 26 county organisation, with members from the 26 of the Republic of Ireland, it held a full calendar of events in the 26 counties during the season with the Tour of Ireland stage race being their premier event.

3. NICF - The Northern Irish Cycling Federation was a 6 county organisation, with members from the 6 of Northern Ireland, it also held a full calendar of events in the 6 counties during the season with the Tour of the North stage race being their premier event.

As regards international competition, the UCI (World Cycling Body) would only recognise one organisation from Ireland and ruled the ICF and NICF as the official bodies. They also recognised the political divide in Ireland and ruled that the two bodies combine as one for international competitions and be called Ireland. Because of this decision, the NCA were not recognised by the UCI. This caused very much upset to their association, some members took part in protests to object to this and try bring change.

However, as outlined in the documentary, it mentioned that during the late seventies, two racing cyclists Kieron McQuaid (ICF) and Shay O'Hanlon (NCA) starting discussions of the idea for all three bodies to come together, it took many years but later in 1978 the Irish Tri-Party Committee was set-up. It was an overseeing committee to combine the three bodies (NCA, ICF & NICF) activities for both domestic competition and international teams. This meant that, from 1979 forward, all Irish cyclists could compete in all domestic events and they all can be eligible to be selected for international teams to represent Ireland.

The Tri-Party committee and the opening up of competition to all was very successful. So much so, that In 1988 the three organisations officially amalgamated into one - The 'Federation of Irish Cyclists' which is now Cycling Ireland and the rest is history as they say.

The RTE documentary looks back at the protest by members of the NCA during the 1972 Munich Olympic road race with contributions from Shay O’Hanlon, John Mangan, Pat Healy, Mary Peters (1972 Olympic pentathlon gold medalist), Kieron McQuaid, Hennie Kuiper (DEN), Neil Teggart and Matthew Teggart.

The 1972 Irish team in the Olympic RR were;- Noel Teggart, Peter Doyle, Liam Horner and Kieron McQuaid.



LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD THE PODCAST

The documentary on One: Green and Gold aired on RTÉ Radio 1 on Saturday, July 25th at 1.00pm, it will be repeated at 7.00pm on Sunday, July 26th

You can download this documentary as a podcast, click the link below...

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