Irish Cycling Remembers

Dickie Comerford Remembered

At the Usher Irish Road Clubs 113th Annual Dinner Dance in the Citywest Hotel in Saggart on Friday 21st November the Comerford family and friends, twenty-six in all, will gather together to commemorate the 10th anniversary of their parents, Dickie and Eileen Comerford's passing and for the presentation of the Dickie Memorial Trophy to the 2003 winner of the Dickie Comerford Memorial Race held on Sunday 31st August last. His daughter Bernie will present the trophy. Her sister Carmel and family made the trip from Boston especially for the occasion.

The Comerford family have been associated with the Usher Irish Road Club going back to the 40's when Dickie was a top class cyclist of his day. He was a Kilkenny man and according to his daughter Bernie, after saving for 6 months at the age of 16 to buy a brand new racing bike at the vastly cost of one pound, he took up cycling. One of his most memorable wins was the Dun Laoghaoire Grand Prix in 1950 when he beat English rider Brian Robinson who later went on to become a professional and took part in the Tour De France. After his competitive cycling days were over, Dickie remained a loyal member of his club and took on several club committee positions, including elected President and for years he presented a lovely trophy to the winner of the club's massed start at the annual Dinner Dance. In the 50's and 60's Dickie and his wife Eileen were a well known duo to be seen on his Gold Wing 1200 motorbike, following and stewarding the Tour of Ireland, the Coast to Coast, the Birr 3.Day. For the first few early Gorey 3.Days, Dickie towed a caravan ahead of the race with his young family in tow whilst his wife Eileen drove the Bonk Wagon for the club. Their home in Mount Brown was open house for all cyclists. After his competitive cycling days were over he cycled leisurely for years, each day taking the same route, through the Phoenix, out on to the Strawberry Beds and back to his home in Mount Brown. In his latter years of retirement, and failing health he moved out to Lucan to live with his daughter Bernie. Bernie often relates the story of the day he went missing and after a lengthy search by the family they traced him back to Mount Brown where he had cycled to from Lucan on his old long since used racing bike which he hauled out of storage in Bernie's shed when he had got the house to himself. He was aged 76 at the time. It was his last spin and the bike was duly locked securely in the shed from thereon.

When the club went through its hardest financial years in the early 60's and the club and cycling was at an all time low and a time when many clubs were folding up, according to Sam D'Arcy, Dickie put his hand in his pocket on many an occasion to keep it going and not alone helped the club but also the governing cycling body of the time - CRE.

Though none of Dickie's family took up cycling, they have never lost contact with the Irish Road Club and to keep his achievements remembered, his son Richard had a rear mech. belonging to Dickie's last racing bike made into a lovely trophy for the winner of his annual memorial race run by Usher Irish Road Club for the last 10 years.

Dickie passed away shortly after his 78th birthday and was predeceased by a month by his wife Eileen but will always be remembered by the older members of the cycling fraternity and his old club.


Dickie winning the Dun Laoghaire Grand Prix in 1950

Result: 1 D Comerford IRC, 2 Brian Robinson Huddersfield RC, 3 T Henshaw Longeaton CC
4 P Marlow Dublin Whls, 5 D Forde Malboro CAC, 6  J Cluddeford Malboro London.  

Cycle Race in Trinity College Grounds

Grand Prix Na Eireann - Jim McQuaid wins from D Comerford in 1950

Sam D'Arcy with Dickie on his 78th birthday in 1993

Dickie blocks his ears from the loud music at IRC dinner

Dickie with his wife Eileen

The Comerford Family and friends many of whom returned from 
Boston, USA  for the IRC Dinner Dance 

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