Dublin People

Dublin cycling stories wanted

UCD School of Communications and Media Studies and Dublin Cycling Campaign are looking for photos and cycling stories for an “Irish Cycling Stories” series.

They are particularly interested in photos and stories from people who may have cycled to school, work or for fun in the past.

Please send photos with short cycling background story (100 words for now) to shaunaroberts22@gmail.com, davidt@dublincycling.com.

Alternatively, you can call David Timoney on 083 3339283.

Below are two examples of the type of stories that will be included in the “Irish Cycling Stories” series.

“Over 600 races he won in his day.

“He died young. But the love for cycling stayed in my family”, Anne Marie Kenny (pictured above with a picture of her grandfather and one of his cups beside her) of Rathfarnham told the Dublin Cycling Campaign.

She speaks about her late grandfather, Mylie Kenny, with admiration and pride.

Anne Marie never knew Mylie, he died when her “mother was 21-years old”.

Dublin-born, Mylie, decided that he wanted to be a professional racing cyclist at the age of 15.

He could not shake the idea.

But he had no bike.

No bike, but a bucket-load of aspiration.

He had little cash, but stumbled upon something that looked similar to a bike on his walk along the quays.

It was all he needed; those 2-wheels and a dodgy crossbar started his cycling career.

All for 35 shillings. 35 shillings began his racing journey.

One that took him all over the country, meeting hundreds of other cyclists, and becoming a household name for Dublin professional cycling.

He was an institutional cyclist, followed his gut and knew which direction to go in, even if he had never been to the area.

In one season, he captured 8 National titles.

He never gave up on his dream, always took the lead, and finished his career with 600 races won in his back pocket.

Marie Horan, born in 1934.

“It was 1951. I was 17 and worked in the Smurfit printing company.

“I cycled to and from work, social events and the shops.

“If there was a ‘hop’ on in Mountjoy Square on a Thursday, the gang and myself would head down on our bikes.

“Going from my friend’s house in Cabra, meet the gang and cycle to the dance.

“It reminds me of one night when we were cycling out the Navan Road, around 6 of us, and one of the girls had a puncture in her tyre.

“While that was being repaired two of the gang went exploring and came back to say there was a dance on up the road and the entry fee was one and six (1 shilling and 6 pence), now they didn’t have this but one of the lads did – Paddy MacIntire, who worked in the Central Statistics Office was on good money so he paid for everyone to go in.

“Lovely chap.

“It was the Porterstown Parish hall, there would be a house band on at these dances and at the interval they would have tea and cake.

“There was a fella who was asking me to dance and kept on saying my cousin was there when I said where I was from (at the time, Cabra), at the interval he brought the “cousin” over but we were not related at all!

“And like many love stories at the time, the man ended up being my future husband, Michael Horan.

“As we were leaving, the parish priest said “next time you come make sure you wear a dress/skirts or you won’t be allowed in”.

“After that night, we would head there (Porterstown Parish Hall ) every Wednesday.

“And of course, we would wear trousers under their skirts and tuck the skirts into the trousers when we were on the bike.

“Very fond memories of cycling to and from those dances, and meeting Michael at them.”

Caoimhe Quigley, Maynooth.

During the pandemic I was working from home, and I felt I had a newfound appreciation for being outdoors as I was confined to one space for such long periods of time.

I took up cycling with a couple of my friends and we found it was a great way to socialize and meet new people whilst improving our mental and physical health.

I live in Rathmines for a short period of time, and we would often use the Dublin bikes to cycle up and down the canal.

I loved cycling up to the grand canal dock, getting a coffee with my friends and sitting in the sun for an evening after a day of working from home.

Since the pandemic, I have found a new love for cycling, and I will certainly continue to cycle as often as I can.

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