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1953 Colm Christle Wins The First Rás Tailteann
By Eddie Dawson
Jan 17, 2007, 11:14

Rás Tailteann 2 Day Cycle Race 

19-20th. September 1953

An Rás Tailteann

In selecting a name for a bicycle race which circuits the nation, over a period of eight days, it was necessary that such a name should at once bring to mind the thought of a sports festival and the spirit of a nation. An Rás Tailteann certainly recalls both, for the Tailteann Games are synonymous of a golden era of sport and nationhood.

The first notice of which the Annals record of Tailteann (the name of which is still preserved in the modern Teltown) is that in the year 370 in the year of Lugh Lamhfhada. In that year the fair Tailteann was established by the king in honour of his foster mother, Tailte, the daughter of the King of Spain, and the wife of the last Eochaidh, son of Erc, the last king of the Firbolgs.

The fair continued down to the time of Roderick O’Connor, the last monarch of Ireland, and was held annually upon the first of August, which derives its name in the Irish language from this very circumstance, being still called Lugh-nasadh or Lugh’s Fair. Upon these occasions various sports and pastimes were celebrated – consisting of feats of strength and agility in wrestling, boxing, running and such-like manly sports, as well as horse races and chariot races. Besides these the people were entertained with shows and drama.

An Rás Tailteann to-day is the N.C.A.I. event of the year and only a national body having full co-operation of its members throughout the country could possibly attempt an amateur race of such magnitude.

The Association is appreciative of the magnificent work which has been carried on by the county Boards to enter teams and prepare the way for An Rás. There is a special word of praise for the energetic stage end committees, whose task, though difficult, has been so very well performed.

To three people in Dublin who worked very hard during the months preceding the race there is due a deep dept of thanks, and they are Mr. Bob McFarlane, Mr. Jack Barrett and Miss Mairin Hartnett.

An Rás Tailteann has always been favoured by a good press, and to the Sports Editors and Columnists, all participating in the Rás extend sincerest thanks.

An Rás Tailteann thanks the Central Council and Leinster of the G.A.A. for their support, and also the G.A.A. clubs throughout the country for the support given to the various county teams.

Many others have, in one way or another, by support, help, advice, etc., made the task of organising An Rás Tailteann so much easier and indeed pleasant. It would take long list to name all such, and in paying tribute to them here I trust that they will realise how grateful the N.C.A.I. is for the assistance received. All those firms who have favoured this programme with an advertisement have given valuable support.

And to you, the people, who honour the competitors by coming along as spectators and contribute towards the race by taking a programme, I hope that An Rás Tailteann is for you a spectacle worth seeing.

Seosamh Mac Criostail,
Race Director

Colm Christle Winner Of The First Rás Tailteann With Jim Killean President Of The National Cycling Association


Stage 1: Dublin To Wexford 90 Miles.

Stage 2:  Wexford To Dublin 110 Miles

Stage 1 Results:    Dublin To Wexford

 1. M. Carr, (Cork )  4-20-26
 2. M. Cahill ,(Harp C.C.) @34"
 3. W.Scannell, (National C.C.) @st.   
 4. C.O'Reilly, (Antrim) @st.  
 5. C.Dunne, (Harp C.C.) @st.

Stage 2 Results:  Wexford To Dublin 

1. C. Cristle, (St. James Gate) 5-01-03
2. O. Cullerton, (Wexford)
  @ st.    
3. P. Kenna, (St James Gate) @st.
4. K. Sloan, (North Kildare) @st.
5. J. Moran (St. Lawrence) @st

Race Director:        Joe Christle

Joe Christle Race Director

Generasl Classification











C. Christle, St. James Gate

P.  Kenna,St. James Gate    

K. Sloan, Kildare

J. Moran, Wicklow,

P. Fitzgerald, Kerry  

L. Collins, Meath,

W. Scanell, National C.C

C. O’Reilly, Belfast,

C. Dunne Harp C.C.

H. O’Toole-King, St. James Gate

 9- 20-39










Team : St. James Gate C.C.

C. Christle, P. Kenna, H.O'Toole-King  28-17-13

Pat Kenna Carlow Second Overall In The First Ras While Cycling For St James Gate Dublin

Kerry Sloan , North Kildare

Colm Christle Gate C.C.

Mick Christle Gate C.C.

Colm Christle 2008

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