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In Pictures: Legendary athlete Martin McDonald honoured at Civic Reception

Martin McDonald Civic Reception Main

Legendary Laois athlete Martin McDonald was honoured by Laois County Council for his recent success in the world masters mountain running championships.

The Ballyroan man won the Over 65 category in a 10k race across the Comeragh Mountains near Clonmel back in September.

He was honoured for that triumph in the Laois County Council chamber on Thursday evening, December 1, with a civic reception hosted by Cllr Barry Walsh.

The Fine Gael man was deputising for the current Cathaoirleach Thomasina Connell.

Friends, family and supporters made up a large crowd that was in attendance to acknowledge McDonald’s achievement.

McDonald absolutely romped to success in his World masters race, winning by nearly a minute and “leaving runners from Italy, Germany, Austria, Great Britain, USA, Spain and the Czech Republic in his wake” went the report at the time of his success. 

In addition Martin led the Irish team of Martin, Joe Gough and Eugene Doherty to the team Gold.

It was a great weekend for the McDonalds with Martin winning double Gold in the Masters race with his daugher Niamh part of the Ireland team that won bronze in the team women’s U-20 race, which was held in Cumbria in England.

The McDonald family have made a massive contribution to athletics in Laois over the years, both on a county level and with their local club Ballyroan-Abbeyleix.

They shot to national fame in 2018 when they starred in Ireland’s Fittest Family and were only narrowly pipped to the overall prize in a thrilling finale in Croke Park.

In an earlier episode Martin captured the nation’s heart by setting a new record for ‘Hanging Tough’.

Photographer Michael Scully was present on the night.

Check out his pictures below:

Cllr Barry Walsh and Martin McDonald with his Award , at the Reception at County Hall. Photo: Michael Scully

Photo: Michael Scully

Trisrtan, Karen and Chloe O’Brien Photo: Michael Scully
Conall and Deborah Whelan, John King and Michael Cummins, Jack McMahon, Cian and Martin McDonald, Tom Dunne and Ronan O’Reilly Photo: Michael Scully
Michelle McDonald, Carrie Lewis, Lilly Murphy, Nora Fitzgerald, Catherine McDonald and Majella Fitzgerald Photo: Michael Scully

Ann and Aideen Lawlor, Kathleen Manning and Patricia Owens Photo: Michael Scully

Eithne Carpenter, Aileen Delaney, Donal Troy, Martin Carpenter, John and Eileen Delaney and Padraig Fleming Photo: Michael Scully

Barry Walsh, Geraldine O’Dea and Larry McDonald, Michael O’Dea, Deirdre and Aidan McDonald Photo: Michael Scully

Catherine Fitzgerald, John Joe Fennelly, Seamus Miller, Jim and Noreen Corcoran, Matt and Anne McGrath Photo: Michael Scully
Martin McDonald  with his wife Catherine and Children Cian and Kate McDonald Photo: Michael Scully
Photo: Michael Scully
Photo: Michael Scully

Photo: Michael Scully
Photo: Michael Scully
Photo: Michael Scully
Photo: Michael Scully
Photo: Michael Scully

SEE ALSO – Sadness following the passing of a Laois man who made a huge impact on the GAA community abroad

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.