Tributes to Killarney and District Motor Club founder Pat Allman

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Tributes have been paid to Pat Allman, one of the founding members of Killarney and District Motor Club who passed away on Thursday of this week.

Formerly of Rockfield, Firies Pat passed away peacefully at his Tiernaboul, Killarney home surrounded by his loving family and in the wonderful care of the Palliative Care Home Care Team.


Back in November 1977, a group of motorsport enthusiasts from Mid Kerry and the Killarney area met in O’Shea’s Bar, Milltown. Their aim was to set up a second motor club in Kerry to cater for needs of the southern parts of the county.


Present that night were: Ken O’Neill, Des O’Neill, Mike Buckley, Donie McCarthy, John Brosnan (RIP); Richard Fitzgerald, Fintan Foley, Mike Marshall, Timmie Flynn, Reideen Buckley, Noreen Marshall and of course Pat Allman. The majority of these names and their families remain at the forefront of Kerry motorsport.


When the group failed to make a decision on the formation of a new club, proceedings adjourned to Des O’Neill’s nearby garage and later into his kitchen.


In the early hours of November 11, 1977, a decision was made to form Killarney and District Motor Club.


The initial proposal by Ken O’Neill, to name the new club Killarney and District Motor Club, was seconded by Pat Allman, so it is fair to say he was the second-ever member of what is now one of the most-progressive motor clubs in the country.


Pat was a native of Rockfield, Firies, a significant location in the history of motorsport in Kerry.

Pat Allman at a Circuit of Munster Rally in the 1970s


The Rockfield stage was used in the 2019 Killarney Historic Rally, the last event to run in the county before the pandemic raised its ugly head.

The location featured often in old Circuit of Ireland Rallies but was referred to as Glen Ellen by the Ulster Automobile Club.


The stage was also used on the first-ever running of the Circuit of Kerry in 1975. Mike Marshall was the Clerk of the Course for that event.


Mike went on to become the long-serving Clerk of the Course for the Rally of the Lakes, taking it from a regional event in 1979 to the full International status the event now holds.


He led the tributes to his fellow founding member.


“There was a cohort from the mid-Kerry region that were involved in the club from the very start. Pat was central to that group,” said Mike. “He was a very quiet and gentle man, he was never one to speak out in meetings but he was all for driving the new club forward.”

Denis Scully Pat Allman John Scully Mike Murphy Jerry Nolan at a Circuit Munster Rally in the 1970s


Examples of this include, after he moved to the Tiernaboul area, he provided a field to the club for autocross events.


He was also the Clerk of the Course for one of the club’s early navigation rallies, an event that ventured as far south as Waterville and one that Mike Marshall describes as: “One of the longest and hardest navigation rallies the club ever ran.”


In the latter years of the Circuit of Ireland’s visits to Killarney (1983 being the last), the new club put up a trophy for the fastest crew over the Moll’s Gap stage.

Pat was assistant treasurer of the club at the time and was one of many who decided to purchase the new trophy.


“Some club treasurers would keep a tight reign on finances, but Pat had a great long-term vision and if he saw something as a way of promoting the new club, he was all in favour of that,” added Mike.


Pat is survived by his wife Norrie and daughter, Sharon (Canada), Catherine and son Seán; grandchildren Fionn, Isabelle and Amelia, sisters Kathleen and Nora, brothers Jimmy and John and the late Timmy, and his former work colleagues in St Finan’s Hospital.

Under Government and HSE guidelines and in the interest of public health, a private family funeral will take place for Pat in St Mary’s Cathedral. Pat’s Requiem Mass will be live-streamed on killarneyparish.com on Saturday at 10.30 am, burial afterwards in Aglish Cemetery.

Condolence messages can be placed here: https://rip.ie/cb.php?dn=447570

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