Kerry Motor Club is 50 today – the minutes of the club’s first-ever meeting are re-published here

On this day, Monday, January 31, 1972, Kerry Motor Club was officially founded.

Tonight at 7.30pm, at the Rose Hotel, in Tralee, club members past and present will meet to celebrate this significant milestone.

The minutes of the first meeting, 50 years ago today, are reproduced here.

For context, an unofficial club did exist for some time prior to January, and that club ran “flyer” autocross and treasure hunts (in reality these treasure hunts were a version of night navigation rallies).

During the late 1950s to the mid-1960s the Kingdom of Kerry Motor Club existed and ran many events in the area but that club folded around 1967 or 1968 approx.

Kerry residents who competed on official Royal Irish Automobile Club events were members of affiliated clubs outside the county – mainly Limerick Motor Club.

Prior to the official foundation, the club ran social events, and on January 25 it held a film night on the 1971 Circuit of Ireland in the Pavilion of Tralee Rugby Club (which was in the Oakpark area of the town at that time)

The minutes republished here, signify how the unofficial “flyer” club was ready to go legit – and to do that the club needed to be formalised and a committee elected.

Mrs. Kay Caball, Tralee Junior Chamber, presenting Mr, Dermot O’Sullivan, Killarney, with a trophy which he won in the 1972 Circuit of Munster Rally for the best performance by a “Kerry Motor Club member. The presentation was made at the Kerry Motor Club annual dinner dance in the Grand Hotel, Tralee, on Friday night last. Front row (left to right): Maurice Kelliher, Mrs. E. Horan Mrs. D. O’SulIivan, Mrs. P. O Suilleabhain and Tommy O’Brien. Standing: Tommy Leahy, Jimmy Moloney, Jimmy Nolan, Arthur Caball, Ray Kelliher, Padraig O Suilleabhain (Cork Motor Club), Ted Keane, Liam Nolan and Phelim Gleason.
Photo by R Healy The Kerryman/ Irish News Paper Archive

Meeting of the organisers of a new motor club in Kerry – Mon.Jan 31st. 1972

A meeting was held on the above date, at the home of Mr Arthur Caball, of those interested in forming a motor club in Kerry.

Present were: Arthur Caball, Rae Kelliher, Maurice Kelliher, Tommy Leahy, Ted Keane, Liam Nolan, Tommy O’Brien, Jimmy Nolan and Felim Gleeson.

Unavoidably absent were Jimmy Moloney and Johnny O’Brien.

At previous meetings, the idea of a motor club for Kerry was discussed and agreed to. The club, to be known as The Kerry Motor Club, was then officially formed. To date, it had run a Treasure Hunt/Navigation Trial, organised by Liam Nolan and Johnny O’Brien, on Sunday, January 30th, 1972.

The meeting began by discussing the necessity of a controlling committee, so the meeting thereupon resolved itself into an interim committee to manage the affairs of the club, until such time as a committee could be elected by an Annual General Meeting of the Club, and the committee decided to elect from within itself members to fill four offices, which it created; there being:

Chairman: Arthur Caball, proposed by Rae Kelliher and seconded by Tommy O’Brien

Secretary: Ted Keane, proposed by Maurice Kelliher, seconded by Arthur Caball

Treasurer: Rae Kelliher, proposed by Ted Keane, and seconded by Jimmy Nolan

P.R.O: On the direction of the committee, Ted Keane, also agreed to take this office

On there being no other proposals, the above were deemed elected.

With the business of elections completed, the committee moved to discuss the affiliation of the club to the Royal Irish Automobile Club, and learned from a report by Jimmy Moloney that the conditions of affiliation were as follows:

That the club must have a paid-up membership of 50, and that the affiliation fee was £25 plus a capitation fee of 10p per member; to include motorcycling in the club programme would not cost extra. The committee decided to affiliate the club to the RIAC as soon as possible and appointed Jimmy Moloney to look after the affiliation.

On the question of Club membership, it was decided that the membership year would be from Jan 1st to Dec 331st, with renewal of membership due before April 1st. However, members could join at any time.

The second leg of the Treasure Hunt/ Navigation Trial was discussed. Liam Nolan reported that he and Johnny O’Brien had the route etc ready, and it was decided to run it on Sun Feb. 20th

The meeting moved to discuss the probability of a hillclimb – as was run by the old Kingdom of Kerry Motor Club and, in particular, of a car trial at Farranfore Airport, which would be available to the club. No definite decision was made on either.

The possibility of “The Kerryman” publishing a feature on the club then came up for discussion.

Ted Keane said that if enough advertisements were obtained, such a feature could be obtained free of charge. He agreed to look into the whole question of the feature.

The committee, having decided to meet again, on Monday, Feb 14, then adjourned.

Signed: Liam Nolan, Secretary of the meeting.

Some of the drivers, navigators and service men who will be participating in the Circuit of Munster Car Rally this weekend. All are members of Kerry Motor Club. Left to right: Gerry Clifford Martin Regan, Denis Mannix, Junior Chamber Organising Committee; John Porter, Ted Keane, Richard Healy, Jimmy Nolan Lionel Dorrington, Brendan Farmer, Maurice Kelliher, Tom O’Brien and Bertie Dorrington. Photo by -David Healy The Kerryman/ Irish News Paper Archive

One thought on “Kerry Motor Club is 50 today – the minutes of the club’s first-ever meeting are re-published here

  1. In the first photo Padraig OSuillebhain is the brother of Dan , Coleman’s navigator , he competed in the Ferrous Anglia .


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s