The West Cork Rally after St Patrick’s Day in Clon


How’re the heads?
It is ok to be a little under the weather the day after St Patrick’s Day and where better to celebrate Ireland’s national day than at the Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork Rally?
There is a reason why West Cork is special and it is not just the rally.
Hosts and organisers, the Cork Motor Club and the West Cork Fundraising Committee put on two shows over the weekend.
One is the rally, over some of the best roads in the country.
The other is the party, They like to start things early, in case people would run out of time, ya know!
First up is the legendary overseas drivers’ reception on Thursday night.
When the clerk of the course, Steve Davis, rang me about a month ago and asked: “Have you ever done a West Cork Thursday?” I was more than a little intrigued.
Oh, what a night.
It opened with a few formal speeches, led by West Cork’s leading Motorsport journalist Martin Walsh and backed up by clerk of the course Steve Davis, Cork Motor Club chairman Greg McCarthy, fundraising committee chairman Neil Whelton and Clonakilty Park Hotel boss David Henry.
With the formalities out of the way, the fun really started
Plenty of overseas drivers enjoyed the banter, the quips and the not-for-the-faint-hearted smart comment. Each gave as good as they got until the wee small hours… I think…
The McCarthy family were out in force too, stalwarts of the Cork Motor Club, they had two family occasions to celebrate. A daughter’s confirmation and a son’s 18th birthday. They could just as easily have celebrated the two milestones in Cork City but with half the family already encamped in Clon it was easier to bring the celebration there.
That is a West Cork Thursday for you… maybe not the full picture but it is hard to remember it all….
If a West Cork Thursday is one big party, then it is hard to describe a West Cork Friday.
Especially if it falls on St Patrick’s Day.
The well-attended start ramp on Connoly St was only an appetiser for what was to come.
The first pint in Shanley’s at just after 9 pm and you will never guess what happened next..
Why are you asking me?
The first car is about to leave Parc Ferme just about now. I am off to do a bit of investigative journalism to find out what really happened last night – this might take a while

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