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The Motorsport Community was left shocked and stunned after the tragic death of Manus Kelly at the Donegal International Rally last weekend. Manus was widely regarded as a gentleman and an extremely popular and talented driver. He had won the event for the previous three years and was impressing again as he accustomed to R5 machinery in 2019. Unfortunately Manus sustained fatal injuries in an accident on Stage 15 of the event. His co-driver Donal Barrett was brought to hospital with minor injuries. The event was immediately cancelled as a mark of respect. The members of Monaghan Motor Club would like to extend their condolences to the Kelly family and friends at this time.

It was a sad end to what had been a classic event over the first two days. Sam Moffett & James Fulton were sensationally leading former WRC star Craig Breen in an identical Fiesta WRC. Josh Moffett/Keith Moriarty debuted an R5 Hyundai for the first time and held 2nd place in the R5 class. Niall Maguire/James O’Reilly also secured a top 10 finish in their Subaru. Paul Kelly guided David Condell to 9th overall in the National rally. Michael Carbin/Darragh Kelly also won their class.

The annual Monaghan Motor Club Autotest is scheduled to take place on Sunday next 30th June. This will be a counting round of the Traders Trophy club championship but will not be a round of the Hewison championship. Clerk of the Course Brendan Flynn has designed a set of tests with the clubman in mind. The venue is the Maguire Transport yard in Ballinode. Competitors must attend at 12.30 for paper scrutiny, with the action getting underway at 1.30pm. Regulations are available on the club website


Moffett’s Munster Magic

Posted: June 3, 2019 in Uncategorized

Moffett’s Munster Magic

Josh Moffett moved a step closer to the 2019 Triton National Rally Championship thanks to overall victory on Round 4, the Circuit of Munster Rally.

The Limerick based event consisted of nine stages in the East Limerick area. Moffett and co-driver Andy Hayes faced the challenge of the regular National contingent as well as Monaghan winners, Donagh Kelly & Conor Foley.
It proved to be another titanic battle between Kelly and Moffett. It was Kelly & Foley who set the initial pace but a stunning time from Moffett & Hayes on Stage 3 saw them slice 11 seconds off Kelly/Foley to take the lead. Declan & Brian Boyle weren’t far off the pace in 3rd. Boyle upped his pace to score a trio of fastest times and after 6 stages just 4 seconds separated the top three crews.

Moffett/Hayes still had their noses in front but Kelly/Foley and the Boyle’s were tied to the tenth of a second. Stage 7 ended the three way tussle as Kelly/Foley retired with a broken throttle. Moffett/Hayes dug deep to edge out Boyle on stages 7 & 8 and took a huge 15 seconds on the final stage to cement his 3rd win in 4 round of the series. Roy White/James O’Brien completed the podium.
Stephen Wright/Liam Moynihan were a late entry and the pair built their pace throughout the day to finish 6th overall and 1st in class 5. Mac Kierans guided Niall Devine to 10th overall and 1st in Group N. Des Moore & Arthur Kierans drove their unusual 1600T Escort Mk2 to 28th overall. Conor Mohan guided Donagh Kelly’s son, Eamon, to 31st overall and 1st in class 2. Kaine Treaor guided Christopher O’Callaghan to 38th overall and 2nd in class. Aisling McArdle guided Des Lyons to 42nd overall and 2nd in class.
The National Rally Championship looks to be heading back to the Moffett family but the championship is only the halfway mark and a lot can happen yet. The next round is the Waterford based Raven’s Rock Rally at the end of June.

Moffett Cracks Cavan

Posted: May 28, 2019 in Uncategorized


Sam Moffett & James Fulton claimed overall honours on last weekend’s Cavan Stages Rally. The Monaghan-Cavan duo led the event from start to finish in their Fiesta WRC taking the win by 44 seconds from Declan & Brian Boyle’s similar car. 3rd overall went to Desi Henry/Paddy Robinson who were debuting another Fiesta WRC,

Moffett/Fulton immediately set the pace on the opening stage despite having not been behind the wheel of the WRC spec Fiesta since 2017. Boyle did trim a few second back on stage three but by first service Moffett/Fulton held a 9.3 second lead. Another front runner Gary Jennings retired his Subaru WRC leaving Henry/Robinson in 3rd as they got used to their new machine. Forestry front runner Cathan McCourt/Barry McNulty switched surface and car for this event and they held 4th in a Subaru while another new car was being piloted by Joseph McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney who held 5th. Scotland’s David Bogie/John Rowan led the two wheel drive category.

After Boyle shaved another few seconds off Moffett on stage four, Moffett turned the tide on stage five by going a full 12 seconds faster and added another two seconds on stage six. His lead was further increased after Boyle picked up a 30 second road penalty. Henry, McCourt and McGonigle maintained places while local man Gary Kieran moved into the two wheel drive lead.

The final loop saw Moffett ease home to victory giving his navigator Fulton a win on his home event. The only change in the top five saw McGonigle pass McCourt for 4th on the final stage after the latter hit problems. Gary Kiernan was the two wheel drive category winner in 6th place while Aiden Wray won Group N.

Monaghan crews featured throughout the leaderboard. Johno Doogan/Ciaran Marron finished 9th overall and 2nd in class 14. They pipped Michael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips by just 0.3 of a second. Australian based Pauric Duffy & Kevin Glynn finished 12th overall in their Fiesta. Mac Kierans guided Michael Boyle to 14th overall and 2nd in Group N. David Moffett/Martin Connolly finished 16th overall and 3rd in class 13.

Martin McPhillips/Ciaran Tynan took 23rd overall and 4th in class. Conor Mohan guided Eamon Kelly to 34th overall and 2nd in class 2. Sean McCaul/Frank Clerkin were 43rd overall and 3rd in class 12. Cathal Sheridan & Peter Deery took 48th overall and 4th in class 10.

Retirements included Gary McPhillips/Adam Murray, Jack Maguire/Keith McConnan, Peter Farrell/Ryan Farrell, Martin Tynan/Declan Tynan and Nigel Brennan/Ryan Brennan.

Sherlock guides Butler to Tipp Triumph

Derek Butler & Oisin Sherlock took overall victory on last weekend’s Tipperary Endurance Trial. The pair emerged victorious by 17 seconds after 19 superb selectives in the Mid-Tipperary area. Elsewhere, Robert Graham & Ryan Treanor had a superb run to 4th overall and 1st in the Novice class. Mechanical problems dropped Karl O’Donoghue/Evin Hughes to 13th overall. Dylan Lennon/Sheldon Zuppa were 4th in class and 16th overall. Emmet Sherry/Alecia Fox came home 20th overall. Noel Sherry/Emmet McCooey took 3rd in their class. Mark Hertherington/John Hetherington took 2nd in class A1.  Cathal Croarkin/Marco Lennon came home 8th in class B.


It proved to be a demanding weekend for local crews competing on the Killarney Rally of the Lakes. The event was round 4 of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship. The Championship has been dominated by former WRC driver Craig Breen who duly made it four wins from four.

Both Moffett brothers suffered rare retirements which left Damien Connolly as the first Monaghan club member home. Damien guided Dublin’s Robert Barrable to 5th overall in their Skoda.

Arthur Kierans guided Billy Coleman award winner James Wilson to 10th overall. Wilson was competing in an R5 Hyundai for the first time as part of his award. The pair had an up and down weekend and despite a few problems and delays were happy to bring the car home in a top 10 position. Paul Kelly guided David Condell to 4th overall in the National Rally. Josh Moffett’s rally came to an end on stage 5. His brother Sam suffered last minute heartache with retirement on the final stage whilst holding 5th place. Eamon Kelly/Conor Mohan retired on stage 13 whilst holding 4th in class.

Tynans Claim Border Crown

The 2018-2019 Squealing Pig Border Navigation Championship prizegiving took place last Friday night. Due to the cancellation of the Midland events, only three rounds featured this season. Michael & Ciaran Tynan picked up the overall award. The pair took two events wins on the Drumlin and Monaghan March events with 3rd overall in Cavan. This is their 2nd Border success after their 2009-2010 Championship win.

2nd overall went to National Champions, Derek Mackarel & Muireann Hayes. 3rd overall went to the Semi-Expert team of Peter Deery & David McCrudden. Expert class honours went to Pakie Duffy & Evin Hughes, Semi-Expert class went to James McCabe/Shane Farrell and Novice class honours went to Shane Dalton/Seamus McTigue.

Donagh Kelly & Conor Foley have won the 2019 Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan Stages Rally. The Donegal/Monaghan pairing made it back to back wins in Monaghan and as in 2018, they came from behind to do so. After nine stages, the winning duo held off Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes by just 5.7 seconds to take their second Monaghan win. Moffett had been the early pacesetter but a stage six puncture would ultimately cost him the event despite a brave comeback on the final loop. National Championship perennials Roy White/James O’Brien secured 3rd place in their Fiesta a further 27 seconds behind.

Despite the overcast morning, huge crowds lined the route as the crews prepared for the opening stage at Hollywood. Tyre choice was critical as the stage conditions were constantly changing. Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes stopped the clocks with a fastest time, 3.8 seconds up on Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley. The latter were reacclimatising to their Ford Focus WRC which they last drove on the 2018 Donegal International. Roy White slotted into an early 3rd place while Sam Moffett/James Fulton were pushing their R5 Fiesta to the maximum to hold 4th while Declan & Brian Boyle were getting up to speed after a big off on last weekend’s Easter Stages.

Moffett/Hayes continued to set the pace, particularly on the technical third stage where they took 10 seconds off Kelly, even though he felt his tyres going off. Kelly/Foley were a solid 2nd with White/O’Brien 6 seconds further back. Boyle had leapfrogged Moffett for 4th with the top six completed by Darren Gass & Enda Sherry in their R5 Fiesta. Peadar Hurson/Damien Connolly were 7th despite an overshoot and a poor tyre choice while Joe McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney complained of a misfire.

Kevin Eves/Chris Melly from Donegal were setting the two wheel drive pace in their Toyota Corolla. Class 13 competitors David Moffett/Martin Connolly and Raymond Conlon/Damien Fleming were in close contention followed by another Donegal crew of JF Shovelin/Emmet Brosnan. In Group N, Shane Maguire/Anthony Nestor led after the first stage retirement of chief rivals Michael Boyle/Dermot McCafferty.

Moffett and Kelly exchanged seconds on stage four and five but the event would be turned on its head when Moffett punctured on stage six. Josh was disconsolate as he was at odds to explain how he got the puncture. He now trailed Kelly by 15 seconds with three stages to go. White was now just 0.2 seconds behind in 3rd place and was trouble free. Boyle, Moffett and Gass maintained positions. Hurson dropped out of the top 10 after a spin and the lack of a reverse gear cost several minutes. Eves and Maguire maintained their category leads.

On the final loop, Moffett put in a storming drive and reduced the deficit to 5.3 seconds going into the final stage. Kelly put the foot down on the final 16km test and bested Moffett by 0.4 of a second to secure the win by 5.7 seconds. White finished a trouble free third with Boyle, Sam Moffett and Gass rounding off the top six. McGonigle claimed 7th in his Mini with Eves a fine 8th continuing his National dominance of the two wheel drive category. The local team of Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan were the first all-Monaghan crew home in 9th place in their Lancer with Hurson/Connolly recovering to 10th place.

Shane Maguire/Anthony Nestor took another home win in Group N despite a day long misfire. Wexford’s Thomas O’Rourke was their nearest challenger. The junior category was won by Jack Brunton/Darragh Kelly with Aaron & Ben McIntyre from Cootehill winning the Junior Cup.

As always, the Monaghan Stages Rally attracted a capacity local entry who tasted various successes throughout the various classes. Craig McPhillips/Anthony McDonald made their stages debut and finished 3rd in class 1. Pakie Duffy/Evin Hughes tasted success in class 3 in their Civic. Patrick Fitzpatrick/James McEneaney finished 3rd in the competitive class 9. Mark Sheridan guided Brendan O’Reilly to 4th in the same class with Stefan McCann/Marco Lennon 8th in class 9.

Mickey Brennan/Paddy McCague took victory in class 10 from John & Niall Kelly. Padraig Connolly/Padraig Corrigan, Ryan Treanor/Robert Graham and Peter Farrell/Shane Farrell filled places 4th to 6th in class. Martin McPhillips/Ciaran Tynan took victory in class 11R after a fantastic battle with Mark Wedlock, who they edged out by just 0.8 seconds for the class win. Jack McKenna made his driving debut with the experienced Emmet Sherry navigating. They took 4th in class 11R. Seamus Connolly/Gary McCrudden finished back in 6th class after problems with Gary McKenna/Calum Maguire just behind.

Gregory McQuillan guided Justin Smyth to 3rd in class 12. Sean McCaul/Frank Clerkin were 10th in class with Kevin Treanor guiding Patrick Corey to 11th in class. David Moffett/Martin Connolly were victorious in class 13 and 2nd two wheel drive car home. Gary Cassidy/Paul Kelly finished 3rd in class on their home rally. Barry McKenna/Darren O’Brien were 9th in class 13.

Michael Conlon/Ciaran McPhillips finished 4th in class 14. Declan McKenna guided Bryan Jardine to 9th in class with Paddy O’Reilly/Rodney Hughes in 10th. Brendan McAree/James Hendry won class 19 in their Porsche.

Many crews fell foul of the changing conditions or mechanical woes. These included Stephen Wright/Stephen Thornton, Raymond Conlon/Damien Fleming, Johno Doogan/Ciaran Marron, Martin Swinburne/Gretchen Fegan, Jack Maguire/Keith McConnon, Vincent McAree/David McCrudden, Martin Tynan/Declan Tynan, Derek Mackarel/Conor Boylan and Patrick Connolly/Dylan Lennon,

At the Gala Prizegiving, COC Eoghan Corr thanked Frank McKenna and his team at the Four Seasons Hotel for hosting the event which was once again a tremendous success. The event was well received by competitors who praised the stages and organisation of the event. Eoghan extended thanks to Monaghan County Council, Monaghan Municipal District, An Garda Siochana and the Civil Defence personnel for their valuable assistance. A special word of thanks goes to the residents along the route for their welcome, co-operation and support. The rally also would not have run without the work of over 200 volunteers and marshals, to whom the organisers are most grateful.


1st Donagh Kelly/Conor Foley (Focus WRC) 1h.05m.002s

2nd Josh Moffett/Andy Hayes (Fiesta WRC) 1h.05m.05.9s

3rd Roy White/James O’Brien (Fiesta WRC) 1h.05m.33.0s

4th Declan Boyle/Brian Boyle (Fiesta WRC) 1h.05.44.8s

5th Sam Moffett/James Fulton (Fiesta R5) 1h.06m.12.4s

6th Darren Gass/Enda Sherry (Skoda Fabia R5) 1h.07m.19.0s

7th Joe McGonigle/Ciaran Geaney (Mini WRC) 1h.08m.39.6s

8th Kevin Eves/Chris Melly (Toyota Corolla) 1h.08.52.7s

9th Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan (Lancer) 1h.09m.36.6s

10th Peader Hurson/Damien Connolly (Fiesta WRC) 1h.09m.39.6s