Tír Chonaill Athletics Club grew from three thriving juvenile clubs that existed in Donegal Town, Ballyshannon and Bundoran in the 1970’s and from the road running ‘boom’ of the time. The main focus for the club was to compete in senior, team and individual competitions, at county, provincial and national levels. With the drive and coaching expertise of Paddy Donoghue, Pat McManus and Eamon Harvey, success came quickly. In cross-country, teams led by Junior International David Wilson won Ulster Novice and Intermediate titles, the later at Finner is an unforgettable day in the clubs history.
The club entered the National, Track and Field League in the 1980’s with great enthusiasm and no small amount of success. During a five year period they gained top three finishes on numerous occasions and finally were outright Division 1 winners and gained promotion to the Premier Leagues. Kevin McBrearty, Vincent Breslin, Sean Lorenynko, Paul Ward, Paul Ritchie, David Wilson, John Giles, Martin O’Halloran and guest and double Olympian Danny McDaid led the team on this historic occasion. More recently in the 1990’s it was the clubs women that have been hitting the headlines. During an eight years period they entered, gained promotion from Division 1 and went onto win the Irish Premier Division League title in 2003 and subsequently represented Ireland in the European Inter Clubs in Belgium in 2004. This was a remarkable achievement for a rural club. The names of Mary McLoone, Geraldine Stewart, Michelle Harvey, Catherine Harvey, Sinead Peoples, Ethna McLoone, Marie Rooney, Ruth Little, Bridie Lynch, Jackie Harvey, Emma O’Doherty and Sharon Foley have a unique place in club and county athletics. Its interesting to note that a rising star of Irish Athletics guested for the club in the European Club Finals in Gent. Eileen O’Keefe today is ranked highly in World Hammer Throwing and will be one of Ireland’s stars in Beijing.