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Martin Birrane “An Appreciation”

Image by Michael Chester @chesterpics


A letter from the President of Motorsport Ireland - Martin Birrane “An Appreciation”

Many of us were shocked and saddened by the recent and sudden death of Martin Birrane. Just at a time when Martin was preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Mondello Park with a gala two-day race meeting on August 18/19, the man who rescued the circuit in 1986 and nurtured it since, was taken away from us.

Now, the August two-day meeting at Mondello is planned to be a celebration of Martin’s life in motorsport, backed by his family and particularly his wife of 60 years, Susan.

I would like to share with you all a letter which I received from Michael O’Carroll, a name well known to many of you and a long-time supporter of motorsport in Ireland but in this case a long-time friend of the Birrane family. I appeal to each one of you regardless of what discipline you compete in to come to Mondello Park on the weekend of August 18/19 and join in this celebration of Martin Birrane’s life and contribution to our sport.

John Naylor 

President of Motorsport Ireland



Letter From Michael

Dear John,

Susan Birrane has asked me to help in some way to make August 18/19 a special occasion. All of us who has had an involvement in the sport over the years have a part to play in the celebrations, and it is why I have asked Motorsport Ireland to include this message in their bulletin to all licence holders. It is a special request to all licensed competitors, rallying, rallycross, racing and karts, to get involved in some small way – at least to attend either on the Saturday or Sunday.

In my view, Mondello Park has been highly important to the sport over the past fifty years. Let us consider alone the number of great and successful race drivers and bikemen it has produced. There was also the superb entertainment it provided and the involvement associated with Martin Birrane’s ownership and many investments. That should result in all of us associated with Irish motor sport wanting to celebrate the life of a special person – a driver, a supporter, a sponsor, a motivator and a lover of the sport.

Martin Birrane was a proud Mayoman. He was also a dedicated Irishman. Mondello Park was his challenge, into which he invested much of his energies. It is now very important for our sport that the Co. Kildare circuit continues as a viable operation, employing local people, giving opportunities for all branches of the sport to grow and prosper, and to be meaningful for competitors and spectators.

There are many side-shows planned for the weekend of August 18/19. Susan Birrane asks for people to turn-up and celebrate Martin’s life. The circuit management has plans for serious racing, including the Derek Bell Trophy cars, Irish HRCA, Pre 55, Future Classics and Classic Motorcycles. And it is intended that there will be demonstrations by several classes, and individual specials.

Whether you are a racing or rallying or rallycross follower, I ask you to consider making the journey to Mondello on Sunday August 19th. If you turn up with a competition car for the demonstration laps Mondello Park will give you free admittance. It is intended that all competition cars will be lined up on the main straight to show appreciation for Martin before being led around the international circuit for a number of demonstration laps, it would be great to have track-ready FF 1600 cars take part in this as historically they were the breeding ground for our most famous of drivers.

See you there.Michael O’Carroll.

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