Each year at the prize giving ceremony of the Rally of the Lakes a number of famous and eagerly contested awards are presented.
Some of these have existed from when the rally was first run in 1979 while others have been added over the years.
Briefly the principal special awards are as follows:
The Toastal Cup
Presented each year to the Overall Winner of the International Section of the Rally, the Toastal Cup is one of the oldest in Irish Rallying having been first presented to the Kingdom Car Club by the traders of Killarney in 1954, a year which was known as the year of the Toastal, a celebration of Irish homecoming somewhat similar to The Gathering.
When the Kingdom Car Club was wound up in the early Sixties the Cup disappeared before being found many years later by Jimmy Moloney of Kerry Motor Club and presented to the newly formed Killarney & District Motor Club as the perpetual trophy for the their initial Rally of the Lakes.
The generosity of the gesture from Kerry Motor Club went a long way to healing relations between the two clubs, which had been strained by the break away of members from the southern half of the county who went on to form Killarney & District Motor Club.
The Maurice O’Donoghue Memorial Cup
Presented to the Group N Winner each year this distinctively shaped trophy honours the memory of the late Maurice O’Donoghue of the Gleneagle Hotel Group which has supported the Killarney Club in all its events since the foundation of the Club.
When Maurice died suddenly while playing golf the Motor Club decided that it should perpetuate the memory of its greatest financial and moral supporter and, as Maurice was always a person who liked to see a level playing field in all things, it was decided that Group N represented the most evenly balanced aspect of Rallying at the time and so the award was allocated to the Group N Category.
The Jimmy Coakley Cup
Named in honour of Jimmy Coakley, an unassuming but brilliant mechanic and co-driver from Snave near Bantry, Jimmy was Denis Cronin’s mentor, chief mechanic and co-driver in the early years of the Ballylickey driver’s rallying career.
Following Jimmys tragic early death his friends around Glengarriffe and Bantry presented the Jimmy Coakley Memorial Cup which is now presented to the winner of the National Section of the Rally of the Lakes.
The Bertie Fisher Memorial Cup
Irish Rallying has two major trophies dedicated to the memory of the late Bertie Fisher, six times winner of the Rally of the Lakes, multiple Tarmac Champion and for may years the undisputed King of Molls Gap, whose fastest time of 9.59 was the first and only sub ten minute time for the long version of the Gap which is now no longer used.
Each year at the culmination of the Tarmac Championship the winners are presented with the Fisher Memorial Trophy, a unique three handled cup which commemorates Bertie, Emma and Mark Fisher who died together in a horrific helicopter crash.
The other Fisher Cup is presented to the driver who sets fastest time on the Molls Gap stage of the Rally of the Lakes each year.
It is an unusual award in that it can actually be won without finishing the rally as the fastest time from either day counts and the times are not cumulative.
The names of the winners over the years read like a who’s who of Irish rallying and apart from overall victory it is the award most sought after and most keenly contested by all the top crews.
The Tim O’Sullivan Cup
A native of Cullen near Millstreet in Co Cork, Tim was a popular and talented co-driver who lost his life near Ferbane in Co Offaly when he stopped on the road to allow a slow moving vehicle cross the road and was struck from the rear by an articulated truck.
That a person who had travelled so quickly in rally cars should lose his life while stopped sent shock waves through the rallying fraternity and his huge circle of friends.
The Cup which honours his memory goes to the highest place co-driver in the overall finishers who is a member of Killarney and District Motor Club of which Tim was a proud member.
The Tom Nyhan Cup
Tom Nyhan was a native of West Cork and although he was never a member of Killarney and District Motor Club he was a great fan of the Rally of the Lakes and never missed the event.
Like Tim O’Sullivan he too was the victim of a road traffic accident and when his family and friends wanted to have him remember in the sport which he loved they chose the Rally of the Lakes as the event where this would happen.
The award goes to the highest placed crew from West Cork and is open to all sections of the rally.
The Sean Conlon Cup
The Sean Conlon Cup remembers Sean Conlon from, Latton Co Monaghan who lost his life when the car in which he was the co-driver went into the Middle Lake on the final stage of the day, down Molls Gap in December 1987.
The driver, who could not swim, stood on the submerged car and was rescued but Sean, disorientated in the dark, swam out the lake and was drowned.
The Sean Conlon Cup goes to the highest placed crew in a 2 litre modified car of the same specifications as the car which Sean and his driver William O’Brien were competing.
Number 55 has never been used on a Killarney event since that tragic accident.
The John Mullane Cup
Apart from overall victory the award most coveted among local crews is the John Mullane Cup which is awarded to the highest placed crew both of whom are residents of County Kerry, irrespective of what Motor Club they are affiliated to.
There is a widely held belief that John Mullane was a founder member of Killarney and District Motor Club but while this is incorrect he was one of the very early members and was highly regarded for the work which he put into the early days of KDMC.
He was drowned in Looscaunagh Lake, near the abandoned pub on Molls Gap, when he went to the aid of a friend who had get into difficulties while swimming.
The friend succeeded in getting ashore but John died in his rescue effort.
Over the years the competition for this award has been intense and one can be sure that this year will be no different
|John Mullane Cup winners History|
|1981||Donie Horan/Tom Carey||Tralee||Fiesta 1.6 BDA|
|1982||Jimmy White/Mike O’Leary||Killarney||Ford Escort|
|1983||Billy Daly/Mike O’Leary||Killarney||Golf Gti|
|1984||Pat Murphy/JpBrick||Killarney||Chevette HSR|
|1985||Charlie Hickey/Ger Murphy||Headford||Ford Escort Mk2|
|1986||Charlie Hickey/Ger Murphy||Headford||Ford Escort Mk2|
|1987||Tadgh Dineen/Maurice Nagle||Rathmore||Avenger 1.6|
|1988||Charlie Hickey/Ger Murphy||Headford||Ford Escort Mk2|
|1989||Mike O’Leary/Jimmy Devane||Killarney||Ford Escort Mk2|
|1990||Mike O’Leary/Jimmy Devane||Killarney||Ford Sierra|
|1991||Noel O’Sullivan/Bob Kelly||Killarney||Ford Escort 1.3|
|1992||Vincent O’Shea/Brian Hickey||Kenmare||Chevette HSR|
|1993||Vincent O’Shea/Brian Hickey||Kenmare||Chevette HSR|
|1994||Johnny O’Sullivan/Jakes Kelly||Killarney||Mazda 323 4×4|
|1995||Charlie Hickey/Con Duggan||Killarney||Ford Escort Mk2|
|1996||Johnny O’Sullivan/Jakes Kelly||Killarney||Ford Sierra 4×4|
|1997||Johnny O’Sullivan/Jakes Kelly||Killarney||Ford Sierra 4×4|
|1998||Johnny O’Sullivan/Jakes Kelly||Killarney||Escort Cosworth|
|1999||DonieO’Sullivan/TimmyO’Sullivan||Killarney||Ford Escort Mk2|
|2001||No Rally – Foot&Mouth|
|2002||Donie O’Sullivan/Paul Nagle||Killarney||Subaru Impreza|
|2003||Donie O’Sullivan/Paul Nagle||Killarney||Subaru Impreza|
|2004||Kevin O’Donoghue/Joe O’Leary||Killarney||Mitsubishi Evo|
|2005||Alan Ring/Paul Nagle||Castleisland||Subaru Impreza|
|2006||Alan Ring/Brian Duggan||Castleisland||Subaru Impreza|
|2007||Kevin O’Donoghue/Joe O’Leary||Killarney||Mitsubishi Evo|
|2008||Dave Slattery/Ger Sommers||Killarney||Ford Escort Mk2|
|2009||David Randles/John Young||Killarney||Nissan Almera F2|
|2010||Tomas Fitzmaurice/Fionn Foley||Tralee||Mitsubishi Evo|
|2011||John Riordan/Donal Falvey||Killarney||Ford Escort Mk2|
|2012||Fergus O’Meara/Diarmuid Lynch||Killarney||Ford Escort Mk2|
|2013||Fergus O’Meara/Brian Doherty||Killarney||Ford Escort Mk2|
|2014||Rob Duggan/Noel O’Sullivan||Killarney||Honda Civic|
The Gerard Horgan Memorial Trophy
When Gerard Horgan lost his battle against leukaemia in November 2004 the Rally of the Lakes lost a person who had contributed more than any other to the growth and success of the Rally of the Lakes.
From his early involvement as Road Closed car, through timekeeping, marshalling and virtually every other duty on the rally, he occupied the role of Deputy Clerk of the Course for several of the latter years of his involvement, right up to a few short months before his untimely death.
The trophy which bears his name is a unique creation in hardwood and sterling silver depicting the road and rocks at the iconic Molls Gap.
Crafted by KDMC member Fintan Foley, who is a silversmith, it has been awarded to the winner of the Junior Section of the Rally of the Lakes every year since Noreen Marshall, Clerk of the Course of the 25th Rally of the Lakes, first introduced the concept of Junior Rallying to the Irish Rally scene.
The John Sweeney Memorial Cup
On the first stage of the Rally of the Lakes 2012 a message came through to the Control Room that a spectator had collapsed near the end of the Moll Gap stage and was not responding to efforts to revive him.
A doctor was quickly lifted from mid point on the stage and dropped by helicopter near the casualty but alas it was too late and local man John Sweeney, a Mechanic with a lifelong interest in rallying, was pronounced dead at the scene.
His many friends in the Kenmare and Kilgarvan areas have presented the John Sweeney Memorial Cup in his memory and stipulated that this should be a annual award for the highest placed crew being a native of the Kenmare /Kilgarvan areas as John had always had a particular interest in the fortunes of his local rally competitors.
Like all local derbies the contest for this award will be keenly fought and the victory celebrations could be long and liquid.
The Jason Barry Memorial Cup
This is a relatively new award for the Rally of the Lakes and in named in memory of the late Jason Barry who was a member of Killarney and District Motor Club for a number of years up to his sudden and unexpected death at an early age.
For a number of years controversy had raged as to whether the Sean Conlon Cup should go to the highest place 2 litre single cam car or whether it should include 2 litre multi valve cars.
The matter was finally settled with the arrival of the Jason Barry Cup which now goes to the best finishers in a 2 litre multi-valve car with the Sean Conlon reverting to the 2 litre single cam cars which was the type of car in which the late Sean Conlon competed.
The Silver Wheel
Each year the prize giving ceremony at the Rally of the Lakes features the presentation of a unique and much prized award, The Silver Wheel.
Awarded annually since 1980, the Silver Wheel Award goes to the person who, in the opinion of the nominators, has made a significant contribution to the development of the Rally of the Lakes, to the promotion of Rallying in Ireland or to Irish Motorsport generally. Nominations may be submitted by anybody, but the ultimate winner is always decided by the Clerk of the Course, and the name remains a closely guarded secret until the announcement is made at the prize giving on Sunday night.
The award consists of a hall marked sterling silver steering wheel mounted on a hardwood base, generally of Arbutus wood, a tree found only in the Killarney area.
The Silver Wheel was originally designed by club member Fintan Foley, who has produced the individual awards each year since 1980.
A decorative citation scroll is presented to the winner each year.
The winners to date are:
1980 Pat Hourigan
1981 Wilfie Fitzsimons
1982 Michael O’Carroll
1983 Brian & Liz Patterson
1984 David Stinson
1985 Basil Carr
1986 Maurice O’Donoghue
1987 Johnny McDonnell
1988 Mike & Noreen Marshall
1989 Reg McMahon
1990 Richard Warbrick
1991 Alex Hobbs
1992 Joe Foley
1993 Malachy McVeigh
1994 David Williams
1995 Pat Healy
1996 John Howes
1997 Peter Rushforth
1998 Dougie Hughes
1999 George Clancy
2000 Alan Verso
2001 Johnny Doyle
2002 Declan Mullally
2003 Donald Grieve
2004 Gerard Horgan
2005 Jim Walsh
2006 Supt. Michael Maher & Killarney Gardaí
2007 Matthew and Penny Shortt
2008 Martin Walsh
2009 Gary & Maureen McCormick
2010 Angus Sealey
2011 Cathy Healy
2012 Donnacha Hayes
2013 Don Wilmont
2014 Dan McSweeney