Michael Cornyn's Winding Journey to Donore Harriers

February 26, 2024

Michael Cornyn shared the fascinating story behind his decision to join Donore Harriers, a choice that seemed destined from his early athletic endeavours. Cornyn's journey weaves through various experiences, including representing Leitrim/Connacht in All Ireland Intercounties Track & Field meets and his encounters with different clubs before finding his way back to Donore.

At the age of 18, Cornyn earned the opportunity to represent Leitrim/Connaught in an All Ireland Intercounties Track & Field meet at Morton Stadium in Dublin. The twist in this tale is the unexpected turn of events leading to his participation. Having spent the previous day working on the farm Cornyn received a last-minute notification about the event from PJ Leddy. Despite having also qualified for the u17 All Ireland 800m in Cork, he was limited to attending just one event.

Cornyn embarked on a journey to Dublin for the meet. A morning lift to Carrick on Shannon followed by a train to Dublin Connolly station set the stage for a significant experience. Standing clueless at a bus stop near North Earl Street, an encounter with a helpful elderly lady marked his first experience in the bustling city. Guided to the correct bus stop on O'Connell Street, Cornyn made his way to Santry, a journey that would leave a lasting impression on his memory.

The day at Morton Stadium proved to be a turning point for Cornyn as he secured notable achievements. Finishing 2nd in the Junior 1500m and 3rd in the 800m, he also played a crucial role in Galway's victory in the 4x400m relay, filling in for a missing runner. These accomplishments not only showcased his athletic prowess but also caught the attention of a mysterious recruiter from Donore Harriers.

Weeks later, after attending mass in his local church, Cornyn received an unexpected message from a prison officer who claimed to have a message from Donore Harriers. The prestigious club in Dublin expressed interest in having Cornyn as a member. Although still in school at the time and unable to make the move, the proposition left him walking on air, proudly sharing the news with his local community. The identity of the recruiter and the connection to his Santry performance remain a mystery to this day.

Cornyn's athletic journey led him to different clubs, including a stint with Ajax AC in Rathfarnham. However, the allure of Donore Harriers lingered in the background, persistently tugging at the recesses of his mind. When Ajax AC eventually folded, Cornyn found his way to Chapelizod and the Donore Clubhouse, marking the long-awaited arrival.

From his early experiences in Dublin as a teenager to the unexpected encounters and triumphs at Morton Stadium, every step of Cornyn's journey contributed to the story that ultimately led him back to Donore – a club that held a special place in his heart from the very beginning.