Farewell, Jerry

It’s odd to see ‘was’ at the start of Jerry’s Wikipedia entry.

image © Sports Joe

For Irish runners of all shapes and sizes, Jerry Kiernan was a fixture and fitting of our world; the relatively small world, that is, of Irish running. But being a hugely successful runner, and a proud Kerryman to boot, Jerry was often called on for his opinion, and he gave it fearlessly on various TV panels throughout his career.

He had many highlights in that career, including his ninth place in the marathon in the ’84 Olympics, and his two wins in the Dublin Marathon in ’82 and ’92. He was also a fine cross-country runner, and held the national track record over 3,000 metres. He was also a sub-four minute miler.

In later years, he coached Ciara Mageean, a fine Irish medalist at 1,500.

He probably could have made more of his ample talents and grit if he had concentrated purely on running, but he taught at a boys school in Dublin for 40 years, and by all accounts, was loved by his students. I’d say, going by what his running friends have recollected in the last few days, he was a tough bastard on the track, and the best of craic in the pub afterwards.

That’s a fine compliment for anyone.

Jeremiah (“Fran”) Kiernan (31 May 1953 – 21 January 2021). Run in Peace.


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