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Oliver McKenna was typical of the small number of people who keep the show on the road in Irish cycling; helping wherever he could for the love of the sport

Irish cycling is mourning the loss of one of its long-standing stalwarts, Oliver McKenna, who worked as a commissaire and race organiser as well as volunteering on many fronts keep the sport going in Ireland.

Oliver was a lifelong member of Balbriggan Cycling Club and he played a role nationally in Irish cycling, he was very active in the north Co Dublin area, including organising the Harry Reynolds and Ben McKenna memorial road races.

He remained heavily involved in the Balbriggan club and also worked in a number of capacities, including as a volunteer, on Rás Tailteann down the years He sadly died on Wednesdat at.St Francis Hospice, Raheny, north Dublin.

Rás race director, Ger Campbell, said he and everyone on the organising group was very grateful for everything Oliver had done to help on the race.

“Everyone at the Rás Tailteann is saddened to hear of the loss of Oliver McKenna,” he said. “Oliver was a volunteer on several editions of the Rás and most recently could be seen setting up and preparing the radios for the event.”

Oliver lived at Fancourt Heights, Balbriggan and was formerly of Moorechurch, Julianstown, Co Meath. As well as being such a bigger figure on the Irish cycling scene, he worked in Aer Rianta. His death notice said he was predeceased by his parents Henry and Christina and brothers Ben and Patrick.

“Oliver will be sadly missed by his loving wife Mary Jo, sisters Nuala and Úna, brothers Henry and Martin, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, his many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, great-grandnephew, extended family, friends, kind neighbours and his cycling community at home and abroad.”

His remains were due to repose today – Friday, November 17th, at McNally’s Funeral Home, Balbriggan from 3pm to 5pm. His funeral mass will take place in Peter & Paul’s Church, Balbriggan on Saturday at 11am followed by burial in Moorechurch Cemetery, Julianstown, Co Meath.

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