Author’s 80th Birthday Cycle from Toomevara to Nenagh

Toomevara author Brendan Lynch will celebrate his 80th birthday on Saturday June 24, by cycling his teenage seven-mile route from Toomevara to his old secondary school in St John’s Lane, Nenagh.
 
‘I’ll be leaving from Toomevara bridge, beside my old home, at 10.30am, hopefully with some North Tipp Wheelers, Nenagh Cycling Club and Toomevara GAA cyclists. I’d hoped to round off the day with a book signing. Sadly, neither Nenagh bookshops nor Arts people showed any interest. But Dublin’s biggest shop, Hodge Figgis, will stage a window display and a reception later in the month.’ 
 
Author's 80th Birthday Cycle from Toomevara to Nenagh

Brendan Lynch (right) with Micky Slattery in a 1955 Clonmel race.

Son of Garda Sergeant Patrick Lynch, Brendan put his four years of 14-mile round trips to good use, when he became a racing cyclist. Riding for the Nenagh McDonagh club, he won his first three 1955 events, represented Tipperary and scored his biggest success in the 1956 Cooper Cup 100k race at Phoenix Park.

 
Brendan has published seven books, including an award-winning motor racing history and three on literary Dublin. He is finishing his eighth book, Princess of the Orient, A Romantic Odyssey, about his travels in Asia, where he met his wife, Margie. ‘Quite romantic but there are some shenanigans which may preclude an Irish Catholic serialisation!’
 
Brendan has happy memories of his school journey and his teachers, Rodney Bent and Bill Small from Thurles. ‘Heading off at eight fifteen, hail, rain or snow. Diving down Lisatoggart hill, past Shanbally Cross and the Well Tree, then Phil the Sailor’s cottage and hearing the clanging from Boland’s forge, as I caught my first glimpse of Nenagh castle’s round keep.
 
Author's 80th Birthday Cycle from Toomevara to Nenagh

Brendan and Margie Lynch, who met in Philippines

‘I often wondered about my classmates. If any of them are around St John’s Lane old school at 11.30 on Saturday morning, it would be nice to see them. My best mates were Malachy Cardiff, Micky Gilmartin, Seamus Cleary and John Tynan and many an hour I played handball in the school alley with Donal Nealon. I hope some of my old cycling frioends are still around, particularly Micky Slattery from Clonmel.’

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