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Newbridge College Canoe Club


Welcome to Newbridge College Canoe Club. In the earlier years when the College still had boarders, the club had a larger membership than recent years, and the emphasis was on racing. Currently, members are trained in the mastery of their craft, where the emphasis is placed on safety and canoeing technique. This results in the members having plenty of fun, while they learn in the company of qualified instructors.

Canoeing takes place on the Liffey in front of the College buidings every Saturday morning. Sometimes there is tuition in a swimming pool, the canal at Digby Bridge and also river trips on other stretches of the Liffey, the Boyne, the Barrow and the Avonmore river near Laragh, Co. Wicklow. Members are chosen for each activity depending on competence and ability.

A summer camp is organised by the College each August for incoming 1st Years, in order for them to get a feel for the range of sports activities on offer. Canoeing is one of these activities, and is run by trained instructors. Check out the link to the College Online Calendar for details.

Canoe Club Application Form

Contact :

Chairman   Jim Dillon                 

Email : elitegla@eircom.net

Maurice Kelliher        

Email : mauricerathangan@eircom.net


Founded in the late 1960’s under the directorship of Father Jordan O’Brien, O.P., the membership numbers had risen to 120 by 1972, by which time the club had 40 canoes. Ian “The Admiral” Doolan and John Lynch were founder members and regularly brought honours to the College by winning many competitive races.

In 1977, Jack P. Blake (ex Newbridge College) and Andy Duncan, representing Richmond Canoe Club, won the junior DW Doubles (crews of 2 who compete over 4 days), in a time of 17 hours & 16 minutes, beating 58 other crews.

DW = Devizes Westminster International Canoe Race is one of the ultimate tests of endurance. Travelling for 125 miles in kayak or canoe from Devizes to Westminster, It pushes competitors to their physical and mental limits. It was first run at Easter 1948, when four boys, all aged just 17, completed the challenge in a time of 89 hours and 50 minutes. The present record of 15 hours 34 minutes was set in 1979.

Brendan O'Connell (left the College in 1967) is an Irish sprint canoeist  who competed in the early to mid 1970s. He competed at Munich in 1972: K-2 1000 m, and again at Montreal in 1976 K-2 500 m, K-4 1000 m).

Joe McTernan first brought canoeing honours to the College when, partnered with Joe Kelly, he finished second in the 1971 School’s race. After leaving Newbridge, both Joe and Brendan were active members of the Kilcullen Canoe Club.

So you can see that some past members who have excelled in this great sport have received their foundation with our club. Go on and splash out !



Irish Canoe Union                           


Go with the flow river adventures  


The Liffey Descent                           


Ireland’s online canoe store            


Great Outdoors                                







Newbridge College Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Republic of Ireland Tel: +353 45 487200 Fax: +353 45 487234 Email: info@newbridge-college.ie