"Beyond the Line"
In August 1971, at a meeting at Jackson’s Hotel in Ballybofey, Finn Valley AC was founded. Finn Valley AC has become one of the most successful clubs in the country, winning 432 national gold medals.
The impact was instant - and has been interminable since then, driven by founding member Patsy McGonagle, who managed Ireland a record 71 times, including at four Olympic Games.
Finn Valley AC never stood still. In the 1970s, the club had athletes competing in Germany and through the 1980s Finn Valley AC were regular entrants in the British League, reaching the final in 1988. In 1995 and 1996, during a spell of dominance in the Irish Cross Country Championships, Finn Valley AC’s senior women finished sixth in the European Champion Clubs Cup while competing with the continent’s elite. Katy Candless (1996), Tori Pena (2012 and 2016), Brendan Boyce (2021), Mark English (2021) and Eilish Flanagan (2021) have all competed at the Olympic Games while High jump star Sommer Lecky won a World Under-20 silver medal in 2018.
"Beyond the Line" charters 50 years of the Finn Valley Athletic Club, viewed through the lens of the athletes, coaches, volunteers and International sporting heroes connected to the club that began from humble beginnings in 1971. Personal stories, insights and records of achievement bring the reader on a journey of vision, determination and resilience that will be enjoyed by athletes across all disciplines and anyone who ever had a vision that kept them awake at night.
About the Author
Chris McNulty is a native of St Johnston in
County Donegal. A Multimedia Journalist
with Iconic Media, Chris was a nominee for
NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010
The author of ‘Relentless: A Race
Through Time’, the 2019 memoir of Patsy
McGonagle and ‘Boxing In Donegal: A
History’ (2021), this is his third book.