Circuit of Ireland Rally

Navigation Rallies

Prior to our 75th anniversary celebration in 2010, Derek sat in Omagh Library going through microfiche newspapers from 1935 onwards. Most of the pre-2010 clips that I have circulated are a result of his work so it is fitting that this final one is a rally victory for him on the 1990 Scallon Cup Rally.

Syonfin Hillclimb

Event Winners

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Autocross winners.pdf

Bushwhacker Rally winners

Christmas Autotest winners

Fivemiletown Spring Rally winners

Fuel Economy Run winners.pdf

Gortin Hillclimb winners[

Haddens Quarry Sprint winners.pdf

Harry Johnston Memorial Rally winners.pdf

Novelty Driving Tests winners

Moffatts Quarry Sprint winners.pdf

Moffatts Quarry Sprint winners

Pre-Circuit Rally winners.pdf

Pre-Circuit Rally winners

Rally Time Trial winners

Rally Winners (Up to 1974)

Scallon Cup Rally winners

Scallon Cup Rally winners.pdf

Spamount Hillclimb winners

Summer Autotest winners

Syonfin Hillclimb winners.pdf

Syonfin Hillclimb winners

Targa Rally winners

Trials Winners (1949-1961)

75th Anniversary

Seamus McCanny’s Bushwhacker Rally memories appeared in the event’s 40th anniversary programme.

I was COC of the event at the time of the Baronscourt reference that Seamus makes.  The Baronscourt Inn had a new owner and I had managed to get a large sponsorship donation from him for taking the rally there for a lunch halt. We had dropped a lot of time in the morning on the Gortin Stages and Seamus was adamant that we needed to pull back all of this in the regroup. In view of the sponsorship I was reluctant to cut the lunch halt so drastically but eventually agreed. The leading crews didn’t fair too badly but those at the tale end of the field ending up putting ice cubes in their soup to cool it enough so that they could back out of the regroup on time

Grandfather Time

1966 Ken Wharton

1984 Pre-Circuit Winners & Results

Bushwhacker 2012

Fivemiletown 2015

The Dunomen Rally

Organised by Dungannon, Omagh and Enniskillen Motor Clubs in 1972

A victory for our hard working Safety Officer

1975 Bushwhacker

Photo of Hugo McDaid, Eamon O’Hagan and Hugh O’Brien. The mystery driver of the Starlight Rally Mini is none other than our President – Mr.McDaid

Navigation Rally Class Success story….

For many years Derek, Lewis and Gordon ran a Navigation Rally Class to encourage new entrants into the sport. Aaron Johnston was one of the attendees and has now progressed to the WRC2 Championship co-driving Petter Solberg’s son Oliver. Then and Now articles featuring Aaron

BushWhacker 1987

Auto Tests

Ken Irwin’s 2015 Ulster Herald Hall of Fame Award

Ken Irwin Autotest

The 1988 Ken Irwin Autotest which was won by Colin Earney. Colin and his partner Laura do timekeeper for us at our autotest events nowadays, while his sons Andrew and Richard are competitors. Also if you look closely you might recognise our club Chairman – Gary Milligan….he actually had hair and no glasses!!

A N.I. C. C Championship

Win for Lewis and Leslie, and the top MMP Awards for Brian and Denis.

2015 ANICC Awards – MMP Cadets of the Year Award – the Arundell duo

1984 Ulster Rally


A couple of photos from Hugo of a Breakfast Halt Parc Ferme in High Street, Omagh on the 1984 Ulster Rally.

You were up early to take these Hugo – PF in was at 05.39 and PF Out was at 07.00. From High Street the crews went to Gortrush for a 20 minute service.

These were the days before compulsory 6 hour rest breaks. The rally started at 18.00 on Friday evening and went through the night finishing at Belfast City Hall at 18.00 on Saturday.

There were 13 stages before the breakfast halt and another 14 stages after it with 20/30 minute services only.

The event made a big impression on Irish rally fans. We had never seen anything with the speed of Walter Rohrl’s 500hp Quattro and he scored the car’s first International win on the event.

Patterson’s Bulletins for the event. You will see that he was 43 seconds ahead after 2 stages! He won by over 4 minutes.

You can catch ITV ‘s World of Sport Saturday lunchtime rally report (10 mins) on the link below.

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Gortin Glens Time Trial 2009

Quarry Sprint

The club’s first Quarry Sprint (1978), Moffatt’s Quarry 2007 & Results

Circuit Of Ireland in 1970’s

The second photograph features Brian Wilson who apparently owned a garage in Newtownstewart. Peter Johnston who was Club Secretary in the early 60’s, Mike Hart, Harry Johnston and Ronnie McCartney. The car on the right is a Renault 8 Gordini.

Spring Rally 2010 & 2011

C.A.M Rally

The C.A.M rally was another Bushwhacker forerunner and ran in 1971, 1973 and 1974.

Winners were as follows;

1971 Hugh O’Brien / Hugo McDaid Ford Escort TC
1973 Ronnie McCartney / Peter Scott  Porsche Carrera
1974 Paul Martin / Derek Smyth Ford Escort TC

No Editorial’s for 1973 and 1974

Post Wartime

With V.E day a few post wartime events – OMC’s first post war trial in June 1949 and the 1949 Circuit of Ireland Rally.

The 2009 Bushwhacker

First Year of the McKelvey Sponsorship

The Master

The Master Driver article appeared in the 2011 Bushwhacker programme

Omagh Council Reception

Omagh Council’s Reception for the Club winning the MSA Club of the Year Award in 2012 and the club win most of the major awards at the 2012 ANICC Prizegiving Dinner

1978 OMC Dinner Dance

Ulster Herald’s Sport Personality Award

Lewis is named the Ulster Herald’s Sports Personality of the Month

2015 Bushwhacker Rally

Moffatts Quarry

Moffatts 1987 was Gary Milligan’s first event as a COC and as Niall McConnigle  kindly pointed out recently –  he wasn’t even born then.

McAleers Landrover was the COC’s course car transport for many years on the event.

Communication between the start-line and the finish-line at the top of the quarry was by World War Two type field telephones and cloth insulated steel cable which we ran out on the night before the event. On one occasion during the “Troubles” I had the cable reels in the boot of my car and had to go to Belleek with “day-job” work. As I sat in the queue for the army checkpoint at Boa Island I had an “OFM” moment when I remembered that the cables were in the boot. I reckoned I would soon be on my way to Castlereagh Interrogation Centre to explain why I was carrying what looked like bomb command wires in my car, and the event next day wouldn’t happen. Thankfully I wasn’t searched!

You will see the phones on the attached photos. I retrieved them on a lockdown tidy of my garage roofspace a few weeks ago – I reckon they have been up there for around 20 years. You will see Moffatts dust is still on the phone cable!

Patsy Baxter used to be the starter …. Aidan – I think we presented a phone to your Dad at one of our Dinner Dances. No doubt it has pride of place in the Living Room China Cabinet?

Patsy McAnespey’s camper van was parked at the startline. If I remember correctly it wasn’t road legal in later years and had to be towed to the quarry. Hugo was Head Chef and occasional commentator. At lunchtime the senior officials sat down to Prawn Cocktail and Black Tower wine in the middle of a dusty quarry, while Hugo’s commentary got a bit more colourful post lunch!

In it’s early the years the event was sponsored by John Player.

The timing gear certificate was always dodgy – the liquid touch up was about a tenth of an inch thick over the re-typed expiry date and one year we didn’t have our certified timekeeper – Alistair McKane. The late John Watt was the RAC (as it was in those days) Steward and the startline personnel would tell him that Alistair was at the finish van at the top of the quarry. John would make the long climb to the top only to be told that Alistair had just left for the startline and so it went on all day until John gave up!

There are many unprintable Moffatts stories – they were good times.

I’ve got the phones to use on this year’s event Hugo – can you still get Black Tower wine?

5 Attachments

Spring Rally 2005

Robbie McGurk wins the 2005 Spring Rally with Kris Meeke co-driving

Pre-circuit Rallies 1996, 1992 and 2003

There are 10 year’s worth of N.I Navigation Rally Champions in the 2003 photo;

From left to right – Alan Dorman (2003-2006), Barry Taggart (2002), Lewis Boyd (2013), Willie McKee, Paddy McCollum (2007-2009), Leslie Young, Eddie Murphy, Lloyd Cochrane, John Henderson (2011) and Philip Dorman.

2014 Wins…

In November 2014 wins for Gareth Sayers and Alistair Fisher/Gordon Noble

Spamount Hill Climb

A second consecutive win for Seamus Morris at Spamount in 2015

2014 Bushwhacker Rally

A popular local win for Martin Cairns on the Whacker

Boneshaker – Spring Rally – ANICC & COI

The 2009 Boneshaker report

The 2010 Spring Rally Launch,

The January 2010 ANICC Prizegiving , and Gordon Noble appointed COC for the 2010 Circuit of Ireland

McAleer Family

Pat McAleer life time achievement Award

Gortin Hill Climb Winners

Hadden Quarry Winners

Fuel Economy Run Winners

History has been made by Ryan McCanney on winning both the Omagh Traders Trophy and the Johnnie McAleer Trophy in the same year!



Omagh Rally Legend Robbie McGurk

Aaron Johnston returns to WRC2

Rally Portugal

Keyna Bound

Kenya Bites back

Local Fermanagh Driver Jon Armstrong in his NEW Fiesta RC2




Standings @ Hungary

Omagh Motor Club Raises Money for the Air Ambulance @ 2021 Fivemiletown Rally

Sayers Engineering Spamount Hill Climb




2022 Summer Autotest Report.

Omagh Motor Club put together another successful event when they hosted the seventh round of the
McMillan Specialist Cars Northern Ireland Autotest Championship. With mixed weather conditions, the
event had a format of 12 demanding tests at the Agricultural Mart Centre with a good entry of thirty one
competitors. After the first series of tests, the top of the leader board was closely contested by David
Thompson from Manorhamilton, Mark King from Newmills and English visitor Paul Swift separated by
nine seconds.
Although conditions were ever changing throughout the day, current championship leader Steven Ferguson
from Stewartstown recovered from a slow start and reeled in the leaders with fastest times on six of the
remaining eight tests to win the event by a margin of over ten seconds and enhance his lead on the
Championship standings.
The event also marked the 40th Anniversary of sponsorship by Castlederg autotest legend Ken Irwin and as
a mark of appreciation, the Club organised a barbeque at the end of proceedings which was well supported
by invited competitors and friends who competed during Ken’s autotest era and presentations were made to
mark the special occasion.
Clerk of the Course Dessie McAleer thanked the competitors for their participation and the marshalls and
timekeepers who assisted in ensuring the event ran smoothly. Special thanks were also given to Dessie
McAleer and Godfrey Crawford for organizing the tribute event.
Overall Results:
1. Steven Ferguson, Mini Special, 822.7 secs ; 2. David Thompson, Vauxhall Nova, 833.3 secs ;
3. Mark King, Vauxhall Nova, 842.8 secs. ; 4. Paul Swift, Mini Special, 846.5 secs.
5. James Wilson, Mini Special, 850.0 secs. ; 6. Chris Grimes, Mini Special, 877.4 secs
Clubmans Class:
1. Ben McKee, Nissan Micra, 357.3 secs. ; 2. Adam McMullan, Toyota Special, 362.6 secs.
Advanced Results:
1. Noel Cochrane, Ford Special, 356.7 secs. ; 2. Robert Robinson, Mazda MX5, 361.7 secs.
Production Results
1. Adam Ferguson, 404.4 secs. ; Ryan McAleer , 525.7 secs.
Ken Irwin Invitational Awards
1. Ashley Lamont, 233.2 secs. ; Gordon Glendinning, 236.0 secs. ; Harold Hassard, 239.4 secs.

Aaron Johnston WRC Experience with Toyota