Athletic Gallaghers



The Gallagher family of Creevagh, Carrigart, Co Donegal

The Gallagher family of Creevagh, Carrigart are probably the most renowned sporting family in Donegal and indeed of all Ireland.

Their parents Hugh and Rosemary are indeed proud of their achievements.

There were twelve siblings in the family, seven sons and five daughters. All of the family and including their father Hugh participated in sport. Sadly the eldest of the family Michael died of a brain tumour at the age of seventeen. He had shown great potential before the illness struck. Michael had won the Donegal and Ulster Championship in athletics before he died.

The remaining eleven of the family (Patrick, Daniel, Rosemarie, Jimmy, Kathleen, Martin, Kevin, Bernadette, Angela, Caroline and Paul) went on to win well over 100 All Ireland medals, 200 Ulster medals and many Donegal championship medals at athletics, weight throwing, judo and boxing. At the last count several years ago over 4,000 trophies and medals were won.

They also hold the Community Games national record as the most successful family ever to take part .In one particular year five of the family namely (Kevin, Bernadette, Angela, Caroline and Paul) competed at the Community Games National Finals and each one of them came home to Donegal with either medals and/or certificates in athletics and judo.

Kathleen, Martin, Kevin, Bernadette, Angela, Caroline and Paul won medals at the community games finals for their county.

Kathleen was also the first athlete in Donegal to bring home an Ireland Judo medal at the community games finals.

Kathleen and Bernadette have won three Donegal Sport Star Awards in judo.

The family won the best athletic family in Donegal at the millennium Donegal Sports Star Awards.




Hugh was born in Creevagh, Carrigart in 1924. He is married to Rosemary formally McGee from Creeslough. He is the father of twelve children, seven sons and five daughters.

Hugh competed in sport from a young age. Partaking in athletics and cycling throughout the county and Ulster. He had to give up the sport that he loved due to an accident.

In 1987, Hugh started taking part in the veterans athletics now called the Masters athletic championships. He won the Donegal 16lb shot putt at Lifford and was hooked on sport again.

Some of Hugh’s achievements down through the years are as follows:

Hugh has competed for Ireland in six world Masters athletic championships in the following countries:
Gateshead in England, Durban in South Africa, Brisbane in Australia, San Sebastian in Spain, San Wand Puerto Rico and Dunboyne, Ireland.

Hugh also competed for Ireland in the European masters athletic championships in the following countries:
Jyvaskalic in Finland, Malmo in Sweden, Potsdam in Germany, Randers in Denmark, Posman in Poland and Dunboyne in Ireland.

Hugh has since gone on to win 117 All Ireland medals, 101 Gold and 16 Silver.
3 World gold.
23 British gold and 1 silver.
9 European gold and 3 silver.
3 Leinster championships gold.

Hugh holds world records at different age groups and events. From 4kg to 56lb in weights, long jump, 5000m track walk and the 60m sprint. He broke the British all comers record in the hammer throw. Hugh also competed for Ireland in an International 3000m walk in the Phoenix Park where he was the only winner for Ireland.

In 2006 alone, Hugh has competed in the Scottish Indoor championships in the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow in February. He won the 60m sprint and the shot putt over 80.

He also competed in the British Indoor Championship in the International indoor arena in Cardiff, Wales in February. He won gold medals in the long jump and shot putt over 80.

He competed in the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham in July. He won five gold medals in the shot putt, discus, javelin, hammer and heavy weight throw. He set a new British all comers record in the hammer.

He competed in the all Ireland Masters Track and Field championships in Tullamore in August. He won three gold medals in the Javelin, Long jump and the discus.

And to wind up the competitive year, Hugh competed in the Irish Masters throwing championships and the European Masters throwing championships in Dunboyne, county Meath in September. He won a total of eleven medals in the over 80 category.

He won nine Irish titles namely the Weight pentathlon, 56lb shot putt, 56lb one handed hammer, 56lb turn, the Goulding hammer, The Grenade throw, the Heavy hammer, Greek discus and the brick.

He won gold in the 56lb triathlon and silver in the 56lb sling in the European championships.

Hugh got the highest honour you can get when he was selected as the Donegal Person of the year in 1996.




Rosemarie was born in Creevagh, Carrigart. She is the daughter of Hugh and Rosemary Gallagher. She is also a member of the famous sporting Donegal family of Gallaghers.

Rosemarie was introduced into sport by her father Hugh at an early age. She took part in all types of running, from sprints to cross country running. After an accident in her teens, Rosemarie had to give up athletics. She always loved sport and later took up the field events just for fun. When she showed potential, She took it up seriously, namely the shot putt, discus and javelin.

She was the first athlete from the Milford Vocational School to win an all-Ireland medal for the school at the Irish schools athletics championships in Dublin where she came third in the discus.

She has won numerous Donegal, Inter provincial, Ulster and National championship medals down through the years. She has also won several European and world medals at the Irish masters throwers championships.

In 2002 – in Castleisland in county Kerry, Rosemarie won five gold medals. Three were Irish national titles and two were European Gold medals. She also broke several Irish records at these championships.

In 2003 – in Dunboyne in county Meath, Rosemarie won ten medals. She came second in five events in the Irish Championships She also won silver in five events in the World championships.

In 2004 – in Dunboyne in county Meath, Rosemarie won 6 Irish gold medals and three European gold medals at the Irish national throwing championships and European throwing championships.

In 2005 – She was injured and did not compete.

In 2006 - She competed in the Irish Masters National and European throwing Championships in Dunboyne in county Meath.

She won seven gold medals in total. She won six Irish Championships titles and one European championship title.

Jackie Gallagher
Australia DATE OF BIRTH Friday, 10th November 1967 PLACE OF BIRTH Perth, Australia EVENT(S): Marathon CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCES: Commonwealth: 2002 bronze Marathon.

Kim Gallagher
U.S.A. DATE OF BIRTH Thursday, 11th June 1964 PLACE OF BIRTH Philadelphia, U.S.A. EVENT(S): 800m CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCES: Olympics: 1984 silver 800m.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 800m silver at 1984 Olympics (result)

Women's 800m. Olympic Games 1984

1. Doine MELINTE ROM 1: 57.60
2. Kim GALLAGHER USA 1: 58.63
3. Fita LOVIN ROM 1: 58.83
4. Gabriella DORIO ITA 1: 59.05
5. Lorraine BAKER GBR 2: 00.03
6. Ruth WYSOCKI USA 2: 00.34
7. Margrit KLINGER GFR 2: 00.65
8. Caroline O'SHEA IRE 2: 00.77


Note:We would make like to make a full list of athletic Gallaghers and we ask your help. Please forward any information you have to . Copies of any relevant material to add to our archive would be greatly appreciated.