Popular mountain biker remembered 20 years on

By Sean Moriarty

A trophy that commemorates one of Killarney Cycling Club’s most-talented young mountain bikers has been presented for the first time in years thanks to the resurgence of the sport in the Killarney area.

Leon McSharry (14) from Ballyspillane  was cycling on Park Road  when he was fatally injured after being struck by a passing car in July 1999.

Leon was one of the local club’s best Mountain Bike racers and each year the club presented the Leon McSharry Cup to the fastest competitor in the club’s flagship event.

Interest in the sport waned, mainly due to lack of a suitable venue, but thanks to the new facility at Shronaboy Farm near Glenflesk the sport is enjoying a second wind in the Killarney area.

So much so, Killarney Cycling Club was in a position to run a counting round of the Irish Downhill Mountain Bike Series at the venue last Sunday.

The Leon McSharry Cup was presented to Cork rider Olly Cornforth , the overall winner of the Elite category at the event.

It was a poignant occasion for Leon’s club mates, many of whom were on hand to marshal and ensure the smooth running of the event, 20 years after his untimely passing.

His mother Maureen  was on hand to present the trophy.

“It was lovely out there, Leon would have been fierce proud,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “There was a huge turnout and I was talking to people from Dublin, Clare all over. I can’t believe it’s 20 years, where have  20 years gone, but it is so good of the club.”