08 May-Carlow Rowing Club

 Carlow Rowing Club, based on the river Barrow in Carlow town, is one of the oldest rowing clubs in Ireland. The opening of the Barrow canal in the late 18th century provided an excellent environment for rowing. Boating on the Barrow became a regular pastime and there were several private boathouses along the river.

Though rowing is an ancient sport and is one of the oldest Olympic sports, the formation of rowing clubs only began in the early 1800’s. In Ireland the first rowing club was founded in Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim in 1836. It is one of the oldest rowing clubs in the world. Rowing in Carlow was first mentioned at a meeting in 1860. The meeting was held to discuss the Carlow Regatta which had been held the previous year. It was held in the Corn Exchange (now called the Deighton Hall) and was described as a meeting of the subscribers to the 1859 Carlow Regatta.

A Regatta was held in Carlow on July 18th 1860. A cup for the occasion was presented by Sir John Acton MP for Carlow. In 1869, ten years after the first recorded meeting, a decision was taken to properly establish a rowing club. Club colours, blue with diagonal stripes, were adopted and subscriptions and fees were agreed. Mr F. Barnes was appointed first captain and Mr Mick Hayden was appointed first boat-keeper.

Despite several setbacks over the following 150 years, the club continued to survive and is a thriving organisation to day. In the intervening years the club’s colours changed to dark green and the clubhouse moved to its present location. Ladies rowing became part of the Carlow Rowing Club in 1964. The club maintains strong ties with the community, with local schools and with youth organisations such as Carlow Regional Youth Services. Every year, teams travel from all over the country and further afield to compete the club’s annual regatta which is held in late May.

Carlow Rowing Club was first mentioned at a meeting in Carlow town in the Year 1859 On This Day.

Carlow Bridge photo

Carlow Rowing Club boat passing under the Millenium Bridge on the River Barrow in Carlow town.

Photo by Nico Kaiser









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