Death of Jimmy Gallagher, our friend and Vision Sports pioneer

It is with great sorrow that we announce the death of our beloved friend, Jimmy Gallagher.

Jimmy was a pioneer of organised sport for blind and vision-impaired people on this island.
Jimmy Gallagher died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday 12th November 2020, on his 75th birthday day, after a short illness.

Jimmy is generally accepted as Ireland’s first blind marathon and ultra-runner. He has completed 36 marathons around the world including all the early Dublin events.

A life-long sports enthusiast Jimmy loved horse-riding on his family farm as a child. He continued playing sport while at St. Joseph’s School in Drumcondra before joining the Irish Army’s St Brican’s Army Hospital as a telephonist in the mid-1960s.

Jimmy has been an ever-present in the development of nationally organised sport for vision-impaired people in Ireland since the evolution began in 1978. Through six decades he has been administrator, athlete, tandem cyclist, skier, sailor, equestrian and all-round fitness exponent.

Aside from long-distance running, Jimmy loved his regular European ski-ing holidays. He was a regular on local tandem tours with Louth WATCH Club as well as worldwide cycling expeditions with NCBI’S infamous and now defunct Blazing Saddles. In recent times Jimmy was an extremely popular attendee at the NCBI’s Iona Resource Centre.

Jimmy Gallagher was a regular at all Vision Sports events at May Games, now MayFest. In earlier days he participated in most track and field events and in more recent years took part in our tandem tours. He credited his many friends, tandem pilots and guides for their support and really appreciated getting his Braille MayFest programme.

Six years ago, Jimmy Gallagher became the first athlete to be inducted into the Vision Sports Ireland Hall of Fame. The image above shows an emotional Jimmy receiving this award from our then Chairman Robert Dobbyn.

Jimmy Gallagher – we guess you never knew how you did it, but you did it. Thank you and rest in peace.

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