KILLARNEY rally enthusiasts gathered for what they called a Sunday spin to coincide with the traditional weekend of the annual Cartell.ie International Rally of the Lakes and the gathering was dedicated to the memory of the recently deceased Johnny Hickey who was a legend in local motorsport circles.
Killarney and District Motor Club members organised the spin and, in the process, they paid tribute to Johnny who was one of the main organisers of the two local rally events every year.
The participants included Johnny’s father, Charlie, who competed in numerous rallies around the country with his son, an experienced navigator, by his side.
Also there were Darren McCormick, Clerk of the Course, and Dan Keane, Deputy Clerk of the Course, and the club members all drove their own cars for a spin to Moll’s Gap, a stage that is synonymous with the rally.
Johnny (37), who was married with three young children, passed away suddenly on April 24 after falling ill at his home in Killarney.
A very dedicated and energetic member Killarney and District Motor Club, he was a very dynamic public relations officer for the organisation for many years.
Johnny was personally responsible for the glossy official programme published to the Rally of the Lakes and the Historic Rally in Killarney every year and he was a hugely respected liaison officer with the media.
The main sponsors of the Killarney rally, Cartell.ie, said Johnny was “a massive influence” at the club and played a fundamental role in the continuing success of the Rally of the Lakes and the Killarney Historic Rally.
“Johnny came from genuine rallying stock and loved and enjoyed the sport throughout his life,” the company said in a statement.
“He will leave fond memories, from the days when he called pace notes for his father Charlie to his involvement in every aspect of organising a rally you can think of since”.
Richard Lahiff, Head of Business Development at Cartell said: “You couldn’t beat the motivation, dedication and commitment from Johnny. Year after year he tirelessly put in the hours to ensure every part of his involvement of the rally was perfected”.