PICTURE SPECIAL: Competitors give their all at WAAR


Loughanure man Declan Ferry returned to WAAR 2024 on Saturday to claim the overall title for the second year in-a-row, finishing just seven seconds ahead of his nearest competitor Peter O’Donnell.

Just short of 700 people competed in WAAR 2024 on what was a glorious day, albeit a little hot at times for the competitors as they took on the beach and roads of the Rosses.


Another local competitor, Maria Ni Mhaolagain of Crolly was the first female to cross the finish line.

Gavin O’Donnell of the organising committee told the Donegal News that it was yet again a wonderful event, and he paid tribute to all the competitors and everyone on the ground who helped make it a huge success once again.

“The weather was fabulous, the competitors were in good form, and overall it was a brilliant event. WAAR has grown annually since our first event in 2015 and this year we have just short of 700 competitors. That’s a lot of people on the beaches, roads, the hill at Meenaweal, and the lake at Mullaghderg. Thankfully everything ran smoothly, and all competitors returned to cross the finish line at the Banks in Mullaghderg,” he said.

WAAR is an annual fundraiser for CLG Naomh Muire that started in 2015 when it was launched by GAA star Neil Mc Gee who returned this year to compete in the event. Some 250 competitors took part in the first event, and now that number has nearly trebled.


1. Declan Ferry 02:20:51

2. Peter O’Donnell 02:20:58


3. John Mc Fadden 02:26:58

4. Fergal Mc Gee 02:27:20

5. Charlie O’Donnell 02:28:23

6. Noel Diver 02:29:02

7. Tom English 02:30:09

8. Declan Gallagher 02:31:44

9. Eoin Boyle 02:33:34

10. Edward Harkin 02:34:25

11. Denis Mc Glynn 02:34:56

12. Jonny Bingham 02:35:18

13. Shaun McDevitt 02:35:27

14. Paul McKelvey 02:36:45

15. Noel O’Donnell 02:37:32

16. Gareth Kelly 02:38:19

17. John Allen 02:38:42

18. Maria Ni Mhaolagain 02:39:25

19. Danny Ferry 02:40:16

20. Darren McCool 02:42:31

Category winners included:

Duathalon: Cathy Breslin 02:43:01

Sprint: Eoghan Moore 02:01:32:15

WAAR Beag: Steve Gallagher 01:16:54

Teams: Axis IV 02:40:42

Nadine Gallagher crossing the WAAR finishing line on Saturday.

Alice Flannigan delighted with her WAAR success on Saturday.

Off they go…the first wave of competitors take to the road on Saturday morning at WAAR 2024.

Neil Mc Gee crossing the line at WAAR 2024.

Shane Sweeney crossing the line at WAAR 2024.

Caroline Mc Loughlin, 2nd female home in WAAR 2024. (Pictures by Eoin Mc Garvey)

Conor Murray spots our photographer at WAAR 2023.

Conor O’Donnell crossing the WAAR finish line with his nephew Leighton.

The top three finishers at WAAR 2024 with in the middle, Declan Ferry (1st), Peter O’Donnell (2nd), and John Mc Fadden (3rd) on the right. (Pictures by Eoin Mc Garvey)

Niall Griffin tackles the choppy waters at Mullaghderg lake during WAAR 2023.

Crolly’s Maria Ni Mhaolagain, first lady to complete WAAR 2024.


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