Northern Ireland news

Record breaking runner Ciara Mageean returns home to Portaferry to hero's welcome

Ciara Mageean is greeted by the people of Portaferry on her homecoming following a record breaking season. Picture by Mal McCann
John Breslin
Portaferry's Ciara Mageean returned home to the Ards Peninsula for the first time since her record-breaking World Athletics Championship run. 

Hundreds of people lined the streets of the village, while a special reception was held in the village community centre.

Wellwishers line the streets of Portaferry to welcome home Ciara Mageean. Picture by Mal McCann

Ciara came fourth in the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August, breaking her own 1500m Irish record. She broke it again at a Diamond League meeting in Brussels two weeks ago.

Ciara Mageean with young fans in Portaferry. Picture by Mal McCann

The Portaferry runner, a guest on Patrick Kielty's Late Late Show on Friday, a year ago first broke Sonia O'Sullivan's 3:58.85 record, which had stood for 27 years.

Read more: Ciara Mageean beats her own national record in Diamond League

Read more: "People will fear the wee tricolour up on the start line": Brilliant Ciara Mageean misses out agonisingly on World Championships medal after record-breaking run

Ciara (31) set another Irish 1500m record when she ran a 3:55.87 to take second behind Scotland's Laura Muir at the Brussels Diamond League meeting.

Ciara with her mother Catherine, former teacher and camogie coach Elizabeth Collins and Councillor Joe O'Boyle. Picture by Mal McCann
On The Late Late Show on Saturday, Ciara described how tough it was to part ways with the late and legendary coach Jerry Kiernan, who passed away in January 2021. She left Jerry's team when moving to Manchester to become a full-time professional.
Ciara Mageean with young fans after stepping off the Strangford Lough ferry. Picture by Mal McCann
"Hands down it was harder leaving Jerry. You're on to something now because I always cry when I speak about Jerry," Ciara said.
Crowds gathered for Ciara's homecoming. Picture by Mal McCann
"For me to leave the set-up here in Dublin and go and train professionally in Manchester was something I couldn't pass up.


"But leaving Jerry Kieran as my coach was the hardest thing I'd ever done because I left my boyfriend Thomas in Dublin but I was more cut-up about leaving Jerry."


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