galwayflyingclub.org

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Brief History

Article Index
Brief History
The beginnings of the modern club
Recent developments

The beginnings of the modern club

In 1961 Irish Army Captain Liam Ó Coinne set about revitalizing aviation in Galway.  He had the support of an assortment of aviation enthusiasts including P.A. (Tony) Doyle who had been his instructor at Coonagh and who, in the late 1960s, became the first Chief Flying Instructor (CFI) with Galway Flying Club, and Tom Cunniffe, CFI in Castlebar.  Liam and Tony with other Club members organized Air Displays at Oranmore in 1964, 1966 and 1967. Their most notable social achievment, however, was the Jubilee commemoration in 1969 of the Alcock and Brown landing near Clifden.  

EI-ATH Cessna 150In 1965 the Club acquired its first aircraft, an Auster EI-ACY which, unfortunately, sustained irreparable damage some two years later.  EI-AOO, the first Cessna on the Irish Register became Galway Flying Club’s second Aircraft in November 1967, to be replaced by another Cessna EI-ATH in 1969.

When Tony Doyle’s work in Air Traffic Control necessitated his moving to Luxembourg in 1970, Tom Cunniffe took over as acting CFI.  Early in 1971 the Club became a Limited Company but, due to various problems relating to the airfield at Oranmore, two of Galway Club’s first PPLs had to take their flight test at Castlebar in early 1972.  Also in that year Castlebar’s Tom Tuffy—who had become an instructor—took over flight training at Oranmore and proudly saw four of his Galway students obtain their licences in 1973; amongst them the first lady graduate and three future instructors, one of whom, Michael C. Farragher, succeeded Tom as CFI in the 1980s.  In 1974 the Galway Club was invited to fly at the newly constructed airfield at Carnmore, now Galway Airport; in 1975 its first instructor graduated and by 1977 it had acquired a second aircraft, a Rallye registered as EI-BFR.