Civil Service Harriers Athletic Club was officially founded in 1867, making it Ireland’s oldest athletic club. Membership of the club was originally confined to civil servants. Membership was opened up to all athletes in later years. The first recorded meeting of the club took place in 1867 at the Leinster Cricket Club in Rathmines.

The first Civil Service A.C. sports was held in May 1878. This proved to be a hugely popular athletics event and remained a prominent part of the Irish Athletics calendar until the 1960s.


The 1880s proved to be a golden decade for CSH. Blessed with the emergence of several star athletes in their ranks the club embarked upon a period of success that raised its profile in the Irish Athletics scene at the time. Among the athletes to compete for CSH during this time were John Purcell, Hugh Hart and Michael Hart.

Below are photos of an athlete performing the long jump at College Park. The long jump was performed over grass and not over sand as today. Also a photo from the period with Hugh Hart believed to be the athlete lying on the ground.

1890 – 1925

More research needs to be carried out on this period. Similar to many other clubs Civil Service Harriers struggled to keep going in the aftermath of the famine and the mass emigration that followed. The early twentieth century was also a period of struggle for the club due to the First World War, 1916 Easter Rising, War of Independence and The Civil War.

Frank Duffy and Stephen Hutton reformed Civil Service Harriers and Athletic Club, in 1925.


After the Civil War the club was reformed by the late Frank Duffy and Stephen Hutton. More info to follow

Post-war period

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1990s & 2000s

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The club has continued to feature strongly on both the Dublin and National athletic scene over the last number of years. The women’s o35 team won team gold in the AAI National 10k as recently as 2016. There has also been individual success in recent years with Neil O’Rourke winning Dublin Intermediate Cross Country gold in 2015 and even more impressively Anna Sadowska triumphing in the National Masters Cross Country in 2016. Ashley Ryan has continued the club’s strong cross country tradition with victories in both the Dublin Novice and Leinster Novice in 2017.