Metro St Brigid's Athletic Club was formed through the amalgamation of two great Dublin athletic clubs, St. Brigid's AC and Metropolitan Harriers, from either end of Dublin’s iconic Phoenix Park in 1993.
St. Brigid's Athletics Club originated in the 1934 in a field directly across from the entrance to Somerton House, then owned by the Laidlaw family, on what is now the grounds of Castleknock GAA club. The field had previously been used for grazing but when some local men set up a new athletics club called St. Brigid’s Harriers, the Laidlaw family permitted the new club to use this field for running and it became known as ‘the running field.’
The new club were also permitted by the Laidlaws to erect a timber building close to the trees for use as its first ‘official’ clubhouse, a primitive wooden DIY changing room. The running field was used for jumping as well as running, both for practice and for competitive sporting events.
Over time the club’s name was changed to become St. Brigid’s Harriers and the club moved around, occupying various local locations. One of these locations was the field beside St. Brigid's church in Blanchardstown village where a new clubhouse was located. Other notable training locations for the Blanchardstown club included the sprawling fields around Coolmine, land where the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre now stands.
Less than 5 miles away, Metropolitan Harriers were based closer to the city in Islandbridge on the banks of the river Liffey. The athletics club, formed in 1937, made regular use of the spectacular running trails on the southern parts of the Phoenix Park around the Magazine Fort and 15 acres. Originally called Metro-Army club, the name was later changed to became Metropolitan Harriers. The club later developed its own clubhouse in Sarah’s Place, Islandbridge.
In the early 1990s St. Brigid's Athletics Club finally found its home in the land set aside by Fingal County Council for local sports, acquiring residency of the field where the current Porterstown grass track now stands.
The long-mooted merger between Metropolitan Harriers and St. Brigid's AC finally came to fruition in 1993 when the merger was ratified by Bord Lúthchleas na hÉireann (BLE). And so it can to pass that Metro St. Brigid's Athletics Club was born, bursting onto the scene with a new bright colour scheme of neon green and royal blue to boldly celebrate our entrance into Irish athletics.
As part of the new formed club in 1994, Eamonn Coghlan would again inspire the nation. Eamonn became the first athlete in the World over 40 years old, to run under 4 minutes for the mile in a time of 3:58.17 in Boston. The base mileage for this magnificent record being built on training runs with the newly formed Metro St. Brigid's athletes.
Metro St. Brigid's continued to grow since it's 1993 beginnings with a burgeoning juvenile section drawing from a wide population in the Dublin 15 area. Porterstown Park became the club's de-facto base with the beautifully maintained grass track complimenting the surrounding parklands.
Since then the amalgamated club, commonly and affectionately just called MSB, has continued to grow from strength to strength. From the original handful of athletics pioneers in the 1930s to the more than 500 members today.
The next stage in MSB's development was the dream of an all-weather track at our Porterstown Park home. With the support of local politicians and Fingal County Council this dream became a reality in the summer of 2023 with the opening of the Porterstown Recreational Hub. This has seen MSB secure our future as anchor tenants for the tartan track. This amazing infrastructure will enable MSB to continue to grow as a community-focused athletics club into the future and inspire generations to come.
As we enter our 90th year since one of our founding clubs, St. Brigid's began in the nearby fields of Somerton House, we look forward to an exciting future as we begin a new chapter in our rich club history.
In the 1980s talks began for to plan a potential merger of the Metropolitan Harriers and St. Brigid's AC. Originally, the plan was to allow St. Brigid's to become a juvenile club that would channel members into the senior arm of Metropolitan Harriers.
Around this time Metropolitan Harriers became home to one of Ireland’s most famous athletes, Eamonn Coghlan. Eamonn, coached by the renowned Metropolitan Harriers coach Gerry Farnan, who would go on to inspire a generation in winning the World Championships in Helsinki 1983. One of the proudest days in our club history.