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Earliest meeting: Monday 2nd May 1853
Final meeting: Monday 21st April 1856
In the middle of the 19th century the Citizens Club was an active group in Ireland who sponsored meetings and organised steeplechase races for a short period, starting on Monday 2nd May 1853. They had played an active role in supporting Kilkenny racecourse with sponsorship in the 1840s when that course had staged a revival. However, they held their own inaugural meeting in May 1853 at Fairyhouse racecourse when the Citizens’ Plate was won by The Colonel for Mr Watson, beating Music and Magpie. The later Welter Race went to Mr Morgan’s Potteen. Meetings continued to be held at Fairyhouse racecourse for the next two years, but in 1856 a new venue was tried. That final reported meeting was held just two miles from the village of Rathcoole in South Dublin. Back in the 18th century Rathcoole was composed of a number of mud huts lined along a single street surrounded by beautiful countryside, although the countryside was used to good effect on Monday 21st April 1856 when a 3 mile all grass racecourse was formed, consisting of 42 leaps, none of which was severe. The feature race, the Citizens’ Handicap Plate, was won by Mr E Lynch’s King Dan. After racing a group of 150 racegoers met at the Black Church Hotel for breakfast.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr E Lynch, Mr Mangan, Mr Watson
Principal Races Citizens’ Handicap Plate, The Welter Race

Monday 2nd May 1853
Citizens’ Plate Handicap over 3 miles
1. The Colonel, brown gelding owned by Mr Watson
2. Music, black gelding owned by Mr Reynolds
3. Magpie, chestnut gelding owned by Mr L McCourt

The final meeting took place on Monday 21st April 1856.
Course today Initially Fairyhouse racecourse was used, and then a course 2 miles from Rathcoole staged the final meeting.
If you have photos, postcards, racecards. badges, newspaper cuttings or book references about the old course, or can provide a photo of how the ground on which the old racecourse stood looks today, then email

Much of the information about this course has been found using internet research and is in the public domain. However, useful research sources have been:-

London Illustrated News

Racing Illustrated 1895-1899

The Sporting & Dramatic Illustrated

Northern Turf History Volumes 1-4 by J.Fairfax-Blakeborough

The Sporting Magazine

A Long Time Gone by Chris Pitt first published in 1996 ISBN 0 900599 89 8

Racing Calendars which were first published in 1727

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
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  Quantity Cost
Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 3 Wales & Scotland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
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