Frances Cryan

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  • People and Places in Leitrim

A Rowing Star

Frances Cryan hails from Carrick-on-Shannon and joined her local rowing club in 1974. Through her rowing talents, she brought many honours to her country, county, town and club.

Frances was a member of the schoolgirl rowing crew that competed in England in 1975 under coach Aidan Nangle. One year later, she won the Irish Senior Women's Championship in Craigavon and the Under-18 Ladies' title in Denmark, beating girls from all over Europe.

She was five times Irish Ladies Single Sculls Champion from the years 1976-1980 inclusive. Frances became the first woman to row for Ireland in the Olympic Games, when she competed in the 1980 games held in Moscow, and she came seventh in the overall classification table for the single sculls event.

She was jointly honoured with her coach Aidan Nangle as Leitrim Guardian Leitrim Personality of the year in 1981.

Frances's training took on average thirty hours per week and was comprised of rowing, running, cycling and weights. She was in top condition for the next Olympics in 1984, but the Irish Amateur Rowing Union (IARU) voted against sending her. Locally, it was felt that had Frances had the opportunity to compete at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, she would have had an excellent chance of bringing home a medal.