Ravens Rock Rally

F.A.S.T. Car to STAR on Ravens Rock Rally

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Earlier this year Jerry Murphy contacted the Irish Heart Foundation IHF_Stroke_H_2Cwith a new idea to spread the F.A.S.T. message.  He wanted to promote F.A.S.T. on a Southern 4 Rally Championship. His friend Barry O'Brien is the owner and driver of an Opel Corsa Rallycar and both have come together to highlight the F.A.S.T. campaign.

F.A.S.T. Stands for:

F – Face – has their face fallen on one side?  Can they smile?

A – Arms – Can they raise both arms and keep them there?

S – Speech – is their speech slurred?

T –Time - Call 999 if you spot any single one of these signs.

The first rally on the schedule is the 2011 Ravens Rock Rally. Clerk of the course John Rafter said on hearing the news that the FAST Car would be attended the event “As clerk of the course for the rally I'm delighted to welcome Barry, Jerry and the crew from Cork. They are highlighting a very serious condition and it’s great that Motorsport Sport can play a part. To publicise the car and the work that Jerry is doing we will be honored to invite Barry and the car to the ceremonial start on Saturday night the 25th and Jerry will also be on hand to give us a background on how his story unfolded and to how the F.A.S.T. campaign can help.

This is Jerry’s Story: I was working at my job in the post office in Jerry MurphyMacroom, Co Cork, back in April, 2007, when I had my first “bang” as I called them. I was dealing with customers at the counter when out of the blue; I started having difficulty picking up coins with my right hand. It was a very busy morning and I had a queue of customers out the door, so I kept going as best I could.

When I tried to write up the deposit books, I couldn’t grasp the pen properly. Then another clerk asked me a question and I opened my mouth but nothing came out, so I left the counter and went into the staff room. I tried to tell the cleaner something was wrong, but I couldn’t get any words out. She calmed me down and walked me down the street to the doctor.

The GP called an ambulance and I was taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) at about 1pm. By the time I was seen by a SHO at 4.45pm, I was back to normal, so I was discharged. I had also had a CAT scan, which came back clear.

At 29 years of age, the last thing you think about is stroke and there was no history of it in my family, but I knew that first day that I was having a stroke. Two weeks later, I was sorting letters at work when I had another attack. My right arm felt heavy and I couldn’t pick up the letters. I felt the power draining from the right side of my body.

The doctor was sent for and I was admitted to CUH, but the symptoms had subsided within two hours and nothing showed up on an MRI or CAT scan. I was put under the care of neurologist Dr Brian Sweeney. Between then and the end of 2007, I was taken to AE eight times by ambulance as a medical emergency. I spent a week in CUH in December after a stronger episode.

After my second episode, I knew what was happening as I had looked up my symptoms on the internet. I was having transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs) or mini-strokes, but I had no diagnosis as nothing was showing up on the scans and, thankfully, there was no residual damage caused to my heart.

I stopped going out in crowds or to matches in case I had an episode. I stayed close to people who knew about my condition. I worried about what would happen if I was on my own and my speech went because I wouldn’t have been able to call an ambulance.

Every time it happened, it was like a stopwatch started ticking in my head. I knew how important it was that I get to hospital as quickly as possible and I knew that if I wasn’t back to normal within 24 hours, I could be in trouble. My episodes were taking longer to pass.

In January 2008, while visiting a family member at Millstreet Hospital, I got my strongest episode yet. I was rushed to CUH where I spent two weeks and was referred to a cardiologist. TIAs were now mentioned for the first time and I was diagnosed with a patent foramen ovale (PFO) in my heart. Babies are born with a normal opening that allows blood to flow between the left and right chambers of the heart. This opening should close naturally soon after birth and when this does not happen, the hole that’s left is called a PFO.

I was put on anti-clotting medication which controlled my condition. Closing the hole through surgery was not an option at this stage, according to my cardiologist, as the medication had things under control.

I had no further attacks until the end of August 2010 when I was on a postal delivery. I spent two weeks in hospital and my right leg was worst affected. I had physio afterwards to get back on my feet and was out of work for a while.

I went back to work in October and thought that first week would never end. I was so tired; I had no energy at all. I was in Macroom shopping when I felt another episode coming on and ended up back in hospital for a week. It was obvious the medication was no longer working at this stage.

I knew there was only one man in the country, Dr Kevin Walsh, a paediatric cardiologist in Dublin who could close the hole. I arranged to have the surgery privately at the Beacon Hospital through the VHI on December 17th last. Dr Walsh implanted a wire mesh device called a PFO occluder into my heart using a catheter. The procedure was a success and I was out of hospital after two nights.

I was put on anti-clotting medication for three months and have had no episodes since the surgery. I am back to work and doing fine at the moment, apart from a slight weakness in my right leg when I’m tired or in cold weather. Before I had the hole closed, I used to be completely breathless after I went for a walk or a cycle. Now, there’s no stopping me.

While I was in hospital, I did some research from my bed and came across the Irish Heart Foundation website, stroke.ie, which I found very helpful. I was very impressed with its FAST (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) campaign, which raises awareness of the signs of stroke and the need to act fast. Stroke can happen to people of all ages, which is why it’s so important for everybody to be aware of the signs and symptoms.

NO FEE Irish Heart launch 567 (Large)In May 2010, the Irish Heart Foundation launched a 4-year TV and radio advertising F.A.S.T. campaign.

This campaign is being mounted to tackle the frightening lack of public awareness about stroke symptoms in Ireland. In 2009, IHF research showed that less than 50% of Irish adults would ring 999 if they thought they were having a stroke.

The hard hitting images in the TV ad show how quickly a stroke can affect a person. The average stroke destroys roughly two million brain cells every minute. So, the quicker a person gets into hospital after a stroke, the more of their brain can be saved.

Stroke Action’s F.A.S.T. campaign wants to help the public achieve a better understanding of the warning signs of stroke so as to aid in the prevention of stroke.

Stroke is a very serious medical emergency but it can be avoided. If you suspect that someone has had a stroke, you need to call 999 immediately.

When stroke strikes, act F.A.S.T.

The F.A.S.T. acronym was created as a helper for people to remember the main warning signs of stroke so that they can act immediately in the case of a stroke by dialling 999.


F.A.S.T. stands for:IHF001_A4andA3poster (2) (Large)

F – Face – has their face fallen on one side?  Can they smile?

A – Arms – Can they raise both arms and keep them there?

S – Speech – is their speech slurred?

T –Time to call 999 if you spot any single one of these signs.

F.A.S.T.  Can help you to rapidly recognise when a stroke is taking place and then act quickly to get medical treatment and help prevent serious damage.


The Irish Heart Foundation's F.A.S.T. campaign


2011 Ravens Rock Rally Bonus for Honda Crews

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Honda-logoLike our Early Incentive Package the Carrick on Suir Motor Civic JumpClub are running the Honda Award again this year.

The top 3 finishing Honda cars in each of the relevant classes will qualify for a draw to Win 3 Prizes,

1st Prize:  €500,

2nd Prize: €300

3rd Prize:  €200

This is an opportunity not to be missed for all Honda Crews


2011 Ravens Rock Rally Early Entry Incentive Package

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Twelve months ago the Carrick MC offered an Early Entry winning is greatIncentive Package and it proved to be a great success and the club are delighted to announce that they are offering a similar package this year for entries that are in and fully paid for by the closing date, Monday the 13th of June

Incentive Package Includes

1st Prize: Full Entry Refund

2nd Prize: Accommodation for two people for Saturday Night 25th June

3rd Prize: €100 voucher for tyres sponsored by Bill Adare

4th Prize: 25 Litres of Fuel, Sponsored by Drennan Oil

5th Prize: Twelve Months Subscription of Pacenotes Rally Magazine for both the Driver and Navigator

Get Your Entry In Now!


40th Running of the Ravens Rock Rally Launched at Motorsport Expo

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The 2011 Ravens Rock Rally was officially launched on Sunday last at the Irish Motorsport Expo. Top Irish Motorsport Journalist and Dunlop National Rally Championship Press Coordinator Martin Walsh was on hand to quiz COC John Rafter on the details of the 2011 event.

After expressing his delight on the success of the 2010 event for which he took charge of for the first time John (Rafter) went on to give a rundown on this year’s rally.

"2010 was the start of a three plan and our challenge last year was two fold. Firstly to organise and promote an event worthy of the Carrick on Suir Motor Club and secondly to fill the entry. With the support of the club and a dedicated team, I'm very proud of what we achieved. We didn't a have National Championship status and long gone is the day when you only need to mention the word rally and you would have 200 crews banging down your door. We took it step by step in the organisation and left not stone unturned when it came to filling the entry."

"With this same vigor I'm now delighted to announce the details of the 2011 Ravens Rock Rally. This year sees the 40th running of the Ravens Rock and from early beginnings in the early 70s when it was held as a night navigation event to its current form as a one day event in the National Rally Championship, the rally has gone through many changes. To mark the 40th Year we are offering a special prize. The 40th finisher on the official results will receive €400 of their entry fee refunded to celebrate the 40th running of the event.”

“We again welcome back our main Sponsors Suirway (James Coleman) SUIRWAY FARM MACHINERY 3but this year its Suirway Farm Machinery as James has launched his new business and the Carrick on Suir Motor Club are delighted to be associated with James' new brand. I also welcome back the Pius Phlean and Kilford LogoKilford Arms Hotel as our second joint sponsor. We had the honor last year of basing the club's premier event in the Kilford and Pius with his team couldn't have been more helpful pre, during and post the event. I'm delighted to announce that the 2011 Ravens Rock Rally will again be located in the Kilford Arms Hotel."

"On the day of the rally the attention moves from the event HQ to the stages firstly but also to the service area, which becomes the central core when the rally is running. Last year we were lucky enough to acquire the use of the Chancellors Mills premises and again this year John Dalton has come onboard to give the use of his facility. The Chancellors Mills site will again act as the centralised scrutiny, parc ferme and service Area and I thank John very much."

"A sign that an event has gone well is when you can attract a new sponsor and I'm now delighted to announce that the Kilkenny People Newspaper are coming onboard this year as an associate sponsor. When first approached, Sport Editor John Knox was eager to become involved and he and the paper have been instrumental in the advertising and publicising of the Irish Motorsport Expo and will carry this same enthusiasm in the lead up to the Ravens Rock."

Three Major Championships for 2011:

“Last year the rally formed a counting round in three major championships. Neil McCance was a worthy overall winner and was competing in the Mitsubishi Challange, sadly this championship is not running in 2011 but we were grateful for its support last season, 2010 also saw the rock form part of the Southern Four Championship and we welcome back the crews taking part again this year in this prestigious regional championship. Another regional championship that comes back again this year is the Triton Showers South East Stages Rally Championship. The South East Stage holds a special place in the Carrick Club as the championship is organised and promoted by the five Motor Clubs in the South East. The championship is also ran by our own club secretary Ann Fitzgerald, with the championships PRO Joe O'Brien on hand to send out previews and event reports in his own inimitable fashion. If I may say I'm keeping a close eye on the South East Stages this year because as of the last round my great friend Shay Power is in top spot in the leader board, he must have a good co driver.”

“In 2010 the Rock had its turn out of the Dunlop Series but we are delighted this year to welcome back the National Rally Championship to Kilkenny. There has been some spectacular rallying over the opening four rounds to date this season and I'm sure round five in the Black and Amber County will be no different.”    


2011 Ravens Rock Rally

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The 2011 Ravens Rock Rally will again be located in Kilkenny. The rally moved to the Marble City twelve months ago for a three year stint and after a very successful event in 2010 we're now heading back for the second installment. COC John Rafter and his team again take charge and we are eagerly looking forward to the 22nd of May and Irish Motorsport Expo as part of the day's attractions is the official launch of Ravens Rock Rally. During the launch the club will announce details of the rally, event sponsors and HQ.

COC John Rafter and his event have been working behind the scenes over the five months and by now most of the ground work is finished. As of the last event meeting, PR on the rally route has is now on to it second visit and the residence on the stages can't wait for the 26th of June. The club are delighted to welcome back Dunlop National Tarmac Rally Championship status for this year's event and already the fifth round of the season is shaping up for something special.

Championship Website: Click Here


2011 Ravens Rocks Rally Location

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