Sunday, 3 March 1991
Barry McGuigan's Knockout Performance at Mondello Park
Barry McGuigan delivered a stunning knockout, to himself, when he took part in the Irish round of the 1991 British Rallycross Championship that was held at Mondello Park.
He'd started in 5th place and was just about into the lead by the end of the first lap. He turned in across one of his competitors as they entered the first corner after the start / finish straight.
I wasn't happy with the shots from the first lap, even though I couldn't see them, so I decided to stay for a few more laps. Most of the professional photographers had gone for coffee after getting "a shot" of him on the first lap.
Next time they came around Barry made the ill fated move across the path of his competitor and I ended up getting 9 shots of him rolling past, until I ran out of film.
I continued on shooting that day, I think I shot 12 rolls of film in total. I had a thought as I was leaving Mondello Park at around 7 "I wonder would any of the papers be interested in the pictures".
So I stopped in Caragh village at a phonebox ( a what ? ). I was shooting colour film so I reckoned my best bet would be to ring the Irish Star as it was the only colour newspaper at the time. I rang directory enquiries for the number ( another WTF! moment for any millenials still reading ). I rang the paper and got put through to the picture desk and spoke to Jim Dunne who was the picture editor, I could hear him shout "hold the front page, we might have pictures of McGuigan's crash".
This launched a frantic effort to get the films delivered to the office. I raced in the Naas dual carriageway ( the N7 wasn't even a thought at that point ) to meet a courier at the Red Cow Inn, (long before the M50 existed) because I didn't know the directions to where they were based. He gave me the directions to make my way there and by the time I arrived the films were developed and crash scenes were printed. Jim was an absolute gent, he organised for the other daily papers - Irish Independent, Irish Press & Irish Times to use the pictures but they weren't allowed use them on the front or back pages. The Star wanted to use them exclusively on their front and back pages, who was I to complain!
Click here to see footage of the accident