Mel Nolan on the original bike at the scene of his historic achievement. Photo: Michael O’Sullivan/OSM PHOTO

Flying Corkman honoured

The 40th anniversary of the day Togher man Mel Nolan made speed history has been marked!

Mel set the Irish land-speed Record of 294.56 km/hr over the Flying Kilometre at about 6am on the famous Carrigrohane Straight on his home-built, turbocharged motorcycle.

Mel went on set a new 1000cc flying mile record of 289.46 km/hr later that morning in 1981 and hit a top speed of 307.510 km/hr.

Thousands of people came to witness the event and 40 years later, his record still stands.

The Carrigrohane Straight is one of a few roads in Europe where a record can be run as it is within one degree of flatness over the 2.2 miles. The record is unlikely ever to be broken due to legislation, health and safety, insurance, huge costs and business disruption.

The anniversary was marked with a presentation by Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Fergal Dennehy recently.

He said: “His brave feat that morning did so much for motorsport, not just in Cork but in Ireland as a whole, he put Cork on the motorsport map and was a sporting idol for many a Cork person.”