“Flying Corkman” Honoured 40 Years After He Broke The Irish Land Speed Record

The day a Cork man made history by breaking the Irish land-speed record 40 years ago is being celebrated by the City’s Lord Mayor on the Straight Road this morning

Togher man Mel Nolan, known at the “Flying Corkman” made speed history, setting the Irish land-speed Record of 294.56 Km/Hr over the Flying Kilometre on this day at about 6 a.m. 40 years ago on the famous Carrigrohane Straight on his home-built, turbocharged motorcycle

Later that morning he went on set a new 1000cc Flying Mile Record and thousands of people came to witness the event, and 40 years later that record still stands

This morning the 40th anniversary of the event was honoured when the City’s Lord Mayor Cllr. Colm Kelleher presented Mel with a framed image from the day to mark the occasion.

The Carrigrohane “Straight” Road is one of a few roads in Europe where a record can be run as it is within 1 degree of flatness over the 2.2 miles. However the record is unlikely ever to be broken due to legislation, health and safety, insurance, huge costs and business disruption.

The Carrigrohane Straight has an illustrious motorsport history going back to 1930’s when it hosted a World Motorcycle Land-speed Record by Joe Wright from Great Britain.

It hosted an International Motor Race in 1937 and Cork Grand Prix for cars in 1938 when 40,000 spectators came to see the famous Prince Bira of Siam Race. After World War 2 It also hosted the Munster 100 races and the annual Speed Weekends for cars and motorcycles right up to 1985, when the last event was run alongside the Cork 800 Celebrations.


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