Tribute to

Pat Dowling


By Aidan Walsh

From 1999 Circuit of Munster Programme


A gentleman, a friend, a brilliant navigator - what more can one say about Pat. I never heard anyone say anything bad about Pat. I first came into contact with Pat Dowling when he was a navigator to Bill Fitzgerald (C.O.C. Munster) in a 1600 Sunbeam, at the first historic Rally of the Lakes - Bill was at the bar counrter late on Saturday night and Pat was en­couraging him to go to bed early. Bill and Pat had two separate bedrooms so up they go at a reasonable hour. Bill waited in his room for ten minutes and then went back down to the bar. Pat was not impressed next morning.


Pat moved on to navigate with Sabastian Stacpoole and they decided to have a go at the Red Mills Championship 1997. It brought great results with a class win at the end of the year and many class wins throughout the country.


In 1998 Pat started navigating for me. We made the long trip to Ballina for Round One. At the start of Stage One he shook my hand. One mile down the stage the engine blew, he got out of the car and said “that’s the last time I’m shaking your hand before the start of a Rally”. We did ten more Rallies last year. Pat won Class 12 in the Red Mills Championship. I was second. We both won Class 12 in the West Coast Championship. Our last Rally together was the Single Stage in Kerry where we, again, blew the engine on the first stage.


We travelled to Bantry Co. Cork for prize-giving for the West Coast Championship and had a terrific night. The following Wednesday Pat was no longer with us. He has left many, many happy memories. His favourite saying was when you’re going sideways you are not going for­ward’, Rest in peace Pat.


Added to website 24 October 2012

Pat Dowling (first on the left side) was a director of the club for a number of years, this photo was taken at the 1998 50th anniversary dinner dance.