The History of Rás na mBan

The 2022 Rás na mBan was the 16th edition of the race and marked the 35th anniversary of the start of international stage racing for women in Ireland. Beginning with the John Hearn Memorial Women’s Three Day in 1986, and from bases in Counties Tipperary, Dublin, Kerry, Clare and Kilkenny, Irish racers have taken on international opposition in a series of events that have laid the groundwork for the current five-day event.

Following on from the ground breaking events run in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary and later by Dublin Wheelers in Dublin and Meath, the Women’s Commission of Cycling Ireland took over promotion of Ireland’s leading women’s stage race with the creation of the two-day, Dublin-based Rás na mBan in 2006.

With generous support from Louis Moriarty and Sneem Hotel, the race expanded to three days when it moved to a new base in the village of Sneem, Co Kerry in 2008 and in 2011 Rás na mBan further expanded to five days as the event established itself on the international calendar.

The race moved to a new base in County Clare in 2013 and enjoyed three great editions in the beautiful Munster County on the western seaboard.

In 2016, the race moved east to County Kilkenny for another 5-day, 6-stage feast of top racing action and the race will once again take place in the Leinster county in 2023.