Castleknock College Union

Nicky Cleere, son of Philip, class '73

fund raising support

Mar 26, 2012
Nicky Cleere, son of Philip, class '73 -

Nicky Cleere comes from a long line of Castleknock men.

His Dad Philip (1968-73) was our SCT out-half in 1973, his Uncle John attended from 1956-61 and his Grandfather Gay (1937-1940) was the youngest of seven brothers from Kilkenny who figured on the College rolls without a break from 1922 to 1940. Bill (1922-26) was the eldest, then Eddie (1922-29), Gerard (1924-31) who was a member of the J.C.T. and S.C.T., which won the Junior and Senior Cups in 1927-28 and 1930-31 respectively, Ray (1927-32) and then Frank (1931-36) and Desmond (1935-38) both of whom joined the Vins.

The Cleere's are a big Castleknock family.

Nicky schooled in Malahide but continued the family sporting tradition by captaining the Dublin minor team to All-Ireland semi-finals in 2009. The world was his oyster until the 8th November 2009, when he fell victim to a hit and run incident whilst in Lisbon that caused serious brain damage. As one would expect from a Cleere, Nicky hung in there despite the horrific injuries sustained and shows great courage and fortitude in facing the rehabilitation now required. However that road is a long one and it will require great support.

At the instigation of friends, his family have now set up a trust to support Nicky in that journey -

The trust is currently raffling a corporate box for the All-Ireland Final, football or hurling. Tickets are only €10 and the box seats fifteen. You can buy them online at the link above. Alternatively, if you wish to make a donation, you can do that online at

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nicky and the Cleere family.

Nicky's Story

Nicky Cleere is thirty years old and on the 8th November 2009 he was involved in a horrific hit and run accident in Lisbon. As a result Nicky has an acquired brain injury, with significant memory loss, walking and balance issues. Nicky has made great improvements, however he has a long way to go before he can regain full independence.

Nicky grew up in Malahide, attended the Malahide Community School and went on to study Property Economics in DIT Bolton St Dublin. On graduation, Nicky joined Hamilton Osborne King (now Savills) Estate Agents in Dublin, where he worked in various departments. In 2009 passed his APC exams and became a member of the Institute of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland. Nicky is the eldest and has 3 brothers Airy, Kian, and Russell and his parents are Philip and Yvonne. Nicky is engaged to Shauna McGonigle who he met while working in Savills.

The GAA has been a major part of life in the Cleere household over the past 20 years. Nicky played both football and hurling with St. Sylvester’s in Malahide. He played at all levels within the club and began making appearances on the senior team when he was 17 and became a permanent fixture for over 10 years. Nicky represented Dublin in Football at all under-age levels and in 1999 was so proud to be appointed Captain of the Dublin Minor Football team. Nicky’s brother Airy was also part of the team and they fought a great campaign beating Wexford in the Leinster final replay before eventually losing to Down in yet another replay in the all Ireland Semi Final. Many of today’s great Dublin footballers were part of this 1999 team, including Alan Brogan, Paul Casey, Darren Magee and Stephen Cluxton. Nicky also played with the Dublin under 21's winning a Leinster title.

However, all of that changed on the 8th November 2009. Nicky was in Lisbon with a group of friends when he was hit by a car as he crossed a road to look for a taxi. He is alive today because of the fantastic work done by the Emergency Medical Team, who worked on him roadside for almost and hour and half before moving him to the Xavier hospital. Nicky was in intensive care and as the days progressed he remained in a coma. During this time, Shauna and Nicky’s family learnt the extent of his injuries and after a number of operations, Nicky was eventually air-lifted home to intensive care in Beaumont Hospital. Nicky spent 4 months in Beaumont Hospital and left in a wheelchair with no memory of being there.

In March 2010 Nicky was transferred to The National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire and he remained there until June 2010. Nicky’s rehabilitation included both physical and cognitive rehab, and when he returned home to Malahide in June, he was able to walk with the aid of a frame, again he has very little memory of being in the NRH for these 3 months. At this point, Nicky had been hospitalised for 8 months and had undergone various operations for his physical injuries, and he was very exhausted. In order to build up his strength, Nicky rested at home during the summer.

During this time, with the help of friends, and Nicky’s determination to improve, it meant that come September the walking frame was retired and Nicky was walking with the aid of a stick.

Nicky has always had great friends, and it is really when things go wrong that the strength of true friendship can be seen. Nicky’s accident has affected so many people, not just his fiancée Shauna and his family, but his work colleagues & friends who have been so supportive throughout this ordeal. We have shared his journey with so many of them. During this time Nicky’s family and Shauna have received incredible support from so many people, in so many ways, but mostly by simply knowing that people care, and this has been of immense help during the start of this journey, however we must ask for your continued support and help as Nick’s journey progresses.