Saturday, September 6, 2014

Athenry Rugby Football Club 1925-1932 by Ronan Killeen

Athenry Rugby Club 12 March 1927 Connacht Tribune. I would like to thank Anne Tierney for sending me on this photogrpragh.



Something I never knew before, until I found it by accident when looking for something else on Athenry's history through the Irish Newspaper Archives website. There was, it turns out an Athenry Rugby Football Club back in the 1920's in the town.

The first piece of evidence I have come across is from the Connacht Tribune on the 27 February 1926. The Athenry Rugby Football club had an inaugural meeting on the 18 February 1926. The meeting  was presided by Dr. Foley. The meeting had been well attended. A vete of thanks was given to Dr. Foley.  Mr. W. P. Higgins lended  his premises for the occasion.


That same year the A. R. F. C. planned to compete in the Connacht Rugby (Junior) League and also for the Connacht Cup (Junior). Three Rugby teams in all of Athenry were set up and had a membership of fifty-two people. The A. R. F. C. were known to have many good players. In one report from the Connacht Tribune a very good player who wished to remain anonymous was known as ‘The Grand Old Man’ of the game. A general meeting was held at the Town Hall Athenry on Friday 18 September 1926 at 9pm.

At one particular meeting in September 1926, there had been commotions over the internal involvement of the club but was capably adjusted soon. The following members elected for the following year were:
Mr. Walsh B. A. (President); Mr. Cagney of the Munster and Leinster Bank (Treasurer); Mr. Daly (Honourable Secretary); Mr. B. and Mr. P. Higgins; H. Taylor; M. Fenton (Captain); T. Rafetery (Vice-Captain) and C. L. Broderick (Vice-Chairperson).

On two separate occasions in 1927 condolences were given. It was proposed by Chairperson Mr. Walsh, and seconded by by C. Daly were given to two members of the A. R. F. C. Mr. Thomas and Mr. Martin McGlynn, who’s mother Mrs. McGlynn of Creggaturlaugh passed away at a meeting on the 2 April 1927.
The second condolence given was to Rev. M. F. Broderick at special meeting of the A. R. F. C  in October 1927.

According to a report about subscriptions in the Connacht Tribune on 26 November 1927 there was a lack of support for the Rugby Club:

‘The hon. Secretary, of the A. R. F. C. enclosed a cheque of £4.4s.6d. (Four pounds; 4 shillings; and 6 decimal pence) for takings of a Rugby match played at Athenry on the 13 November 1927 which was in aid of Connemara Distress Fund. It is the best we can do, we get very little support locally, and we wish it was ten times more.

An annual dance was held on Sunday, February 19th 1928. Tickets were 12/6 (12 shillings  6. pence) for gentlemen. For ladies it was 10/- (10 shillings). For double it was £1.
In 1932 at a meeting of the Committee of the Athenry Rugby Football Club held on the 14th January 1932; ‘It was unanimously agreed upon that tickets applied for the Connacht Branch for the International match with England at Lansdowne Road on 13th February, will be accepted only on the understanding that the National Flag will be flown at Lansdowne Road on the day of the match.

Nothing seems to appear in the Irish Newspaper Archives after 1932? Hopefully, I will find out more.

Sources:

 Connacht Tribune on the following dates; 27 February 1926; 18 September 1926; 26 September 1926; 23 April 1927; 1 October 1927; 26 November 1927.


Irish Press on 27 January 1932

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