50 years of golden memories celebrated at Letterkenny Rugby Club

By Paddy Walsh

It was a tight scrum but Letterkenny emerged from it with the honours.

Normally such scrums are confined to the pitch – and were so earlier in the day – but this was the 50th anniversary celebrations of Letterkenny Rugby Club and even the best tight head or loose head prop wouldn’t have been able to find the room to manoeuvre in the clubhouse where it was standing room only last Saturday afternoon.


It was a day both for celebrations and presentations – those involved in the early years of the club and in later times the recipients of acknowledgements and specially engraved plaques. And all in the presence of the Six Nations Trophy and Triple Crown shield – the guests of honour for the occasion.

The first man introduced by M.C. Boyd Robinson was founding member, Sean Donnelly who had been instrumental in getting Letterkenny Rugby Club off the ground and on to one.

Next were those members of the first club committee in attendance – Seamus Durkan, Louis Walsh, Bart Keogh and Charlie Robinson.

“What better day to acknowledge them than on this the 50th anniversary,” said Boyd. And then there were, added the M.C., two men who had served as treasurers, Presidents and chairmen in the infant years – Jim Moore and Marty Moylan.

In later years there was the visit on November 9, 2005 of members of the All Blacks led by their captain, Tana Umaga, – the party officially naming the then underdeveloped grounds which became known as Dave Gallaher Park. The New Zealanders also visited Ramelton and the birthplace of the legendary All Blacks captain from 1905.

One man who had done so much to organise the visit was Denis Faulkner who also received a plaque at last weekend’s gathering in recognition of his involvement and the work he had carried out behind the scenes.

An army marches on its stomach, and for those armies of teams and officials who have been playing at The Glebe venue over the past few years, there has been the traditional end of game feed provided and presented by Joe and Maria Gibson.


“We are absolutely blessed to have them every single Saturday helping to provide the homely atmosphere at Letterkenny Rugby Club.”

Consequently, the Gibsons were also called up to receive their presentations for services rendered to the hungry masses.

Both club chairman, Andrew Stewart, and President, Shaun McGuinness also acknowledged all who had worked tirelessly, and continue to, over the years for the club. And there were tributes, too, to Letterkenny Gaels for allowing the use of their facilities, both indoors and outdoors.

Up on the clubhouse screen old action and team photographs were imaged on a rolling rotation along with newspaper cuttings including headlines and reports from matches and events associated with the club stretching into the past.

One headline proclaimed: “Letterkenny go under to Lurgan”. How did they manage to get that up there so promptly and the game just concluded outside on the main pitch where the Letterkenny Firsts did indeed go down to the Lurgan men!

But this was an occasion, not to wallow in defeat, but to celebrate the continuing existence of a club that provides an outlet for huge numbers of rugby enthusiasts right from the earliest of ages.

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