Galwegians Rugby Football Club
April 10th, 2008
It is fairly certain that rugby football was being played in Galway city even before the formation of the IRFU, but the lack of surviving minutes or records of meetings etc. makes it difficult to pinpoint the actual beginnings of some of the early clubs. With the establishment of the Union, some data began to be kept, so we know that in 1886 the city had the following clubs....Queen's College (now UCG) , The Grammar School , Galway Town and Old Galwegians. These latter two clubs amalgamated at the end of the 1909/10 season and called themselves Galway Town. They won the senior and Junior cups in 1910/11.
The First World War and its aftermath ruled out competitive rugby but on the resumption in 1921-22, Galway Town RFC again won the senior cup, and then for some reason, the club decided to change it's name again, this time to Galwegians RFC.
In 1963, the club purchased Glenina which at that time was away out in the sticks on the Dublin Road. It has been their headquarters ever since. 'Wegians have made a remarkable contribution to the game over the years, fielding teams at all different levels, providing administrators and referees to the sport and winning many trophies in the process.
From the mid fifties to the mid sixties, they had one of the finest club teams in the country, and during that period several of their players were honoured with international caps.... Dickie Roche, Johnny Dooley , Brendan Guerin , Charlie Lydon and Tony O'Sullivan ( aka 'The Green Ghost'). In more recent times, Eric Ellwood had a highly successful international career. 'Wegians also provided many final triallists and interprovincials over the years.
So today, we have for you a team from that era 1956/57 with some of their trophies. They are , back row , left to right; Noel Fleming , John Callanan , Henry Forde , Sean McHale , Sean Healy , Johnny Dooley , Seamus McEvoy , Joe Tyrrell and Joe Costelloe. In front are Mickey Joyce , Dickie Roche , Henry St. John Blake who was Club President , Tony O'Sullivan , Captain , John Holland , Sean Calleary and Rynal Coen.
Our thanks to Peter Crowley for this photograph.
The Old Galway Society are hosting a lecture this evening ( 10th) in the Mercy Convent School at 8.30pm. The title is "The History of Annaghdown Castle" and it will be given by Ray Cooke. All are welcome to attend. It will be followed on Saturday by a car outing to Annaghdown where Ray Cooke will give a guided tour of the castle. Details of this outing will be given at tonight's talk.
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