Skerries RFC 1926 to 2016
History of Skerries Rugby Club
A paper presented to the Skerries Historical Society 13th February 1996 by Sandy Heffernan
In late 1925, Bill Hartford, who was then a playing member of Malahide RFC, organised a group of local boys, including Jimmy Duff, Kit Seaver, Dick Seaver, Dick Derham, Christy Fox and himself to kick a rugby ball around the Park on the Dublin Road, and to practise passing, running and tackling.
It was 90 years ago today…….
In the Spring of 1926 a team was got together but played only on Sundays. At that time the vast majority of club rugby in Dublin was played on Saturdays but touring teams such as the Harlequins organised by Jack Arigho of Lansdowne and Ireland were always available for games.
The first game that can be recollected was played against Drogheda on Dick Derham’s field, “The twelve acres”, now part of the Shenick Estate.
Those taking part included Bill Hartford, Jimmy Duff, Tommy Duff, Dickie Seaver, Tom Turley, J. Gaynor, Kit Seaver, Dick Garland, Paddy Mathews, Dick Landy, Peter Murray, Christy Fox, and Hal Skelly. The result of the match was Skerries 9 – Drogheda 8.
Around the same time in early 1926 there was the famous occasion of a game with Balbriggan when as Tommy Duff kicked off, the ball burst and there was not another one.
As a result Willie Cummiskey had to drive to Balbriggan and get another ball while the two teams waited around, until he got back.
The recollection is that Balbriggan won 21-3.
That game was played in the Mill Field (between the Mill and the Cabra/Hillside houses) which was the property of Mr William Ennis of Clonard, Balbriggan the owner of the Mill. Jimmy Duff and Christy Fox cycled to Clonard one evening in the Autumn of 1926 and persuaded Mr Ennis to allow the Rugby Club the use of the Mill Field, free of charge.
At the meeting of the Executive Committee of Leinster Branch held on 15th September 1926 it was proposed by Blackrock College and seconded by Lansdowne that Skerries be affiliated to the I.R.F.U. and Leinster Branch. Incidentally that minute of Leinster Branch was signed by one Thomas F. Stack.
At the Annual General Meeting of the Junior Section of Leinster Branch held on 5th October 1926 Mr Christy Fox represented Skerries. Mr Fox was the first Hon. Secretary of the Club.
Fast Forward 90 years………..