Each week thescore.ie will give you the low-down, interesting facts and fascinating anecdotes on an Irish rugby club.
We follow up on our feature on Dolphin RFC with a visit to Limerick and a team that has produced Alan Quinlan, strings and Gaillimh.
Home ground: Thomond Park
Club colours: Black and blue hoops, black shorts, blue socks
Club Captain: Duncan Casey
Honours: Nine All-Ireland League titles; AIB Cup ; 19 Munster Senior Cups; Seven Munster Senior League titles.
Notable Internationals: Marcus Horan, Alan Quinlan, Peter Stringer, Jerry Flannery, Donnacha Ryan, Anthony Foley, Mick Galwey, John Hayes, Colm Tucker, Gerry McLoughlin.
Jerry Flannery shows some gas in his club colours. INPHO/Lorraine Sullivan
Síofra Scanlan – Shannon RFC P.R.O
Shannon Rugby Football Club was founded on 18 February 1884, in the Shamrock Bar, by the old Park Bridge, on the Corbally Road, in the historic island parish of St Mary’s. The founder members were Paddy Lynch, Dan Duggan, Richie Gleeson, Pierce Hartney and Joe Hegarty. Lynch captained the first Shannon team and Stephan Hanrahan was president of the club for the first two years of its existence.
We remained a Junior club for the best part of 70 years, during which time we supplied numerous players to Garryowen’s successful Senior sides. Shannon won the Munster Junior Cup for the first of many times in 1914. Senior Club status was attained in 1953-54. It was not until 1960 that the club won its first Senior Cup, defeating UCC in a pulsating replay at Thomond Park, having drawn 8-8 the previous week at Musgrave Park.
Over the years, since the club’s inception, Shannon have had numerous temporary grounds, among them the field at the Island Bank, Gilligan’s Field, Johnny Cusack’s Field and Egan’s Field on the Mill Road in Corbally. The first purchased grounds were 14 acres of land at Fir Hill, Gortatogher, [better known as Athlunkard] just two miles from Limerick city. However, a few years ago, it was determined that this was not big enough, so it was sold to Corbally Utd, in favour of our current more spacious grounds at Coonagh off the Ennis Road.
Alone it Stands
Three Shannon players played on that famous Munster side that defeated the touring All Blacks (12-0) on 31 October 1978 in Thomond Park. They are, Brendan Foley, Colm Tucker and Gerry McLoughlin. Mick Galwey captained the Munster side that lost so narrowly in the Heineken Cup finals of 2000 and 2002.
Gerry McLoughlin is a legend of Shannon and Munster rugby. INPHO/Billy Stickland
Anthony Foley, who’s family members [father Brendan and sister Rosie], represented Shannon, Munster and Ireland with distinction, is Munster’s most capped player. Having played more European Cup games than any other player since the tournament began, topped it all off in May of 2006 when he led Munster to that wonderful final victory over Biarritz.
Another important member is Síofra Scanlan’s grandfather, Stephen Fitzgerald. At 98, he is the oldest member of our club — perhaps the oldest member of any rugby club in the country. He played with Shannon RFC in the late 1930s and early 40s as well as being the club president in the 40s.