Home/The Irish Rugby Emporium
  • There are many chapters in Munster’s storied rugby journey but pride of place remains the game against the otherwise unbeaten New Zealanders on October 31, 1978. 40cm x 30cm There were some mighty matches between the Kiwis and Munster, most notably at the Mardyke in 1954 when the tourists edged home by 6-3 and again by the same margin at Thomond Park in 1963 while the teams also played a 3-3 draw at Musgrave Park in 1973. During that time, they resisted the best that Ireland, Ulster and Leinster (admittedly with fewer opportunities) could throw at them so this country was still waiting for any team to put one over on the All Blacks when Graham Mourie’s men arrived in Limerick on October 31st, 1978. There is always hope but in truth Munster supporters had little else to encourage them as the fateful day dawned. Whereas the New Zealanders had disposed of Cambridge University, Cardiff, West Wales and London Counties with comparative ease, Munster’s preparations had been confined to a couple of games in London where their level of performance, to put it mildly, was a long way short of what would be required to enjoy even a degree of respectability against the All Blacks. They were hammered by Middlesex County and scraped a draw with London Irish. Ever before those two games, things hadn’t been going according to plan. Tom Kiernan had coached Munster for three seasons in the mid-70s before being appointed Branch President, a role he duly completed at the end of the 1977/78 season. However, when coach Des Barry resigned for personal reasons, Munster turned once again to Kiernan. Being the great Munster man that he was and remains, Tom was happy to oblige although as an extremely shrewd observer of the game, one also suspected that he spotted something special in this group of players that had escaped most peoples’ attention. He refused to be dismayed by what he saw in the games in London, instead regarding them as crucial in the build-up to the All Blacks encounter. He was, in fact, ahead of his time, as he laid his hands on video footage of the All Blacks games, something unheard of back in those days, nor was he averse to the idea of making changes in key positions. A major case in point was the introduction of London Irish loose-head prop Les White of whom little was known in Munster rugby circles but who convinced the coaching team he was the ideal man to fill a troublesome position. Kiernan was also being confronted by many other difficult issues. The team he envisaged taking the field against the tourists was composed of six players (Larry Moloney, Seamus Dennison, Gerry McLoughlin, Pat Whelan, Brendan Foley and Colm Tucker) based in Limerick, four (Greg Barrett, Jimmy Bowen, Moss Finn and Christy Cantillon) in Cork, four more (Donal Canniffe, Tony Ward, Moss Keane and Donal Spring) in Dublin and Les White who, according to Keane, “hailed from somewhere in England, at that time nobody knew where”. Always bearing in mind that the game then was totally amateur and these guys worked for a living, for most people it would have been impossible to bring them all together on a regular basis for six weeks before the match. But the level of respect for Kiernan was so immense that the group would have walked on the proverbial bed of nails for him if he so requested. So they turned up every Wednesday in Fermoy — a kind of halfway house for the guys travelling from three different locations and over appreciable distances. Those sessions helped to forge a wonderful team spirit. After all, guys who had been slogging away at work only a short few hours previously would hardly make that kind of sacrifice unless they meant business. October 31, 1978 dawned wet and windy, prompting hope among the faithful that the conditions would suit Munster who could indulge in their traditional approach sometimes described rather vulgarly as “boot, bite and bollock” and, who knows, with the fanatical Thomond Park crowd cheering them on, anything could happen. Ironically, though, the wind and rain had given way to a clear, blue sky and altogether perfect conditions in good time for the kick-off. Surely, now, that was Munster’s last hope gone — but that didn’t deter more than 12,000 fans from making their way to Thomond Park and somehow finding a spot to view the action. The vantage points included hundreds seated on the 20-foot high boundary wall, others perched on the towering trees immediately outside the ground and some even watched from the windows of houses at the Ballynanty end that have since been demolished. The atmosphere was absolutely electric as the teams took the field, the All Blacks performed the Haka and the Welsh referee Corris Thomas got things under way. The first few skirmishes saw the teams sizing each other up before an incident that was to be recorded in song and story occurred, described here — with just the slightest touch of hyperbole! — by Terry McLean in his book ‘Mourie’s All Blacks’. “In only the fifth minute, Seamus Dennison, him the fellow that bore the number 13 jersey in the centre, was knocked down in a tackle. He came from the Garryowen club which might explain his subsequent actions — to join that club, so it has been said, one must walk barefooted over broken glass, charge naked through searing fires, run the severest gauntlets and, as a final test of manhood, prepare with unfaltering gaze to make a catch of the highest ball ever kicked while aware that at least eight thundering members of your own team are about to knock you down, trample all over you and into the bargain hiss nasty words at you because you forgot to cry out ‘Mark’. Moss Keane recalled the incident: “It was the hardest tackle I have ever seen and lifted the whole team. That was the moment we knew we could win the game.” Kiernan also acknowledged the importance of “The Tackle”.
    He said: “Tackling is as integral a part of rugby as is a majestic centre three-quarter break. There were two noteworthy tackles during the match by Seamus Dennison. He was injured in the first and I thought he might have to come off. But he repeated the tackle some minutes later.”
    Many years on, Stuart Wilson vividly recalled the Dennison tackles and spoke about them in remarkable detail and with commendable honesty: “The move involved me coming in from the blind side wing and it had been working very well on tour. It was a workable move and it was paying off so we just kept rolling it out. Against Munster, the gap opened up brilliantly as it was supposed to except that there was this little guy called Seamus Dennison sitting there in front of me. “He just basically smacked the living daylights out of me. I dusted myself off and thought, I don’t want to have to do that again. Ten minutes later, we called the same move again thinking we’d change it slightly but, no, it didn’t work and I got hammered again.” The game was 11 minutes old when the most famous try in the history of Munster rugby was scored. Tom Kiernan recalled: “It came from a great piece of anticipation by Bowen who in the first place had to run around his man to get to Ward’s kick ahead. He then beat two men and when finally tackled, managed to keep his balance and deliver the ball to Cantillon who went on to score. All of this was evidence of sharpness on Bowen’s part.” Very soon it would be 9-0. In the first five minutes, a towering garryowen by skipper Canniffe had exposed the vulnerability of the New Zealand rearguard under the high ball. They were to be examined once or twice more but it was from a long range but badly struck penalty attempt by Ward that full-back Brian McKechnie knocked on some 15 yards from his line and close to where Cantillon had touched down a few minutes earlier. You could sense White, Whelan, McLoughlin and co in the front five of the Munster scrum smacking their lips as they settled for the scrum. A quick, straight put-in by Canniffe, a well controlled heel, a smart pass by the scrum-half to Ward and the inevitability of a drop goal. And that’s exactly what happened. The All Blacks enjoyed the majority of forward possession but the harder they tried, the more they fell into the trap set by the wily Kiernan and so brilliantly carried out by every member of the Munster team. The tourists might have edged the line-out contest through Andy Haden and Frank Oliver but scrum-half Mark Donaldson endured a miserable afternoon as the Munster forwards poured through and buried him in the Thomond Park turf. As the minutes passed and the All Blacks became more and more unsure as to what to try next, the Thomond Park hordes chanted “Munster-Munster–Munster” to an ever increasing crescendo until with 12 minutes to go, the noise levels reached deafening proportions. And then ... a deep, probing kick by Ward put Wilson under further pressure. Eventually, he stumbled over the ball as it crossed the line and nervously conceded a five-metre scrum. The Munster heel was disrupted but the ruck was won, Tucker gained possession and slipped a lovely little pass to Ward whose gifted feet and speed of thought enabled him in a twinkle to drop a goal although surrounded by a swarm of black jerseys. So the game entered its final 10 minutes with the All Blacks needing three scores to win and, of course, that was never going to happen. Munster knew this, so, too, did the All Blacks. Stu Wilson admitted as much as he explained his part in Wardy’s second drop goal: “Tony Ward banged it down, it bounced a little bit, jigged here, jigged there, and I stumbled, fell over, and all of a sudden the heat was on me. They were good chasers. A kick is a kick — but if you have lots of good chasers on it, they make bad kicks look good. I looked up and realised — I’m not going to run out of here so I just dotted it down. I wasn’t going to run that ball back out at them because five of those mad guys were coming down the track at me and I’m thinking, I’m being hit by these guys all day and I’m looking after my body, thank you. Of course it was a five-yard scrum and Ward banged over another drop goal. That was it, there was the game”. The final whistle duly sounded with Munster 12 points ahead but the heroes of the hour still had to get off the field and reach the safety of the dressing room. Bodies were embraced, faces were kissed, backs were pummelled, you name it, the gauntlet had to be walked. Even the All Blacks seemed impressed with the sense of joy being released all about them. Andy Haden recalled “the sea of red supporters all over the pitch after the game, you could hardly get off for the wave of celebration that was going on. The whole of Thomond Park glowed in the warmth that someone had put one over on the Blacks.” Controversially, the All Blacks coach, Jack Gleeson (usually a man capable of accepting the good with the bad and who passed away of cancer within 12 months of the tour), in an unguarded (although possibly misunderstood) moment on the following day, let slip his innermost thoughts on the game. “We were up against a team of kamikaze tacklers,” he lamented. “We set out on this tour to play 15-man rugby but if teams were to adopt the Munster approach and do all they could to stop the All Blacks from playing an attacking game, then the tour and the game would suffer.” It was interpreted by the majority of observers as a rare piece of sour grapes from a group who had accepted the defeat in good spirit and it certainly did nothing to diminish Munster respect for the All Blacks and their proud rugby tradition.
    And Tom Kiernan and Andy Haden, rugby standard bearers of which their respective countries were justifiably proud, saw things in a similar light.
    “Jack’s comment was made in the context of the game and meant as a compliment,” Haden maintained. “Indeed, it was probably a little suggestion to his own side that perhaps we should imitate their efforts and emulate them in that department.” Tom Kiernan went along with this line of thought: “I thought he was actually paying a compliment to the Munster spirit. Kamikaze pilots were very brave men. That’s what I took out of that. I didn’t think it was a criticism of Munster.” And Stuart Wilson? “It was meant purely as a compliment. We had been travelling through the UK and winning all our games. We were playing a nice, open style. But we had never met a team that could get up in our faces and tackle us off the field. Every time you got the ball, you didn’t get one player tackling you, you got four. Kamikaze means people are willing to die for the cause and that was the way with every Munster man that day. Their strengths were that they were playing for Munster, that they had a home Thomond Park crowd and they took strength from the fact they were playing one of the best teams in the world.” You could rely on Terry McLean (famed New Zealand journalist) to be fair and sporting in his reaction to the Thomond Park defeat. Unlike Kiernan and Haden, he scorned Jack Gleeson’s “kamikaze” comment, stating that “it was a stern, severe criticism which wanted in fairness on two grounds. It did not sufficiently praise the spirit of Munster or the presence within the one team of 15 men who each emerged from the match much larger than life-size. Secondly, it was disingenuous or, more accurately, naive.” “Gleeson thought it sinful that Ward had not once passed the ball. It was worse, he said, that Munster had made aggressive defence the only arm of their attack. Now, what on earth, it could be asked, was Kiernan to do with his team? He held a fine hand with top trumps in Spring, Cantillon, Foley and Whelan in the forwards and Canniffe, Ward, Dennison, Bowen and Moloney in the backs. Tommy Kiernan wasn’t born yesterday. He played to the strength of his team and upon the suspected weaknesses of the All Blacks.” You could hardly be fairer than that – even if Graham Mourie himself in his 1983 autobiography wasn’t far behind when observing: “Munster were just too good. From the first time Stu Wilson was crashed to the ground as he entered the back line to the last time Mark Donaldson was thrown backwards as he ducked around the side of a maul. They were too good.” One of the nicest tributes of all came from a famous New Zealand photographer, Peter Bush. He covered numerous All Black tours, was close friends with most of their players and a canny one when it came to finding the ideal position from which to snap his pictures. He was the guy perched precariously on the pillars at the entrance to the pitch as the celebrations went on and which he described 20 years later in his book ‘Who Said It’s Only a Game?’
    “I climbed up on a gate at the end of the game to get this photo and in the middle of it all is Moss Keane, one of the great characters of Irish rugby, with an expression of absolute elation. The All Blacks lost 12-0 to a side that played with as much passion as I have ever seen on a rugby field. The great New Zealand prop Gary Knight said to me later: ‘We could have played them for a fortnight and we still wouldn’t have won’. I was doing a little radio piece after the game and got hold of Moss Keane and said ‘Moss, I wonder if ...’ and he said, ‘ho, ho, we beat you bastards’.
    “With that, he flung his arms around me and dragged me with him into the shower. I finally managed to disentangle myself and killed the tape. I didn’t mind really because it had been a wonderful day.” Dimensions :47cm x 57cm
  • Classic Tyrconnell Whiskey Advert depicting the racehorse Tyrconnell (Gaelic for Co Donegal) who was owned by Andrew Watt. 54cm x 75cm. Belfast This historic brand of whiskey has now  been revived by the Cooley Distillery (which is now part of Beam Suntory).The brand was previously owned by the Watt Distillery, which (according to the company) dates back to 1762. The Tyrconnell was their flagship brand, and was named after a racehorse owned by Andrew Alexander Watt. The horse was a chestnut colt that won at 100 to 1 odds in 1876 in the Irish horse race called The National Produce Stakes.The actual horse race is depicted on the label. Tír Chonaill in the Irish Language comes from Tír meaning “Land of” and Chonaill which was the name of an ancient 5th Century High King of the North West of Ireland in the 5th century who was a son of the famous Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tyrconnell was therefore the name of this ancient North West Irish Kingdom and is still to this day used as the Irish language name of Donegal in the North West of Ireland. Tír Chonaill would have encompassed the modern county of Donegal and much of her neighbouring counties of Sligo, Leitrim, Fermanagh and Tyrone. The Kingdom survived until 1601. In 1876, the Donegal – Derry based Watt family who owned one of the largest whiskey distilleries in Ireland entered a racehorse called “Tyrconnell” (after the local ancient kingdom) in the Irish Classic “National Produce Stakes” where it won against all the odds at an incredible 100 to 1. This spectacular achievement inspired the Watt whiskey distillery in Derry to celebrate the occasion with a special commemorative Tyrconnell Irish whiskey label. The Tyrconnell was, before American prohibition, one of the biggest selling whiskey brands in the United States. Pre-prohibition photos taken in Yankee Stadium in New York show Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey billboards in positions of prominence at the venue. All three of the company’s whiskey brands enjoyed great success in the export sector. Sales in England, Canada, Australia, Nigeria and the West Indies and the U.S. put Derry on the commercial map as never before. Unfortunately, with the decline of Irish Whiskey after prohibition, Watts distillery and Tyrconnell whiskey faded and died like the majority of Irish whiskey distilleries and brands of the time. When the Cooley Irish Whiskey Distillery was recommissioned by Dr. John Teeling a few years ago, Tyrconnell was one of the old iconic Irish whiskey brands that Cooley brought back to life. Cooley Distillery and the Cooley Irish Whiskey brands are now owned by the Japanese – American whiskey giant Beam Suntory. Today, Tyrconnell whiskey is available as a standard 10 Year Old Cooley Single Malt and is also available through the Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey Finishes Collection in Port Pipe, Madeira Cask and Sherry Butt finishes at 46% abv as well as a 15 Year Old Single Cask expression. Andrew Watt (4 November 1853 – 11 October 1928) was an Anglo-Irish businessman with a net worth of over £900,000 at his death in 1928, worth £51.8 million in 2016.He was born in 1853 to Samuel Watt of Thornhill and his wife Jane Newman, daughter of Captain Robert Newman, R.N.. He was educated at Foyle College and then at home by tutors. His family were gentry who had arrived at Claragh in County Donegal during one of the Ulster Plantations.He was the owner of Watt’s Distillery, one of the largest distilleries in Ireland, and the creator of many whiskies including the famous Tyrconnell,which he named after his racehorse that won the National Produce Stakes against the odds of 100 to 1. During industrial unrest of 1921, brought about by prohibition in the United States and the First World War, Watt’s workers at the distillery were made redundant after challenging his authority. Watt is said to have stood on a barrel outside the gates to his distillery in Bogside, whilst the workers were on strike, and shouted, ‘Well men, I shall put it to you like this …what is it to be? Will you open the gates?’ To which the workers retorted, ‘The gates stay shut!’ This prompted Watt to reply, ‘Shut they are, and shut they shall remain!’ Watt subsequently closed down the distillery at great economic expense. On 7 October 1895, he married Violet Flora de Burgh, daughter of George de Burgh and Constance Matthews, with whom he had 4 sons and 2 daughters.He served as High Sheriff of County Londonderry from 1886 to 1887.He was a member of Boodle’s. He died at Easton Hall, where he lived in England after he left Ireland. Below is an additional and very interesting  article from the Derry Historical Journal chronicling the rise and fall, like so many other Irish Whiskey distilleries, of the once all conquering Watts “Tyrconnell” brand.  

    When Bogside whiskey was the toast of the world

    editorial image
    By 1887 Watts Distillery at Abbey Street was the largest in Ireland and had become a world leader in whiskey production. The massive city centre plant covered eight acres, which included Abbey Street, Fahan Street and adjoining thoroughfares.
    At that time the company’s director, David Watt, installed a second Coffey still – an invention by Aeneas Coffey which revolutionised the whiskey industry – to boost output to an incredible two million gallons a year.
    The firm developed three major brands, Tyrconnell, Favourite and Innishowen. In 1876, Andrew Alexander Watt entered a racehorse called “Tyrconnell” in the Irish Classic ‘National Produce Stakes’ and it won against all the odds at an incredible 100 to 1. This spectacular achievement inspired the Watt distillery to celebrate the occasion with a special commemorative Tyrconnell label. The Tyrconnell was, before prohibition, one of the biggest selling whiskey brands in the United States. Pre-prohibition photos of Yankee Stadium in New York show Tyrconnell billboards in positions of prominence at the venue. All three of the company’s brand names enjoyed great success in the export sector. Sales in England, Canada, Australia, Nigeria and the West Indies and the US put Derry on the commercial map as never before.
    Water used in the distillery came from the surrounding Derry hills and was stored in reservoirs on site. The wheat and maize stores were immense. At any one time, the warehouses, ranging in size from two to four storeys in height, contained 2,000 tons of wheat and barley; 1,000 tons of maize; 1,600 tons of barley, oats and maize. Attached to these buildings were two large “Malakoff’ dry-corn kilns, capable of drying 30 tons of corn every 24 hours, while in each of the two malting houses, 16 tons of grain were malted in a steep (50 ft in length by 9 ft wide) four times a week. The Coffey stills – the revolutionary inventions designed by Aeneas Coffey – were located in a still house which was seven storeys high, the tallest building in the city apart from the Cathedral. After dilution and casking, the barrels were taken to one of the five warehouses by an overhead railway pulled by a small steam engine. An advantage by-product from the Coffey stills was fusel oil which was used to light the distillery. It had a distinctive all pervading spirituous smell that the men carried home with them in their clothes. The Abbey Street site had many distinctive features notably two massive chimneys, one 160 feet and the other 130 feet high.
    Around 1820, James Robinson started distilling in the Waterside with a simple 76-gallon still. The operation was later acquired by the Meehan family who built a street in the Waterside called Meehan’s Row to accommodate the distillery workers. By the early 1830’s, the Watt family purchased the business and set out on a planned, systematic expansion of the site. Despite being successful, the Waterside operation always laboured in the shadow of the Abbey street distillery. In the 1880s, Abbey Street had the capacity to produce two million gallons of whiskey a year; the Waterside’s maximum output was 200,000 gallons. It is possible that the geographical location inhibited major expansion as the premises were situated on a steep hill and were flanked by two major thoroughfares. The decision was taken in 1902-03 by the Watt family to merge with two Belfast distilleries, the small Avoniel, owned by William Higgins and the Irish Distillery Ltd., Connswater, to form the United Distilleries Company Limited (UDC). Andrew Watt would chair the new consortium that had the capability to produce the six million gallons of grain whiskey per year. The operation would have several Coffey stills and would exert great influence within the industry becoming a major supplier of grain whiskey to blenders in both Scotland and England. Things worked perfectly at first but around 1908 and 1910, conflict arose between the UDC group and Scottish giants DCL based in Edinburgh. A series of further complicated deals between them served only to undermine confidence in both organisations. This was to be the beginning of the end for the huge Derry operation and company head, Andrew Alexander Watt closed the business after the strike of 1921. Watt himself died at his English estate in Easton Hall near Grantham in October 1928 at the age of 75. Derry Auther Ken McCormick describes the last encounter of AA Watt with his employees in a wonderful account ‘The Folly of Andrew Watt’ in his book ‘Ken McCormick’s Derry – Heroes, Villains and Ghosts’.
    “A gleaming yellow Rolls Royce slowly making its way through the gloom of a cold foggy morning in the Bogside in the year 1921. The air is tense and there are huddles of men everywhere – unbelievably, the workers of Watt’s Distillery are on strike. The eight-acre site, normally humming with activity round the clock, is as silent as the grave. But in the approaching vehicle is 68 year – old Andrew Alexander Watt, and he’s intent on a showdown . . . “Andrew Watt asked to be helped up on to one of his own whiskey barrels and from there he addressed the crowd with the menacing words – ‘Well men, I shall put it to you like this . . . what is it to be? Will you open the gates?’ The workers retorted angrily- ‘The gates stay shut!’ ‘Very well!’ exclaimed Watt bluntly. ‘Shut they are, and shut they shall remain!’ “In that bleak instant the Watt’s whiskey enterprise disappeared from Derry forever. Over 300 jobs were lost, including the talents of some of Ireland’s finest whiskey blenders. Also left jobless were coopers, carpenters and a host of other tradesfolk and office staff, many of whose parents and grandparents had worked for Watts for generations.
    “As for A A Watt, he left the city never to return. In doing so he turned his back on what would be a multi-million pound business in today’s world. Looking back, the outcome can only be viewed as a total disaster.” It ranks as one of the bleakest days in Derry’s industrial history and marked the end the city’s reputation as a world leader in whiskey production. Mr McCormick adds: “The loss was staggering.” The tensions created by the War of Independents and the Civil War and the introduction of new laws demanding that grain whiskey be laid down for three years before it could be sold may have had a bearing on Watt’s decision to shut up shop, although many agree that it was his expansionist tendency’s which were as Mr McCormick put it “his folly”. “Quite simply he bit off more than he could chew and left his whole operation vulnerable to a take-over,” he adds. Meanwhile some people maintained that a fire – in which several employees died – at the Abbey St distillery in 1915 was the beginning of the end for the Watts. According to Mr McCormick: “The vats had to be opened and it seems whiskey flowed along the gutters – much to the delight of the locals, it must be said, for they were able to collect bucketfuls of the precious spirit!”
  • The iconic portrait of a teenage Kevin Barry,one of our most celebrated republican martyrs-in the black and white hooped rugby jersey of Belvedere College SJ. 26cm x 30cm          Dunmanway  Co Cork Kevin Gerard Barry (20 January 1902 – 1 November 1920) was an Irish republican paramilitary who was executed by the British Government during the Irish War of Independence. He was sentenced to death for his part in an attack upon a British Army supply lorry which resulted in the deaths of three British soldiers. His execution inflamed nationalist public opinion in Ireland, largely because of his age. The timing of the execution, only days after the death by hunger strike of Terence MacSwiney, the republican Lord Mayor of Cork, brought public opinion to a fever-pitch. His death attracted international attention, and attempts were made by U.S. and Vatican officials to secure a reprieve. His execution and MacSwiney's death precipitated an escalation in violence as the Irish War of Independence entered its bloodiest phase, and Barry became an Irish republican martyr.

    Early life

    Kevin Barry was born on 20 January 1902, at 8 Fleet Street, Dublin, to Thomas and Mary (née Dowling) Barry. The fourth of seven children, two boys and five sisters, Kevin was baptised in St Andrew's Church, Westland Row. Thomas Barry Sr. worked on the family's farm at Tombeagh, Hacketstown, County Carlow, and ran a dairy business from Fleet Street. Thomas Barry Sr. died in 1908, aged 56. His mother came from Drumguin, County Carlow, and, upon the death of her husband, moved the family to nearby Tombeagh. As a child he went to the national school in Rathvilly. On returning to Dublin, he attended St Mary's College, Rathmines, until the school closed in the summer of 1916.When he was thirteen, he attended a commemoration for the Manchester Martyrs, who were hanged in England in 1867. Afterwards he wished to join Constance Markievicz's Fianna Éireann, but was reportedly dissuaded by his family.

    Belvedere College

    From St Mary's College he transferred to Belvedere College, where he was a member of the championship Junior Rugby Cup team, and earned a place on the senior team. In 1918 he became secretary of the school hurling club which had just been formed, and was one of their most enthusiastic players.
    Belvedere College, the Jesuit college attended by Kevin Barry. To mark the anniversary of his execution, Belvedere's museum mounted a special exhibition of Kevin Barry memorabilia.
    A Jesuit priest, Thomas Counihan, who was Barry's science and mathematics teacher, said of him: "He was a dour kind of lad. But once he got down to something he went straight ahead… There was no waving of flags with him, but he was sincere and intense." Notwithstanding his many activities, he did not neglect his studies. He won a merit-based scholarship given annually by Dublin Corporation, which allowed him to become a student of medicine at UCD.

    Medical student

    He entered University College Dublin in 1919. His closest friend at college was Gerry MacAleer, from Dungannon, whom he had first met in Belvedere. Other friends included Frank Flood, Tom Kissane and Mick Robinson, who, unknown to many in the college, were, along with Barry, members of the Irish Volunteers.

    Volunteer activities

    In October 1917, during his second year at Belvedere, aged 15, he joined the IRA. Assigned originally to ‘C’ Company 1st Battalion, based on the north side of Dublin, he later transferred to the newly formed ‘H’ Company, under the command of Capt. Seamus Kavanagh. His first job as a member of the IRA was delivering mobilisation orders around the city. Along with other volunteers, Barry trained in a number of locations in Dublin, including the building at 44 Parnell Square, the present day headquarters of Sinn Féin, now named Kevin Barry Hall. The IRA held Field exercises during this period which were conducted in north county Dublin and in areas such as Finglas.
    Wall plaque marking the site in 1919, where the Active Service Unit of the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Republican Army was founded. The building is in Great Denmark Street, Dublin.
    The following year, at the age of 16, he was introduced by Seán O'Neill and Bob O'Flanagan to the Clarke Luby Club of the IRB, which had been reorganised. He took part in a number of IRA operations in the years leading up to his capture. He was part of the unit which raided the Shamrock Works for weapons destined to be handed over to the R.I.C. He also took part in the raid on Mark's of Capel Street, looking for ammunition and explosives. On 1 June 1920, under Vice-Commandant Peadar Clancy, he played a notable part in the seizing of the King's Inn, capturing the garrison’s arms. The haul included 25 rifles, two light machine guns and large quantities of ammunition. The 25 British soldiers captured during the attack were released as the volunteers withdrew. In recognition of his dedication to duty he was promoted to Section Commander.

    Ambush

    On the morning of 20 September 1920, Barry went to Mass, then joined a party of IRA volunteers on Bolton Street in Dublin. Their orders were to ambush a British army lorry as it picked up a delivery of bread from the bakery, and capture their weapons. The ambush was scheduled for 11:00am, which gave him enough time to take part in the operation and return to class in time for an examination he had at 2:00pm. The truck arrived late, and was under the command of Sergeant Banks. Armed with a .38 Mauser Parabellum, Barry and members of C Company were to surround the lorry, disarm the soldiers, take the weapons and escape. He covered the back of the vehicle and, when challenged, the five soldiers complied with the order to lay down their weapons. A shot was then fired; Terry Golway, author of For the Cause of Liberty, suggests it was possibly a warning shot from an uncovered soldier in the front. Barry and the rest of the ambush party then opened fire. His gun jammed twice and he dived for cover under the vehicle. His comrades fled and he was left behind. He was then spotted and arrested by the soldiers.One of the soldiers, Private Harold Washington, aged 15, had been shot dead. Two others, Privates Marshall Whitehead and Thomas Humphries, were both badly wounded and later died of their wounds. The British Army released the following statement on Monday afternoon:
    This morning a party of one N.C.O. and six men of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment were fired on by a body of civilians outside a bakery in Church Street, Dublin. One soldier was killed and four were wounded. A piquet of the Lancashire Fusiliers in the vicinity, hearing the shots, hurried to their comrades' assistance, and succeeded in arresting one of the aggressors. No arms or equipment were lost by the soldiers.
    Much was made of Barry's age by Irish newspapers, but the British military pointed out that the three soldiers who had been killed were "much the same age as Barry". On 20 October, Major Reginald Ingram Marians OBE, Head of the Press Section of the General Staff, informed Basil Clarke, Head of Publicity, that Washington was "only 19 and that the other soldiers were of similar ages." General Macready was well aware of the "propaganda value of the soldier's ages." Macready informed General Sir Henry Wilson on the day that sentence was pronounced "of the three men who were killed by him (Barry) and his friends two were 19 and one 20 — official age so probably they were younger... so if you want propaganda there you are."It was later confirmed that Private Harold Washington was 15 years and 351 days old, having been born 4 October 1904. About this competing propaganda, Martin Doherty wrote in a magazine article entitled 'Kevin Barry & the Anglo-Irish Propaganda War':
    from the British point of view, therefore, the Anglo-Irish propaganda war was probably unwinable [sic]. Nationalist Ireland had decided that men like Kevin Barry fought to free their country, while British soldiers — young or not — sought to withhold that freedom. In these circumstances, to label Barry a murderer was merely to add insult to injury. The contrasting failure of British propaganda is graphically demonstrated by the simple fact that even in British newspapers Privates Whitehead, Washington and Humphries remained faceless names and numbers, for whom no songs were written.”

    Capture and torture

    Sinn Féin's Dublin HQ at the Kevin Barry Memorial Hall
    Barry was placed in the back of the lorry with the young body of Private Harold Washington, and was subjected to some abuse by Washington's comrades. He was transported then to the North Dublin Union. Upon arrival at the barracks he was taken under military police escort to the defaulters' room where he was searched and handcuffed. A short while later, three sergeants of the Lancashire Fusiliers and two officers began the interrogation. He gave his name and an address of 58 South Circular Road, Dublin (his uncle's address), and his occupation as a medical student, but refused to answer any other questions. The officers continued to demand the names of other republicans involved in the ambush. At this time a publicity campaign was mounted by Sinn Féin. Barry received orders on 28 October from his brigade commander, Richard McKee, "to make a sworn affidavit concerning his torture in the North Dublin Union." Arrangements were made to deliver this through Barry's sister, Kathy, to Desmond Fitzgerald, director of publicity for Sinn Féin, "with the object of having it published in the World press, and particularly in the English papers, on Saturday 30th October." The affidavit, drawn up in Mountjoy Prison days before his execution, describes his treatment when the question of names was repeated:
    He tried to persuade me to give the names, and I persisted in refusing. He then sent the sergeant out of the room for a bayonet. When it was brought in the sergeant was ordered by the same officer to point the bayonet at my stomach ... The sergeant then said that he would run the bayonet into me if I did not tell ... The same officer then said to me that if I persisted in my attitude he would turn me out to the men in the barrack square, and he supposed I knew what that meant with the men in their present temper. I said nothing. He ordered the sergeants to put me face down on the floor and twist my arm ... When I lay on the floor, one of the sergeants knelt on my back, the other two placed one foot each on my back and left shoulder, and the man who knelt on me twisted my right arm, holding it by the wrist with one hand, while he held my hair with the other to pull back my head. The arm was twisted from the elbow joint. This continued, to the best of my judgment, for five minutes. It was very painful ... I still persisted in refusing to answer these questions... A civilian came in and repeated the questions, with the same result. He informed me that if I gave all the information I knew I could get off.
    On 28 October, the Irish Bulletin (organised by Dick McKee, the IRA Commandant of the Dublin Brigade), a news-sheet produced by Dáil Éireann's Department of Publicity,published Barry's statement alleging torture. The headline read: English Military Government Torture a Prisoner of War and are about to Hang him. The Irish Bulletin declared Barry to be a prisoner of war, suggesting a conflict of principles was at the heart of the conflict. The English did not recognise a war and treated all killings by the IRA as murder. Irish republicans claimed that they were at war and it was being fought between two opposing nations and therefore demanded prisoner of war status. Historian John Ainsworth, author of Kevin Barry, the Incident at Monk's bakery and the Making of an Irish Republican Legend, pointed out that Barry had been captured by the British not as a uniformed soldier but disguised as a civilian and in possession of flat-nosed "Dum-dum" bullets, which expand upon impact, maximising the amount of damage done to the "unfortunate individual" targeted, in contravention of the Hague Convention of 1899. Erskine Childers addressed the question of political status in a letter to the press on 29 October, which was published the day after Barry's execution.
    This lad Barry was doing precisely what Englishmen would be doing under the same circumstances and with the same bitter and intolerable provocation — the suppression by military force of their country's liberty.
    To hang him for murder is an insulting outrage, and it is more: it is an abuse of power: an unworthy act of vengeance. contrasting ill with the forbearance and humanity invariably shown by the Irish Volunteers towards the prisoners captured by them when they have been successful in encounters similar to this one. These guerrilla combats with soldiers and constables — both classes do the same work with the same weapons; the work of military repression — are typical episodes in Ireland.
    Murder of individual constables, miscalled ‘police’, have been comparatively rare. The Government figure is 38, and it will not, to my knowledge, bear examination. I charge against the British Government 80 murders by soldiers and constables: murders of unarmed people, and for the most part wholly innocent people, including old men, women and boys.
    To hang Barry is to push to its logical extreme the hypocritical pretense that the national movement in Ireland unflinchingly supported by the great mass of the Irish people, is the squalid conspiracy of a ‘murder gang’.
    That is false; it is a natural uprising: a collision between two Governments, one resting on consent, the other on force. The Irish are struggling against overwhelming odds to defend their own elected institutions against extinction.
    In a letter addressed to "the civilised nations of the world", Arthur Griffith — then acting President of the Republic wrote:
    Under similar circumstances a body of Irish Volunteers captured on June 1 of the present year a party of 25 English military who were on duty at the King's Inns, Dublin. Having disarmed the party the Volunteers immediately released their prisoners. This was in strict accordance with the conduct of the Volunteers in all such encounters. Hundreds of members of the armed forces have been from time to time captured by the Volunteers and in no case was any prisoner maltreated even though Volunteers had been killed and wounded in the fighting, as in the case of Cloyne, Co. Cork, when, after a conflict in which one Volunteer was killed and two wounded, the whole of the opposing forces were captured, disarmed, and set at liberty.
    Ainsworth notes that "Griffith was deliberately using examples relating to IRA engagements with British military forces rather than the police, for he knew that engagements involving the police in particular were usually of an uncivilized nature, characterized by violence and brutality, albeit on both sides by this stage."

    Trial

    The War Office ordered that Kevin Barry be tried by court-martial under the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act, which received Royal Assent on 9 August 1920. General Sir Nevil Macready, Commander-in-Chief of British forces in Ireland then nominated a court of nine officers under a Brigadier-General Onslow.
    Kevin Barry Commemorative Plaque close to the spot where he was captured on Church Street, Dublin
    On 20 October, at 10 o’clock, the nine officers of the court — ranging in rank from Brigadier to Lieutenant — took their places at an elevated table. At 10.25, Kevin Barry was brought into the room by a military escort. Then Seán Ó hUadhaigh sought a short adjournment to consult his client. The court granted this request. After the short adjournment Barry announced "As a soldier of the Irish Republic, I refuse to recognise the court." Brigadier Onslow explained the prisoner's "perilous situation" and that he was being tried on a capital charge. He did not reply. Ó hUadhaigh then rose to tell the court that since his client did not recognise the authority of the court he himself could take no further part in the proceedings. Barry was charged on three counts of the murder of Private Marshall Whitehead. One of the bullets taken from Whitehead's body was of .45 calibre, while all witnesses stated that Barry was armed with a .38 Mauser Parabellum. The Judge Advocate General informed the court that the Crown had only to prove that the accused was one of the party that killed three British soldiers, and every member of the party was technically guilty of murder. In accordance with military procedure the verdict was not announced in court. He was returned to Mountjoy, and at about 8 o’clock that night, the district court-martial officer entered his cell and read out the sentence: death by hanging. The public learned on 28 October that the date of execution had been fixed for 1 November.

    Execution

    Barry spent the last day of his life preparing for death. His ordeal focused world attention on Ireland. According to Sean Cronin, author of a biography of Barry (Kevin Barry), he hoped for a firing squad rather than the gallows, as he had been condemned by a military court. A friend who visited him in Mountjoy prison after he received confirmation of the death sentence, said:
    He is meeting death as he met life with courage but with nothing of the braggart. He does not believe that he is doing anything wonderfully heroic. Again and again he has begged that no fuss be made about him.
    He reported Barry as saying "It is nothing, to give one's life for Ireland. I'm not the first and maybe I won't be the last. What's my life compared with the cause?" Barry joked about his death with his sister Kathy. "Well, they are not going to let me like a soldier fall… But I must say they are going to hang me like a gentleman." This was, according to Cronin, a reference to George Bernard Shaw's The Devil's Disciple, the last play Kevin and his sister had seen together. On 31 October, he was allowed three visits of three people each, the last of which was taken by his mother, brother and sisters. In addition to the two Auxiliaries with him, there were five or six warders in the boardroom. As his family were leaving, they met Canon John Waters, on the way in, who said, "This boy does not seem to realise he is going to die in the morning." Mrs Barry asked him what he meant. He said: "He is so gay and light-hearted all the time. If he fully realised it, he would be overwhelmed." Mrs Barry replied, "Canon Waters, I know you are not a Republican. But is it impossible for you to understand that my son is actually proud to die for the Republic?" Canon Waters became somewhat flustered as they parted. The Barry family recorded that they were upset by this encounter because they considered the chief chaplain "the nearest thing to a friend that Kevin would see before his death, and he seemed so alien."
    Plaque placed by the Irish Government on the graves of the Volunteers
    Kevin Barry was hanged on 1 November, after hearing two Masses in his cell. Canon Waters, who walked with him to the scaffold, wrote to Barry's mother later, "You are the mother, my dear Mrs Barry, of one of the bravest and best boys I have ever known. His death was one of the most holy, and your dear boy is waiting for you now, beyond the reach of sorrow or trial." Dublin Corporation met on the Monday, and passed a vote of sympathy with the Barry family, and adjourned the meeting as a mark of respect. The Chief Secretary's office in Dublin Castle, on the Monday night, released the following communiqué:
    The sentence of death by hanging passed by court-martial upon Kevin Barry, or Berry, medical student, aged 18½ years, for the murder of Private Whitehead in Dublin on September 20, was duly executed this morning at Mountjoy Prison, Dublin. At a military court of inquiry, held subsequently in lieu of an inquest, medical evidence was given to the effect that death was instantaneous. The court found that the sentence had been carried out in accordance with law.
    Barry's body was buried at 1.30 p.m, in a plot near the women's prison. His comrade and fellow-student Frank Flood was buried alongside him four months later. A plain cross marked their graves and those of Patrick Moran, Thomas Whelan, Thomas Traynor, Patrick Doyle, Thomas Bryan, Bernard Ryan, Edmond Foley and Patrick Maher who were hanged in the same prison before the Anglo-Irish Treaty of July 1921 which ended hostilities between Irish republicans and the British.The men had been buried in unconsecrated ground on the jail property and their graves went unidentified until 1934.They became known as The Forgotten Ten by republicans campaigning for the bodies to be reburied with honour and proper rites.On 14 October 2001, the remains of these ten men were given a state funeral and moved from Mountjoy Prison to be re-interred at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.

    Aftermath

    Kevin Barry monument in Rathvilly, County Carlow
    On 14 October 2001 the remains of Kevin Barry and nine other volunteers from the War of Independence were given a state funeral and moved from Mountjoy Prison to be re-interred at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. Barry's grave is the first on the left.
    The only full-length biography of Kevin Barry was written by his nephew, journalist Donal O'Donovan, published in 1989 as Kevin Barry and his Time. In 1965, Sean Cronin wrote a short biography, simply entitled "Kevin Barry"; this was published by The National Publications Committee, Cork, to which Tom Barry provided a foreword. Barry is remembered in a well-known song about his imprisonment and execution, written shortly after his death and still sung today. The tune to "Kevin Barry" was taken from the sea-shanty "Rolling Home".[17] The execution reportedly inspired Thomas MacGreevy's surrealist poem, "Homage to Hieronymus Bosch". MacGreevy had unsuccessfully petitioned the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, John Henry Bernard, to make representations on Barry's behalf.

    Legacy[edit]

    A commemorative stamp was issued by An Post to mark the 50th anniversary of Barry's death in 1970.[18] The University College Dublin and National University of Ireland, Galway branches of Ógra Fianna Fáil are named after him.[19] Derrylaughan Kevin Barry's GAA club was founded in Clonoe, County Tyrone. In 1930, Irish immigrants in Hartford, Connecticut, created a hurling club and named it after Barry. The club later disappeared for decades, but was revived in 2011 by more recently arrived Irish immigrants and local Irish-Americans in the area.[20] In 1934, a large stained-glass window commemorating Barry was unveiled in Earlsfort Terrace, then the principal campus of University College Dublin. It was designed by Richard King of the Harry Clarke Studio. In 2007, UCD completed its relocation to the Belfield campus some four miles away and a fund was collected by graduates to defray the cost (estimated at close to €250,000) of restoring and moving the window to this new location.[21] A grandnephew of Kevin Barry is Irish historian Eunan O'Halpin.[22] There is an Irish republican flute band named after him, the "Volunteer Kevin Barry Republican Flute Band", which operates out of the Calton area of the city.[citation needed] Barry's execution is mentioned in the folk song "Rifles of the I.R.A." written by Dominic Behan in 1968. A ballad bearing Barry's name, relating the story of his execution, has been sung by artists as diverse as Paul Robeson,[23] Leonard Cohen,[24] Lonnie Donegan, and The Dubliners. At the place where Kevin Barry was captured (North King Street/Church Street, Dublin), there are two blocks of flats named after him.
  • The Irish Rugby Football Union is the body managing rugby union in the island of Ireland. The IRFU has its head office at 10/12 Lansdowne Road and home ground at Aviva Stadium, where adult men's Irish rugby union international matches are played. Initially, there were two unions: the Irish Football Union, which had jurisdiction over clubs in Leinster, Munster and parts of Ulster and was founded in December 1874, and the Northern Football Union of Ireland, which controlled the Belfast area and was founded in January 1875.The IRFU was formed in 1879 as an amalgamation of these two organisations and branches of the new IRFU were formed in Leinster, Munster and Ulster. The Connacht Branch was formed in 1900. The IRFU was a founding member of the International Rugby Football Board, now known as World Rugby, in 1886 with Scotland and Wales. (England refused to join until 1890.) Following the political partition of Ireland into separate national states, the Republic of Ireland (originally the Irish Free State then Éire) and Northern Ireland (a political division of the United Kingdom), the then Committee of the Irish Rugby Football Union decided that it would continue to administer its affairs on the basis of the full 32 Irish counties and the traditional four provinces of Ireland: Leinster (12 counties), Ulster (9 counties), Munster (6 counties), and Connacht (5 counties). This led to the unusual,but not unique, situation among international rugby union teams, where the Irish representative teams are drawn from players from two separate political, national territories: Ireland (an independent, sovereign state) and Northern Ireland (a part of the United Kingdom). To maintain the unity of Irish rugby union and the linkages between North and South, the IRFU purchased a new ground in 1923 in the Ravenhill district of Belfast at a cost of £2,300.The last full International at Ravenhill involving Ireland for more than a half-century took place in 1953–54 against Scotland who were victorious by 2 tries (6 points) to nil. Australia played Romania in the 1999 World Cup at the ground. The next full International played at Ravenhill was the Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Italy in August 2007 due to the temporary closure of Lansdowne Road for reconstruction. The four provincial branches of the IRFU first ran cup competitions during the 1880s. Although these tournaments still take place every year, their significance has been diminished by the advent of an All-Ireland league of 48 Senior Clubs in 1990. The four provincial teams have played an Interprovincial Championship since the 1920s and continue to be the focal point for players aspiring to the international level. These are Munster, Leinster, Ulster and Connacht. All four provinces play at the senior level as members of the United Rugby Championship.

    Logos and emblems

    The 1887 Ireland side sporting the 5 sprig shamrock
    The Irish Rugby Football Union represents the island of Ireland and the emblems and symbols it uses have reflected its association with the whole of the island of Ireland since its formation. Some elements have changed since 1874, but what has remained consistent throughout the history of the union is the use of the shamrock in its emblems. Originally the Shamrock was a 5 sprig emblem covering most of the lefthand side of the jersey and this was used until the 1898 game against England in when it was replaced with a white shield with a sprig of 4 similar sized shamrocks. In 1927 a new crest was introduced, with the shamrock design altered to a sprig of 3 shamrocks of a similar size within a smaller white shield. This was the official crest until 1974 when the centenary logo was used, and which continued to be used with only a slight modification made in 2010.
    S.J. Cagneyon a Will's Cigarette card and the triple sprig (1929)
    Logos used on the official match programmes from the 1920s to 1954, showing a single shamrock surrounded by an oval had no relation to the official jersey emblem. The only time an Irish jersey had a single shamrock was when the Ireland side toured Chile and Argentina in 1952 and Argentina in 1970, and in both series no caps were awarded. Although the use of the shamrock has been a constant, albeit with modifications to design, other elements of symbology have changed. In the early twenties, when the Irish Free State was established, the union was left in the position of governing a game for one island containing two separate political entities. A controversy ensued as to what flag should be flown at international matches. For a side that played both in Dublin and Belfast (the former being in the Free State, the latter being politically part of the United Kingdom) this posed a significant issue. In 1925 the union designed their own flag, incorporating the arms of the four provinces.
    Flag of the IRFU with the centenary logo
    Although it had the same elements as the Flag of the Four Provinces, it was not identical, instead having them separated on a green background with the IRFU logo in the centre. Even so, the call to fly the Irish tricolour at Lansdowne Road continued. In 1932, despite the IRFU insisting that only the IRFU flag was flown at home internationals, pressure continued such that the Minister for External Affairs in the Free State asked to meet with the president of the Union. The result was that on 5 February 1932, the IRFU unanimously voted to fly both the flag of the union and the national flag at Lansdowne Road at all international matches in Dublin. The IRFU flag, as designed in 1925, is that which is still used by the Ireland rugby union side, albeit with the logo updated in the middle. At the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the Ireland team entered the field of play at the beginning of their matches with the Irish tricolour and the Flag of Ulster.

    Affiliation

    There are currently approximately 95,000 rugby players in total in Ireland. There are 56 clubs affiliated to the Ulster Branch; 71 to the Leinster Branch; 59 to the Munster Branch and 23 to the Connacht Branch. In addition, there are 246 schools playing rugby: Ulster (107), Leinster (75), Munster (41) and Connacht (23). The IRFU also has an Exiles branch tasked with developing "Ireland-qualified" players (i.e., eligible to play internationally for Ireland through ancestry) living in England, Scotland and Wales. Volunteers provide coaching, administration and development under the supervision of a paid development manager.
  • 63cm x 125cm  Limerick Large iconic poster from the glory years of Munster rugby ,when they were at the top of the tree in European Club Rugby.This particular promotional poster dates from the 2000 Final,Munster's first final appearance. Northampton 9-8 Munster Despite thunder, lightning, and torrential rain earlier in the morning, the sun rightly appeared to shine on the capacity crowd at Twickenham for what proved to be a magnificent occasion. It was the fifth European Cup final, and the first time a French side had not featured, but the lack of Gallic flair took nothing away from a thrilling match. Munster scored the only try of the match - but in a tale of two boots, Northampton secured a historic victory thanks to the ever-prolific Paul Grayson.
    This has been a big season for the players and to have come this close and not won a trophy would have been a major disappointment
    Northampton rugby director John Steele
      He scored three penalty goals - while his counterpart, the young Ronan O'Gara missed four kicks out of four, including one just a minute from time. After his side's win, Saints' rugby director, John Steele, said: "We were very positive all week. This has been a big season for the players and to have come this close and not won a trophy would have been a major disappointment. "I felt we deserved our victory today - it is fantastic. I think people perceived that we would play like a tired side and maybe it took Munster aback that we weren't the war-weary team many people thought." The power of the Northampton pack was evident from the start, and when Munster gave away a penalty in front of the posts, Grayson gave Saints the lead within two minutes.
    A young Munster fan celebrates his side's try
    A young Munster fan celebrates his side's try
      The Irish side struggled to get any of the ball in the opening ten minutes, and they were lucky to keep the deficit to just three points. A handling error from winger Ben Cohen denied Northampton a try yards from the line, and sensing their luck, Munster picked up the pace and put together a kick and chase - allowing Jason Holland to level the score with a drop goal. Having started slugglishly, Munster began to play with more sharpness, and it was soon Northampton who found themselves having to clear within their own 22. A strong wind, was whistling its way through the West London ground, favouring Saints during the first half. Saints' captain Pat Lam was a man inspired, charging through tackle after tackle, but Northampton were let down by poor passes in promising positions. This gave Declan Kidney's side hope, and the Irish contingent were sent into raptures when a series of quick, accurate passes allowed David Wallace to score the only try of the match on 33 minutes.
    Munster Saints
    Both teams found it hard to break each other down
    Ronan O'Gara found the kick too testing and Munster had to be satisfied with a five-point lead.   Northampton, who have played outstanding rugby all season, were only able to add three points to their score before the interval - Grayson slotting an easy penalty. O'Gara on the other hand missed an opportunity to add to the Munster lead - missing a late penalty. Irish skipper Keith Wood, made Munster's intentions clear from the re-start, taking a brilliant catch and following it with a stunning 40 yard run. But, before the Irish were able to capitalise, Saints' scrum-half Dom Malone, intercepted and took the ball upfield. The initiative finally swung Northampton's way, when Grayson scored his third penalty to put Saints into a one-point lead. Rare opportunity Munster squandered a rare opportunity to go back into the lead when they opted to put the ball into touch instead of kicking a penalty. Having won the line-out however, the forwards were unable to make any headway against the immovable Northampton pack. Minutes later, another chance went begging when O'Gara missed his third kick of the match. Munster were beginning to dominate in terms of possession but were finding it impossible to tranform their advantage into points. They suffered a further blow when captain Mick Galwey was sin-binned for failing to allow Saints to take a quick penalty. With just seven minutes to go, Grayson surprised everyone by missing a simple kick. But he had done enough to secure the victory Northampton's performances this season so richly deserved. Teams: Northampton: Grayson, Moir, Bateman, Allen, Cohen, A. Hepher, Malone, Pagel, Mendez, Stewart, Newman, Rodber, MacKinnon, Pountney, Lam. Replacements: Bramhall, Tucker, Northey, Walter, Scelzo, Metcalfe, Phillips. Munster: Crotty, Kelly, Mullins, Holland, Horgan, O'Gara, Stringer, Clohessy, Wood, Hayes, Galwey, Langford, E. Halvey, Wallace, Foley. Replacements: O'Neill, Keane, Tierney, Quinlan, O'Callaghan, Sheahan, Horan. Referee: Joel Dume (Franc
  • An extraordinary piece of Irish Rugby memorabilia .A team photo of the 'Blarney Boys-Irish International Rugby XV' taken by Jim Grier from Granard Co Longford,who was an RAF pilot incarcerated in Stalag VIIIB Prisoner of War Camp in Lamsdorf,East Germany from 1942 to 1945.This amazing photograph was taken by the resident German Camp Photographer and presented to Jim. 36cm x 50cm Jim captained the Irish Team which was assembled during the summer of 1943 when the prisoners organised their own international rugby tournament comprising of the various nationalities incarcerated there.The Irish Team were mainly Army men.Their coach was the remarkable 'Pop' Press -50 years old and a Great War Veteran and Royal Marine (seen in the photo back row on left ).All teams were assigned full playing kit by their hosts with their country's emblem emblazoned on each. Stalag 344 was a large German P.O.W Camp ,100 miles south of Breslau and held between 12 & 15000 British troops, most of them taken prisoner at Dunkirk in 1940,Canadian & RAF Aircrew. The competition was limited to 12 a side as the pitches were small.Not surprisingly ,a New Zealand team emerged victorious who competed against the Home Nations.
  • 23cm x 30cm  Dublin We think small is beautiful when it comes to antique Irish Whiskey Mirrors and here is one magnificent example of one.A John Jameson Whiskey Mirror with the legendary Barrelman to the fore. WHY A BARRELMAN? In 1930 John Jameson made a barrelman mascot for aviator Sir C. Kingford-Smith. On June 24th 1930, the mascot took pride of place in the 'Southern Cross' plane that flew from Portmarnock, Ireland on the transatlantic odyssey to America. Since the making of this first lucky mascot, Jameson has revived the icon of the Barrelman, placing him front and centre on their communications. WHY AT THE DIRTY ONION? Constructed in the early 1800s, this was a busy Jameson warehouse long before it became a bar. Granted a bonded licence in 1921, it stored barrels and crates of Jameson in a warehouse known as 'Stack N'. The Barrelman is a tribute to those early adopters of Jameson who labored to bring the barrels to the city.  
    Jameson Barrel Man
      John Jameson was originally a lawyer from Alloa in Scotland before he founded his eponymous distillery in Dublin in 1780.Prevoius to this he had made the wise move of marrying Margaret Haig (1753–1815) in 1768,one of the simple reasons being Margaret was the eldest daughter of John Haig, the famous whisky distiller in Scotland. John and Margaret had eight sons and eight daughters, a family of 16 children. Portraits of the couple by Sir Henry Raeburn are on display in the National Gallery of Ireland. John Jameson joined the Convivial Lodge No. 202, of the Dublin Freemasons on the 24th June 1774 and in 1780, Irish whiskey distillation began at Bow Street. In 1805, he was joined by his son John Jameson II who took over the family business that year and for the next 41 years, John Jameson II built up the business before handing over to his son John Jameson the 3rd in 1851. In 1901, the Company was formally incorporated as John Jameson and Son Ltd. Four of John Jameson’s sons followed his footsteps in distilling in Ireland, John Jameson II (1773 – 1851) at Bow Street, William and James Jameson at Marrowbone Lane in Dublin (where they partnered their Stein relations, calling their business Jameson and Stein, before settling on William Jameson & Co.). The fourth of Jameson's sons, Andrew, who had a small distillery at Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, was the grandfather of Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of wireless telegraphy. Marconi’s mother was Annie Jameson, Andrew’s daughter. John Jameson’s eldest son, Robert took over his father’s legal business in Alloa. The Jamesons became the most important distilling family in Ireland, despite rivalry between the Bow Street and Marrowbone Lane distilleries. By the turn of the 19th century, it was the second largest producer in Ireland and one of the largest in the world, producing 1,000,000 gallons annually. Dublin at the time was the centre of world whiskey production. It was the second most popular spirit in the world after rum and internationally Jameson had by 1805 become the world's number one whiskey. Today, Jameson is the world's third largest single-distillery whiskey. Historical events, for a time, set the company back. The temperance movement in Ireland had an enormous impact domestically but the two key events that affected Jameson were the Irish War of Independence and subsequent trade war with the British which denied Jameson the export markets of the Commonwealth, and shortly thereafter, the introduction of prohibition in the United States. While Scottish brands could easily slip across the Canada–US border, Jameson was excluded from its biggest market for many years.
    Historical pot still at the Jameson distillery in Cork
    The introduction of column stills by the Scottish blenders in the mid-19th-century enabled increased production that the Irish, still making labour-intensive single pot still whiskey, could not compete with. There was a legal enquiry somewhere in 1908 to deal with the trade definition of whiskey. The Scottish producers won within some jurisdictions, and blends became recognised in the law of that jurisdiction as whiskey. The Irish in general, and Jameson in particular, continued with the traditional pot still production process for many years.In 1966 John Jameson merged with Cork Distillers and John Powers to form the Irish Distillers Group. In 1976, the Dublin whiskey distilleries of Jameson in Bow Street and in John's Lane were closed following the opening of a New Midleton Distillery by Irish Distillers outside Cork. The Midleton Distillery now produces much of the Irish whiskey sold in Ireland under the Jameson, Midleton, Powers, Redbreast, Spot and Paddy labels. The new facility adjoins the Old Midleton Distillery, the original home of the Paddy label, which is now home to the Jameson Experience Visitor Centre and the Irish Whiskey Academy. The Jameson brand was acquired by the French drinks conglomerate Pernod Ricard in 1988, when it bought Irish Distillers. The old Jameson Distillery in Bow Street near Smithfield in Dublin now serves as a museum which offers tours and tastings. The distillery, which is historical in nature and no longer produces whiskey on site, went through a $12.6 million renovation that was concluded in March 2016, and is now a focal part of Ireland's strategy to raise the number of whiskey tourists, which stood at 600,000 in 2017.Bow Street also now has a fully functioning Maturation Warehouse within its walls since the 2016 renovation. It is here that Jameson 18 Bow Street is finished before being bottled at Cask Strength. In 2008, The Local, an Irish pub in Minneapolis, sold 671 cases of Jameson (22 bottles a day),making it the largest server of Jameson's in the world – a title it maintained for four consecutive years.        
Go to Top