Shannon Rugby Football Club was founded on the 18th of February 1884, in the Shamrock Bar, by the old Park Bridge, on the Corbally Road, in the historic island parish of St. Mary. The founder members were Paddy Lynch, Dan Duggan, Richie Gleeson, Pierce Hartney and Joe Hegarty. Paddy 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 Shannon supplied numerous players to Garryowen's successful Senior sides. Shannon won the Munster Junior Cup for the first of many times in 1914. Our first Transfield cup was won in 1938. The following year, the Junior Cup was again annexed. One year later(1940), in the process of winning our first Charity Cup, we also added both the Munster Junior Cup and Transfield Cup.
Shannon's continued and consistent success as a Junior Club eventually led (some would say belatedly) to the club attaining Senior status in the 1953-54 season, becoming Limerick's fifth Senior club.
It was not until 1960 that Shannon won our first Munster Senior Cup, defeating UCC, 6pts to 3 in a pulsating replay at Thomond Park, having drawn 8-8 the previous week at Musgrave park in Cork.
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 Rd. 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. soccer club in favour of our current more spacious grounds at Coonagh off the Ennis Road. We currently have 3 training pitches there, floodlights and newly built dressing rooms, and are developing two more pitches.
While still a Junior Club, Shannon became co-tenants with Bohemians RFC at the Munster RFU-owned grounds at famed Thomond Park. In 1967, we completed our own Club Pavilion there. In 1978, the Pavilion was extended to the size it is today. There is talk currently of a further extension as the needs of a successful club in this professional age expand rapidly.
Our honours list is well documented on another page on this site, culminating in the unlikely-to-be-surpassed (unless we do it ourselves ) achievement of 4-in-a-row All Ireland League titles. Since then we have won three successive Munster Senior Cups (1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002), and again captured the AIL in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 to bring the total to 8. There have, however, also been some notable individual achievments by Shannon players on the representative scene. The following players have worn the green jersey for Ireland: Brian O'Brien, Brendan Foley, Colm Tucker, Gerry McLoughlin, Mick Moylett, Mick Galwey, Mick Fitzgibbon, Anthony Foley, Eddie Halvey, Alan Quinlan, John Hayes, Peter Stringer, Marcus Horan, Trevor Hogan Jerry Flannery and Tony Buckley. Of that bunch, Gerry McLoughlin, Colm Tucker and Mick Galwey have represented the Lions on tour. Three Shannon players played on that famous Munster side that defeated the touring All Blacks (12-0) on 31st 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 European Cup Finals of 2000 and 2002 (going out at the semi-final stage in 2001). Anthony Foley is Munster's most capped player and 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 European Cup final victory in Cardiff over Biarritz. Brian O'Brien has recently retired from his position as Manager of the Irish Senior Squad. Niall O'Donovan has had a very successful tenure as forwards coach of the Irish team. 2008 saw Munster return to Cardiff to recapture the European Cup, this time at the expense of Europes aristocrats, Toulouse. Heavily involved in this success was Donncha Ryan as well as some of the afore-menttioned (Foley, Hayes, Quinlan, Horan, Stringer, Buckley) as well as Ian Dowling.
A great milestone in the history of the club was the celebration of our Centenary in 1984. In a long and illustrious history Shannon have won everything that has to be won in the game. However, that does not diminish the hunger for success that is the hallmark of Shannon teams at every level. Here's to another 100 years at one of the most famous and legendary rugby clubs not just in this country, but the world over.