This article was published in April 1998 as a build up to the AIL final against Garryowen. When I came across it on the internet, I felt it encapsulated the Shannon rugby spirit and ethos which is as relevant now as it was in 1998. Nationally renowned sports journalist Diarmuid O’Flynn captures most effectively the atmosphere around the club during our glorious 4 in row days and the wonderful characters that are immersed in Shannon rugby.
Stephen Fitzgerald was Captain and President of Shannon in the 1940’s and is one of the clubs oldest members of our club. In this piece he recalls the days before Shannon moved to Thomond park and the difficulties of the day. He is one of those countless men that should have the eternal gratitude of the present day players and members of Shannon RFC. It was men like Stephen who were the driving force behind the club for many years and sowed the seeds for the success that Shannon has enjoyed over the years.
The Munster Junior Cup was introduced in 1908-09 when the legendry Jack MaCaulay decided that it was time for a provincial competition solely for the junior clubs of Munster. He presented a trophy to the Munster Branch and the first ever competition consisted of seven teams which had to be affiliated to the Munster Branch. Shannon were not amongst the competitors that year as they were not yet affiliated to the Branch, and it was Cork Constitution and Crescent College Old Boys that reached the inaugural final. In what was described “as a contest of skill and endeavour”, the Limerick outfit won the first ever Munster Junior cup by 7 points to 6.
1953/54 will probably go down as the most significant season in the history of Shannon RFC. After many years of failed, and disappointing attempts at gaining senior status by club officials, the long overdue honour was bestowed upon the club and a new dawn in Shannon’s history begun.
CRIOSTOIR O'Flynn is one of Limerick's most renowned and prodigious writers. A poet, essayist, playwright, translator, short story writer, historian and children's author" in both English and Irish, Criostoir was born in St Mary's Parish in 1921. He worked for any years as a teacher and also in the tourist industry which he gave up because he grew tired of "telling lies about Ireland. Now living close to Dun Laoighaire in County Dublin, Criostoir’s heart remains firmly in his native city as can be gathered from the title of his latest book, Beautiful Limerick, available in city bookshops. The book contains fascinating details of old Limerick poetry and songs, folk tales arid history. The following piece is on one of the city's most famous songs, There Is an Isle.
Back in the early years of the old century, rugby was still finding its feet in Limerick. Its popularity was growing, the number of teams competing locally was strong but it certainly wasn’t plain sailing for the organisers. Discipline was a problem on the field while off it objections and counter objections were commonplace; however in 1910 a new problem arose. Shannon were holders of the City Junior Cup but for some reason the club refused to hand back the trophy after they failed in their bid for retention.