On Wednesday evening 7th of November, Presidents, Officers, Members and Representative of the sportings Assocations and ex-Service Assocations gathered at Lansdowne FC to commemorate the fallen Rugby players of WW1.
The event was opened by Lansdowne Vice President Derry Shaw who welcomed the President of the IRFU Mr Ian McIlrath, the President of Leinster Branch IRFU, Mr Lorcan Balfe along with a representative of the Britsh Embassy Mr Alexander Dragonetti who on behalf of the British Governament laid a poppy wreath underneath the Lansdowne War Memorial.
Simon Coyle took on duty as compere and introduced the evening speakers who included Lansdowne historian Ciaran O’Mara, Tom Burke MBE, Paul Murphy and Mike Halliday of Old Wesley. Tom Burke’s lecture was entitled “From shoeboxes to window boxes” and told of the plight of returning veterans to these shores and the extremely difficult period after the end of hostilities.
Ciaran O’Mara gave the perspective of the Lansdowne men on the Memorial followed by Paul Murphy who told the harrowing tale of Lansdowne man Paddy Tobin who was killed in action in Gallipoli with the 7th ‘Pals’ Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Paddy won a Military Cross for conspicious bravery in the field but was unfortuantely killed by a snipers bullet. He has no known grave but is listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission monumnent at Helles, Turkey. Mike Halliday spoke of the Old Wesley expereince which left the club destitute of playing members and on the verge of collapse.
Simon Coyle concluded the evening by reading the lines of the poem by Laurence Binyon “For the Fallen”,
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Our sincere thanks to the combined clubs and assocations for taking part in this unique and historic event.
- Irish Rugby Football Union
- Leisnter Branch, IRFU
- Wanderers FC
- Lansdowne FC
- Old Wesley RFC
- Bective Rangers FC
- Monkstown FC
- Railway Union RFC
- Clontarf RFC
- Old Belvedere RFC
- Dublin University FC
- Blackrock RFC
- Royal Dublin Fusiliers Assocation
- Royal British Legion
Photographs courtesy Michael O’Brien