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Castleknock College Celebrates 100th Season

Castleknock College Celebrates 100th Season

Castleknock College kicks off the celebrations of its 100th season of rugby this Saturday. The Dublin school, which is 175 years old next year, has had a long tradition of playing rugby in this country and the centennial season is seen as significant milestone in the college’s history.

To mark this event, Castleknock College will open a newly constructed museum dedicated to various aspects of Castleknock College life.

The museum opening will be held on the same day the college holds its centennial Rugby competition.

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The museum’s first exhibition, which officially opens at 4pm following a champagne reception, is dedicated to the last 100 years of rugby in the college.

The exhibition includes many photographs from teams over the last century, old boots, the old style rugby balls, international caps and many more items of interest.

Individuals who have their own memorabilia or photographs that may be linked to this exhibition are encouraged to contact the college. The museum will be officially opened by Castleknock legend David Bell, who won a Senior Cup medal in 1937.

The Centennial Cup competition will take place in the college grounds this Saturday, kicking off at 11.30am with a North/ South game – the Senior Cup team versus Methodist College.

The Junior Cup team will be involved in a local derby with Belvedere College at 1.30pm.

Head coach at Castleknock College, Andrew Kenny, stated: “This is an important year for us. The college has been at the heart of Irish rugby for the last century and it is hoped that this year’s celebrations will help garner the love and support of an entire new generation of budding rugby stars.”

Castleknock College has won the Leinster Senior and Junior Cup several times and the college’s senior side are anxious to see the cup return to what they believe is its rightful place on the northside of the city.

Highlighting Castleknock College’s importance to Irish rugby, Andrew added: “To date, Castleknock as had 28 pastmen go on to become full or wartime internationals and since the establishment of the Irish Schools side in 1974, 18 Castleknock boys have represented their country while a staggering 182 pupils of the college have represented their provinces.

Heineken Cup winners Devin Toner (Leinster) and Denis Hurley (Munster) are the latest in a long and distinguished line of pastmen who have progressed to the provincial and international rugby stage.”

The games and museum is open to the public and the whole Castleknock community is being encouraged to support their local school and rugby sides.

February 17 will mark the centenary of Castleknock College’s first competitive fixture against a University College Dublin side.

The 1912/13 season was a red letter one in the history of Castleknock College rugby in that Michael Thornhill’s side captured the Leinster Senior Cup on the college’s first attempt, defeating Blackrock College in the final.

Castleknock entered the Leinster Schools Junior Cup the following year but it was not until the following year that the college enscribed their name on the trophy.

The 1919/20 season was and remains the most successful season in the history of Castleknock rugby in that both the Leinster Senior and Junior Cups were brought back to the college with the senior side being captained by future British & Irish Lion Jimmy Farrell, while the Junior side featured Castleknock’s other Lion Michael Dunne.

To date, Castleknock has had 26 pastmen go on to become full internationals while two pastmen were wartime internationals.

Tom Shanahan of Lansdowne was the college’s first international footballer and was capped for Ireland in 1885, a full 24 years before rugby replaced association football as the sport of choice in Castleknock College. Denis Hurley is the most recent pastman to wear the green of Ireland.