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Dolphin Honour Grand Slam Winners

Dolphin Honour Grand Slam Winners

One of the last official celebration nights of the 2009 Grand Slam was hosted by Dolphin Rugby Club recently. Dolphin can boast Grand Slam winners from 1948 and 2009 so the night was extra special as members of both teams were in attendance.

Dolphin are the envy of most clubs, having had players involved in both the 1948 and 2009 Grand Slam teams.

Bertie O’Hanlon and Jim McCarthy from the 1948 side while Tomas O’Leary and coach Declan Kidney were the 2009 representatives.

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The club celebrated this with a dinner at the Clarion Hotel, with the RBS 6 Nations and Triple Crown trophies on display and a series of special guests.

Club President Paddy Clery set the scene with his speech, followed by Lord Mayor of Cork Darragh Murphy. Incidentally, Darragh’s father Norman played in the front row for Dolphin.

Unfortunately, Jim McCarthy was unable to attend due to illness. MC for the night, former Munster scrum half Olann Kelleher, interviewed Bertie O’Hanlon who brought with him the ball that Ireland won the 1948 Grand Slam with.

Also a guest from the 1948 side was legendary out-half Jack Kyle. He was introduced to tremendous applause, also recognising the fact that he had set off at 7am from Belfast in terrible wintry conditions to make the occasion.

Tomas O’Leary spoke about his early sporting career, hurling and football being his sports, never even attending a rugby game before starting secondary school, playing on the Irish Schools side before leaving CBC.

Declan Kidney recognised the achievements of the 1948 side as well as the present side and many of the large crowd of 300 present including Michael Kiernan and ‘that drop goal’ and Peter Stringer.