'A History of Rugby in Leinster' Launched

2 months ago 5

November 29, 2023 9:55 am Site Editor

Leinster Rugby and Merrion Press have launched ‘A History of Rugby in Leinster’, by Dr David Doolin, a book looking back on rugby and rugby in Leinster since before its foundation in 1879.

Formally launched last night by special guests and former Leinster captains Fiona Coghlan and Leo Cullen at the Library Room at the RDS, the book explores the growth of the game in the province through Irish history, and how the events that impacted Ireland, filtered into the evolution of Leinster rugby from its origins to the present day.

Leinster Rugby, the wider Leinster and Irish rugby family, and indeed the family of the late Des Daly, Honorary Leinster Rugby Statistician, amongst others, worked tirelessly with author Dr David Doolin, to allow a deeper dive into rugby’s past and allowed access to stories, archived material and images to bring some colour to the story right up to the present day.

Speaking to leinsterrugby.ie, Dr David Doolin said, “For me, one of the fascinating things about exploring sports histories, in this case the game of rugby in Leinster, is teasing out how the game evolves and develops alongside Irish society writ large.

“There are countless anecdotes from those who played, watched and/or were administrators about why rugby was important to them. And then there are examples of the lasting stamp some have left on the game, whether at a local, community level or the wider provincial and indeed national level.

“This is a comprehensive distillation of all of that history, and it is a massive history with so many sources. As such, the book highlights what I argue are pivotal events from the past, that help us understand the evolution of the game of rugby in Leinster.”

Billy Murphy, Leinster Rugby Branch President said, “The Leinster Branch was formally established in October 1879 at Lawrence’s premises on Grafton Street. The founders on that fateful night couldn’t have imagined the extraordinary development of the organisation and the sport in the subsequent 14 decades. David Doolin’s book charts the journey to that point in 1897, and ever since, brilliantly.

“The development of the Leinster Branch is set in the context of Irish history, and it’s fascinating to look back on those days through this book. Naturally, the book brings us right up to date with the Leinster teams that take to the field under the watchful eyes of Leo Cullen and Tania Rosser. It also looks at everything in between from the perspective of our “from the ground up” model that supports everything we do.

“On the centenary celebration of the Branch, JC Conroy published Rugby in Leinster 1879-1979, and we have been waiting for the sequel ever since!

“We are very grateful to Dr Doolin and to Merrion Press and to the wider team behind the scenes, including the late Des Daly for his meticulous record keeping, for this superb record of rugby in Leinster.”

‘A History of Rugby in Leinster’ is available in all good bookshops and on the Merrion Press website HERE and on Amazon at the following LINK

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