Garryowen Football Club

Full name Garryowen Football Club
Union Munster
Nickname(s) Boys in Blue
Founded 1884 (1884)
Ground(s) Dooradoyle, Limerick (Capacity: 1,500)
Chairman Dermot Morrissey
President John Scanlon
Coach(es) Conan Doyle
Paul Neville
League(s) All-Ireland League, 1A
Team kit
Official website

Garryowen Football Club (Irish: Cumann Rugbaí Gharraí Eoin), usually referred to as Garryowen, is a rugby union club from Limerick, Ireland. It plays in Division 1A of the All-Ireland League and historically has been one of the most successful clubs in Irish rugby union.


The club was formed in 1884. The founding members of the club were:

Founding member of the club, W.L.Stokes, had a huge influence on the game in Limerick during the 1880s. He made sure Garryowen received Union recognition in 1884. If not for his tireless work promoting rugby, Garryowen might never have begun.

Another great family linked to Garryowen were the O'Connors. John O'Connor was a founder member of the club and his seven sons were prominent rugby players, runners and oarsmen of national and international renoun. They won 47 Munster senior cup medals between them beginning in the early 1890s. Born in Athlunkard Street, Limerick, the seven brothers - Mick, Charlie, Jack, Thade, Joe, Bryan and Jim - set an impressive record with 47 medals. Jack with 11 had the most. His son, Mick, won 4 further Munster Senior Cup medals between 1925 and 1934.

The club has had two fixed homes. The Markets Field until 1958 then the club moved to Dooradoyle. After the club moved, Garryowen which had won the Senior cup in 1954 did not achieve success again for 15 years. This was the longest period in the clubs history without a cup win. It was not till 1969 that another led to a glorious period for the club with probably the finest collection of players since the great nine in row team. With 5 senior cups coming in the next 10 years. There was also great success on the international scene with 6 players getting capped for Ireland in this time.

After winning the Cup in 1979 the club did not achieve Cup success again until 1993, not the largest gap between wins but this was the 1st time that they had failed to win at least one cup in each decade. Back-to-back Munster Senior League successes in 1982 and 1983 were the highlights of the 80's. The foundations were laid for the great success that was achieved in the 90's. The advent of the All Ireland League would give the club game in Limerick the platform it had long sought.

Having won the league title in its second and fourth year (1992, 1994), Garryowen reached two finals and a number of semi-finals only to fall just short. However, 2007 proved a spectacular year for the Limerick side, seeing them finally re-take the AIL crown after their years of disappointment and also the Munster Senior and AIL cups in what is an unprecedented clean sweep of all domestic competitions in Irish club rugby.

In total Garryowen have won the Munster Senior Cup 38 times, more times than any other club. Garryowen won the trophy nine times in a row between 1889 and 1898 and have the distinction of having played in the first final in 1886 and the 100th final in 1986.

The garryowen kick

In playing terms a garryowen is a very high up and under kick (named after the rugby club) designed to put the opposing team under pressure, by allowing the kicking team time to arrive under and compete for the high ball. It is thought to have come part of the modern lexicon in the early 1920s as one of the great Garryowen teams that won three Senior cups from 1924 to 1926 used this tactic to the utmost.


1992, 1994, 2007
1889, 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1898, 1899, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1914, 1920, 1924,
1925, 1926, 1932, 1934, 1940, 1947, 1952, 1954, 1969, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2007, 2012
1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1925, 1936, 1946, 1954, 1982, 1983, 2001
1910, 1955, 1970, 1976, 1978, 1993, 2007

Notable players

See also Category:Garryowen Football Club players


The following Garryowen players have represented Ireland at full international level, 56 players in total. The club is honoured to have had players represent Ireland at every position.

  • Michael Sherry, 1 Cap, 2014 (USA) to present
  • Conor Murray, 28 Caps, 2011(Fra) to present
  • Damien Varley, 3 Caps, 2010(Aus) to present
  • Rob Henderson 32 Caps, 1996(Samoa) to 2003(Italy)
  • Paul Burke, 13 Caps, 1995(Eng) to 2003(Samoa)
  • Jeremy Staunton, 5 Caps, 2001(Samoa) to present
  • [|David Wallace]] 72 Caps, 2000(Arg) to 2011(Eng), Member of the 2009 Grand Slam winning team
  • Tom Tierney, 8 Caps, 1999(Aus) to 2000(Eng)
  • Killian Keane, 1 Cap, 1998(E)
  • Dominic Crotty, 5 Caps, 1996(A) to 2000(Canada)
  • Stephen McIvor, 3 caps, 1996(A),1997(It,S)
  • Ben Cronin, 2 Caps, 1995(S),1997(S)
  • Keith Wood, 58 Caps, 1994(Aus)-2003(France)
  • Richard Costello, 1 Cap,1993(S)
  • Paul Hogan, 1 Cap, 1992(F)
  • Neville Furlong, 2 Caps, 1992(NZ)
  • Nicky Barry, 1 Cap, 1991(Namibia)
  • Richard Wallace, 29 Caps 1991(Nm), 1998(E)
  • Philip Danaher, 28 Caps (also played with Lansdowne) 1988(Scot) to 1995(Wales)
  • Willie Sexton, 4 Caps, 1984(A), 1988(S,E,E)
  • Tony Ward 19 Caps(also played with St Marys), 1978(S,F,W,E,NZ),1979(F,W,E,S),1981(W,E,S,A),1983(E),1984(E,S),1986(S),1987(C,Tg)
  • Pat C.Whelan, 19 Caps
  • Larry A.Moloney, 4 Caps, 1976(W,S), 1978(S,NZ)
  • Michael J.Sherry, 2 Caps (also played with UCD) 1975(F,W)
  • Seamus Dennison, 3 Caps, 1975(F),1975(E,S)
  • Shay Deering (Jr.) 8 Caps (also played with St Marys) 1974(W),1976(F,W,E,S),1977(W,E),1978(NZ)
  • Johnny C.Moroney], 6 Caps, 1968(W,A), 1969(F,E,S,W)
  • Mick Doyle, 20 Caps(also played for Blackrock & UCD), 1965(f,e,s,w,sa), 1966(F,E,S,W), 1967(A1,E,S,W,F,A2), 1968(F,E,S,W,A)
  • J.C.Kelly, 11 Caps (also played with UCD), 1962(F,W), 1963(F,E,S,W,NZ), 1964(E,S,W,F)
  • Tom J.Nesdale, 1 Cap, 1961(F)
  • Noel Murphy 49 Caps, 1958(Aus)-69(Wales)
  • Tim McGrath, 7 Caps, 1956(W), 1958(F),1960(E,S,W,F),1961(SA)
  • Gordon Wood 29 Caps, 1954(E,S),1956(F,E,S,W),1957(F,E,S,W),1958(A,E,S,W,F),1959(E,S,W,F),1960(E,S,W,F,SA),1961(E,S,W,F,SA)
  • Tom E. Reid, 13 Caps, 1953(E,S,W),1954(NZ,F),1955(E,S),1956(F,E),1957(F,E,S,W)
  • Aengus D. McMorrow, 1 Cap, 1951(W)
  • Hugh Delacy, 2 Caps, 1948(E,S)
  • Paddy Reid, 4 Caps, 1947(A), 1948(F,E,W), Member of Ireland's first Grand Slam winning team
  • Dave B. O'Loughlin, 6 Caps(also played with UCC), 1938(E,S,W), 1939(E,S,W)
  • Shay M.Deering, 9 Caps(also played with Bective Rangers),1935(E,S,W,NZ),1936(E,S,W),1937(E,S)
  • D.G.Langan, 1 Cap(also played with Clontarf), 1934(W)
  • Dr. A.W. Courtenay, 7 Caps, 1920(S,W,F),1921(E,S,W,F)
  • Noel Butler, 1 Cap(also played with Bective Rangers & Young Munster),1920(E)
  • Dr.P.J. Stokes, 12 Caps, 1913(E,S),1914(F),1920(E,S,W,F),1921(E,S,F),1922(W,F)
  • J.J. Clune, 6 Caps(also played with Blackrock Coll), 1912(SA),1913(W,F),1914(F,E,W)
  • G.V. Killeen, 10 Caps, 1912(E,S,W),1913(E,S,W,F),1914(E,S,W)
  • R.V. Jackson, 10 Caps(also played with Wanderers),1911(E,S,W,F),1913(W,F),1914(F,E,S,W)
  • Joe J. O'Connor, 1 Cap, 1909(F)
  • T. Halpin, 13 Caps, 1909(S,W,F),1910(E,S,W),1911(E,S,W,F),1912(F,E,S)
  • G.J. Henebry, 6 Caps, 1906(E,S,W,SA),1909(W,F)
  • Pa Healy, 11 Caps, 1901(E,S,W),1902(E,S,W),1903(E,S,W),1904(S)
  • Jack O'Connor, 1 Cap,1895(S)
  • Michael S.Egan, 2 Caps, 1893(E),1895(S)
  • T.F. Peel, 3 Caps, 1892(E,S,W)
  • George Collopy, 2 Caps(also played for Bective Rangers),1891(S),1892(S)
  • T. Fogarty, 1 Cap,1891(W)
  • Jack Macauley, 2 Caps,1887(E,S)
  • J.M. O'Sullivan, 2 Caps, 1884(S),1887(S)

British and Irish Lions

The following Garryowen players have also represented the British and Irish Lions.[1]

Captains of Ireland

Former presidents of the IRFU

Other notables

2014/15 Squad


  1. The Ireland Rugby Miscellany (2007): Ciaran Cronin

External links

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