The Death of Snooker

The Death of snooker-1

Irish snooker player David Morris (pictured) recently got to the last 16 of the UK Championship in York but reckons there won’t be a revival in the game any time soon in Ireland as the expenses are too high and people just don’t have that kind of money.

Morris has been on the professional snooker circuit since the age of 16, winning the overall National championship every year from 2004 to 2006 (becoming the youngest ever winner in 2004). Since Morris has been on the scene, Dublin snooker clubs are few and far between these days, with over 20 clubs closing in Dublin within three years. Morris tells NewsFour, “A lot of clubs have shut down across the country and these have all contributed to the decline in numbers playing in Ireland. When I grew up playing the amateur game there were massive entry numbers in competitions which made for a great atmosphere at events. I won an under 16 event in Ranelagh in 2001 and there was 120 entries but in recent times, under 16 events have maybe 15 to 25 entries which is a massive drop.”

According to Jim Lacey President of the International Billiards and Snooker Federation, there were no snooker clubs ever within the Dublin 4 areas. Although before the 60s, some local people in Ringsend said the Irish Glass Bottle Company built their own hall and had up to six full size snooker tables which was only opened on special occasions.

NewsFour spoke to Michelle Sherwin, all Ireland ladies champion about the death of Irish snooker and snooker clubs “Kids are staying in to play their playstations and they don’t need to leave their house to be entertained. I don’t think cost is the issue here, a lot of snooker clubs are offering discounted rates and the ones that are open are struggling to keep it alive.” Morris agrees with Sherwin, “I don’t think as many kids are playing nowadays due to the internet and computers. When I was growing up, it was where my friends and I went; the snooker club became our second home.”

Irish snooker in general has unfortunately lost its buzz but around the world it seems as though snooker is more popular than ever which is hard to believe. Morris tells us, “We have 28 competitions stretching from Australia all the way back to the UK. I believe 450 million people play across the world which is an incredible amount.”

With these kinds of statistics surely Irish Snooker will have a revival at some point?

Image courtesy David Morris.

By Donna Dunne