November 24th last year saw Monkstown FC, on Park Avenue, Sandymount, unveil a new plaque in their clubhouse in commemoration of past members who perished in the First World War.
The event saw a large turnout comprised of club members, local residents, war historians and relatives of the deceased. One distinguished guest in attendance was Lt General Jim Sreenan, former Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, former club captain and current Honorary Member of Monkstown FC.
Club President, Brendan McGovern, presented an interesting pre-war history of the rugby club to a full house on the day. He explained: “Monkstown FC is the fourth oldest rugby club in Leinster and the 10th oldest in Ireland, founded in 1883. The evolution of the club from 1883 through to its arrival in Sydney Parade in the early years of the 20th century and the importance of this in shaping the club in the lead-up to the Great War is an important element in the [club’s] story.”
Extensive historical research conducted by club members over 18 months leading up to the memorial event concluded that some 80 members of Monkstown FC were casualties in the Great War, with at least 200 severely wounded. This is deemed to be the greatest impact of the First World War on any sporting club in Ireland.
Club President Brendan McGovern extended a warm welcome to visitors wishing to view the memorial plaque in the clubhouse at any time.
By Harry Bradley