Saint Patrick’s Rowing Club Past and Present

p19 Patricks Rowing Club

In February 2011 a bench (pictured) was placed on the point at Ringsend congratulating lifelong supporter of St Patrick’s Rowing Club, Mick (Micko) O’Neill, on his 90th birthday.

As the cameras flashed, capturing images of Micko on his new bench, he shouted out. “Hold on, I want one with the young fella.” The young fella happened to be Jimmy Purdy, 81 next April. So Jimmy duly obliged and Micko got his picture with the young fella.

St Patrick’s Rowing Club, has been sitting on the point of where the Dodder meets the Liffey since 1933. Today, the club is an active feature of Ringsend community life, with regattas and summer barbeques among its annual highlights. Philip Murphy, who has been involved with the club for some time, showed NewsFour around the boathouse.

It’s a treasure chest of memorabilia and nostalgia and, as with the bench and other landmarks outside, is widely attributed to the efforts of John Hawkins. Among his many achievements is the anchor memorial with the inscription. “In Memory Of The Hobblers, The Fishermen, The Dockers And The Seamen Who Passed This Point.”

Jimmy Purdy explained, “Over a century ago when the big cargo ships came in to dock, workers from along the coast would race towards the ship and throw a line. The first to reach the ship would get to work it. These were the hobblers and it was from this practice that the skiffs that race for St Patrick’s today came from.”

Philip Murphy was suitably amused when NewsFour asked if the Hobblers Lookout Bench was where they sat to keep watch for the cargo ships. “Only if they wanted to wait in the water,” he laughed. “What you can see here today is very different to what was here at the time of the hobblers.”

Legend has it that the Dodder buoy was rescued from the river when it was no longer in use. Now with its fresh paint and humorous signposts, it is one of Dublin’s landmarks.
Saint Patrick’s are looking forward to an active season of sport, drama and celebration.

Photo by Maria Shields O’Kelly.

By Maria Shields O’Kelly