A Gathering launch, of sorts, in Prendiville's Bar

Published 23/01/2013 | 13:58

Publican, Paul Reese (left) pictured in Sheila Prendiville's on Saturday night with locals and members of The Morris Rugby Corporation from New Jersey. Included are: Séamus Brosnan, Tom Feury, Don Slade, Craig Chapman, Kieran Coffey, Mike Ryan, Denis...

YOU could call it a Gathering Launch - of sorts - I suppose. It took place, frightfully informally, at Sheila Prendiville's Bar and Grocery here in Castleisland on Saturday night. There and then, a group from the New Jersey based Morris Rugby Corporation visited, mingled, conversed and sang out loud with the locals.

By request they gave a rousing and heartfelt rendition of 'God Bless America' and got chapter and verse and every word of 'Skibereen' in return from David 'The Dauber' Prendiville.

David O'Connor gave them 'The Old Dromolton Road' egged on by a, for once, unarmed Jackie Dan Jerry O'Connor.

This was followed by An Poc Ar Buile by Denis Brosnan.

All they wanted were clean glasses, enough to keep them filled and a bit of banter with the locals; they were up to the brim on all three counts. The event was photographed and filmed for the posterity we're all subscribing to and I'm sure we haven't heard, or seen, the last of the night.

The singing went on until closing time with promises from the visitors that they'd return in July for our own Brosnan Clan 'Gathering' here in Castleisland. Before they left they hoisted their colours and a momento of their visit in the bar by pinning a club crest to a high shelf behind the counter .

The local connection is that they were led in by their adopted Castleisland man, Seamus Brosnan and his dad, Denis and they had to visit the oldest pub in the valley.

The rugby mad travelling party went to Galway on Friday night to watch Connaught defeat Italian side Zebre as their Heineken Cup campaign came to a winning end.

They were also at Thomond Park on Sunday afternoon to see their special heroes, Munster do a demolition job on Racing Metro and on Leinster's fading hopes of Heineken Cup glory for this year.

It could have hardly been better for visitors and locals alike as Currow 's next rising star of the game, JJ Hanrahan also got a run out on the big stage.

The Morris Rugby Football Club was founded in September 1977.

Many of the early members were solicited from the local colleges as well as many local Morris corporations.

Joining the Metropolitan New York Rugby Football Union in 1978, Morris has grown to a size of 50+ players, an Old Boys team and a women's team. More recently, the men's club membership has included people from many different areas of the world including England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada. In 1982 Morris RFC founded and continues to host the Annual State Championship, Jersey Cup.

They also participate in many other tournaments each year such as that run by the Washington Irish St. Patrick's Day Committee.

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