Friday 30 September 2016

Fitzgerald joins Clan Hall of Fame

Daragh Small

Published 24/04/2015 | 02:30

5 March 1983: Ciaran Fitzgerald, Ireland. Five Nations Rugby Championship, Wales v Ireland, Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, Wales (Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE)
5 March 1983: Ciaran Fitzgerald, Ireland. Five Nations Rugby Championship, Wales v Ireland, Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, Wales (Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE)

Lions, Ireland and Connacht great Ciaran Fitzgerald will be inducted into the Connacht Clan Hall of Fame following tomorrow afternoon's Pro12 fixture against Glasgow Warriors at the Sportsground.

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The 63-year-old former hooker completes this season's duo of inductees after recently retired full-back Gavin Duffy became the latest member when he was inducted after Connacht's loss to Ulster two weeks ago.

Fitzgerald is a Galway man through and through; he was a product of Garbally College in Ballinasloe before moving on to college in UCG.

He went on to captain Connacht for a decade, representing them 29 times in over 16 seasons with the province.

The Loughrea native also won 25 caps for Ireland and was the captain as they claimed the Five Nations and Triple Crown titles in 1982 and 1985, while he also skippered Ireland when they shared the championship with France in 1983.

That year was particularly special for Fitzgerald as he went on to captain the British and Irish Lions for their tour of New Zealand; however, they fell to a 4-0 whitewash against the dominant All Blacks.

In all he would represent the Lions on 11 occasions, and his love for the game ensured he stayed with rugby after his playing days were over.

Fitzgerald went on to coach Ireland - in 1991 he was at the helm as they came within minutes of a World Cup semi-final only for Australia's Michael Lynagh to deny them with a try at the death in Lansdowne Road.

A former boxer and hurler, the former St Mary's RFC player was also aide de camp to President Patrick Hillery and is now an accomplished businessman.

Irish Independent

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