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'Stones roll out in honour of Eric

The weather played havoc, with Greystones Rugby club's AIL Division 2 game against DLSP being cancelled on Saturday last.

'Stones have not been having a good time of it this season and lie rooted firmly at the bottom of the league, so after the Christmas break they were hopeful that they might arrest the problem with back-to-back home games against Salmo and Clonakilty on Saturday next (weather permitting).

The game against Salmo coincided with the 90th birthday of the sole surviving founder member of Greystones RFC, Eric Archer, a man well known in Irish Rugby circles and, of course, in the Greystones area.

In 1937 Eric, along with Leslie Doyle, Donall O'Sullivan and Bill Dennihy formed the rugby club at a meeting in the Carnegie Library and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Archer family is, of course, well known in North Wicklow and indeed beyond and their family-run building and windows companies will celebrate 100 years in existence this year also, with sons Robin, Derek, Dougie and daughter Gillian, and, indeed, grandchildren at the helm.

It was hoped that the pre-match lunch would be an ideal occasion to honour this fine gentleman with most former Greystones Irish internationals attending and with best wishes from abroad from both John Robbie and Peter Muller, but the weather put paid to that.

However, club president Donall Gannon and chairman Sonny Kenny were able to present Eric and his wife Ruth with gifts and well-wishes on the day from the members of the rugby club at their home where his family were celebrating the occasion.


Tomorrow sees Clonakilty making the journey to Dr Hickey Park, again weather permitting, for another vital game for both clubs.

There is also another special occasion with the game receipts and an auction of 30 specially designed jerseys being worn by 'Stones in the match, which will be auctioned after the game in aid of The Wicklow Hospice Foundation.

The Foundation are hoping to raise €3m over the next three years having secured a two-acre site at Marrahmore, south of Brittas Bay, generously donated by The Columban Sisters and 'Stones are delighted to be able to contribute in some small measure to this.

The Chairman of the Foundation is local doctor Brendan Cuddihy, who was for many years (and, indeed, still looks after many of the players) the Greystones RFC honorary club doctor. Brendan was most grateful to Greystones RFC for their generous gesture.

He and his colleagues Dessie O'Toole and Tom Fortune, along with other members of the foundation will be in attendance on Saturday for what is hoped is a successful occasion both on and off the field.

We would also like to thank MSL for the sponsorship of the playing jerseys.