Saturday 21 April 2018

Hubie leaves a lasting legacy

Tony Ward

Tony Ward

It was with a very heavy heart that I made my way into the new Lansdowne Road on Sunday. Before leaving home, I received a message informing me that Hubie O'Connor had passed away.

Most would have known him as Dr Hubert O'Connor; few would have associated him with the dark arts of the rugby scrum.

Hubie was very proud (particularly coming out of Trinity) to be capped on the flank for Ireland in all four games in the 1957 Five Nations Championship.

He was a man of many talents, quite apart from his chosen profession at which he excelled. He was also a writer and artist of immense ability. He loved painting with a passion.

And, though he would never bring his own prowess up in conversation, he loved his rugby, taking great interest and pride in son Nicky's achievements at loose-head prop on arguably the greatest Clongowes Wood College (cup-winning) team of 1998.

When fellow doctor and former Ireland international Karl Mullen passed away in 2009, Hubie wrote: "He came across as a very humble man. He spoke very quietly. He said very little but what he did say was always worth listening to."

Hubie could well have been writing about himself. He will be missed most of all by Juliette and Nicky, his adoring children to whom we pass our sincerest condolences.

Ar dheis De go raibh a h-anam dilis.

Irish Independent

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