Thursday 21 November 2019

Club Focus: Busy social outfit stays true to long and proud tradition

With over 100 years of history behind them, Terenure club still thrives, says Brian Lowry

The Parkmore RFC team line out before a game
The Parkmore RFC team line out before a game

Brian Lowry

Parkmore RFC are based in Terenure in Dublin but it was as Carlisle RFC that they were born into the rugby world back in the 1907/'08 season.

At that time a team drawn from Dublin's Jewish Community, captained by I. Wigoder played a number of games under the name Carlisle RFC. It was so called because, similar to the cricket club, a number of the founding members lived in Carlisle Street.

During 1908 to 1910, Bethel Solomons was capped ten times at senior international level for Ireland. The First World War disrupted the club's activities but it began to rekindle in 1926, sometimes referred to as the "Dublin Jewish Rugby XV".

In 1927, the club was formally re-established and affiliated to the IRFU as Carlisle RFC. The man behind this development was Maurice Stein who was elected captain. Most of the team had never played rugby before but they did bring considerable boxing experience with them - something that may have stood to them on the battlefield.

Games were played at Parkmore Drive on most Sundays and by 1939 two teams were fielded. Leslie Silverstone, who joined in 1938, was still playing for Carlisle 26 years later which was a great display of club loyalty and longevity.

The club continued in full swing during 1940/'41 but playing strength was significantly reduced by emigration and of course the outbreak of World War II.

The club was reborn again in 1945, after the war, and some of the notable players were Billy Cornick, Ucky Fine, Norman "Doc" Jackson, Sammy Danker, Arnold "Scottie" White, Arthur Barling, Malcolm Glass and Jack Bloom.

The club vacated Parkmore Drive in 1950 and, after a brief spell on an adjoining field, played home games at Sandford Park School, Ranelagh.

Prior to the new grounds opening at Kimmage, Ernie Harrison captained the team through a difficult season. In 1954, the Kimmage Sports Complex was opened and Mervyn Hool had the privilege of leading the team on to the new pitch.

The first official game at the grounds in Kimmage was against Des Hennessey's XV drawn mainly from Palmerston RFC.

The late Syd Sugerman was for many years medical officer for the Wallabies, the ARFSU and NSW Schools Rugby Union rugby teams.

Dr Syd Sugerman was honorary doctor to the senior Australian team on its tour to Argentina in 1979 and was joint medical advisor to the ARFU and team honorary doctor in 1983 and 1984.

Specialist

In 1984, he was with the team in Fiji and later that year in the UK and Ireland when they won the Grand Slam. He was also Honorary Medical Adviser to the Australian Rugby Football Schools Union from 1980 to 1984.

He was particularly well known as a supporter and medical specialist to various groups and teams of schoolboys in the Sydney area.

He died in January 1985 and after his death the Committee of the ARFSU unanimously agreed to honour Dr Syd Sugerman's contribution to schoolboy rugby by making an award to a member of each team at the Championships.

The early sixties proved to be a lean time for the rugby section but, thanks to the endeavours of Berk Citron and Ucky Fine, members were gathered from other rugby teams and a whole new generation came into being.

This new era carried into the seventies when George Hook took over as coach. Carlisle RFC reached the Spencer Cup final twice and Moran Cup semi-final which was testimony to Hook's coaching skill which was subsequently demonstrated with Connacht and the American Eagles among others.

At that time David White chaired a hard-working committee and received plenty of support from PS White, Max Fine, Robert White, Arnold Lewis, Bernard White.

In 1978, a disagreement over club policy led to a most unfortunate split within the rugby section, resulting in the loss of several "seasoned" players. Some older members rallied around but playing strength was reduced.

Some younger players were brought in such as Niall and Jeremy Jacobs, Eddie Elliman, Alan Traub, Paul Jacobs, Robert Glass, Tevian Mirrelson, and Keith Davies.

Tragedy struck in 1979 when captain Kenny Harris sustained a serious neck injury that ultimately left him paralysed.

1989 saw the renaming of the club to Parkmore RFC and the ending of the affiliation with Dublin Maccabi but the club did remain at Kimmage Road until it was sold in 1999.

Since then Parkmore RFC have thrived and in 2012, under the captaincy of Farnan Harte, they won the J4 Metro Section C League, making it the first notable win in the club's history.

They followed that up in 2015 when, under the leadership of captain Tomás O'Connell, they won the Metro League 9, making it two notable achievements in three years - something that members of yesteryear would have been very proud of.

Parkmore is a very busy social rugby club who draw players from all over Ireland with a strong contingent of new arrivals to the city and country.

Parkmore also welcomes any new members who are interested in playing rugby and having fun.

Parkmore RFC

Founded: 1907/08

Colours: Sky Blue and White Hoops

Grounds: Lakelands, Terenure

Division: Metro 8

Club Captain: Edward Conmy

Club President: Simon Curtis

Coaches: Ian Riordan and Paul Gunning

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