Identity Statement for Leinster Branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union

  • Reference code: IE UCDA P280
  • Title: Archives of the Leinster Branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union
  • Dates: 1894–1993
  • Level of description: Fonds
  • Extent: 100 volumes
  • Context
  • Content and Structure
  • Conditions of Access and Use

Institutional History

The Leinster Branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) is responsible for rugby union throughout the Leinster province. 

The IRFU was formed in 1879 with the amalgamation of the Irish Football Union (Leinster, Munster and parts of Ulster) and the Northern Football Union of Ireland (Belfast). The Connacht branch was formed in 1900. The IRFU was a founding member of the International Rugby Football Board, now known as World Rugby, along side Scotland and Wales in 1886.  

The Leinster provincial team has been active since 1875 when the first interprovincial match was played against Ulster. It wasn't until 31st October 1879 that the Leinster Branch of the IRFU was inaugurated at a meeting at 63 Grafton Street, Dublin 2. The clubs represented at this meeting were the Wanderers, Lansdowne, Arlington School, Dublin University, Dundalk, Phoenix F.C. and Stephen's Hospital.   

Following the partition of Ireland, the then Committee of the IRFU decided that it would continue to administer its affairs based on an all-island basis and its four provincial divisions: Munster, Leinster, Connacht and Ulster.  

The Leinster Schools Senior Cup, which is one of the biggest annual events in Leinster Rugby, commenced in 1887. The first Leinster Senior Challenge Cup was created in 1881, closely followed by the establishment of the Senior League. In the early 1920s the Provincial Towns and Metropolitan Cups were created. 

Leinster Rugby competes in the United Rugby Championship and the European Rugby Champions Cup. Since 2005, they play their home games primarily at the RDS Arena, moving from their traditional home ground at Donnybrook Stadium. Larger games are played in the Aviva Stadium.

Leinster Rugby turned professional in1995, with its fellow Irish provinces.

Scope and Content

Executive Committee: minutes and proceedings including a variety of sub committees (Finance, Selection, Donnybrook Grounds, Ticket Allocation, Coaching, Press and Public Relations, Fixtures, Statement of Accounts, Honorary Secretary's Report). 

Junior League Committee: minutes and proceedings.

Schools Committee: minutes and proceedings. 

Letter books.

Newspaper cuttings.

Financial administration: accounts, ledger accounts, expenditure, affiliation fees and gate receipts.

  • Access: Available by appointment to holders of a UCD Archives reader's ticket. Produced for consultation in digital form.
  • Language: English
  • Finding aid: Descriptive catalogue
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