26 Oct 2017
On Thursday evening (26th October) in the UCD Clubhouse, a large crowd gathered for the launch of a book and an exhibition to commemorate the centenary of the achievement of the UCD Collegians hurling team in winning the All-Ireland senior hurling championship. The book – UCD Collegians: All-Ireland Champions 1917 – written by Paul Rouse and Leanne Blaney was launched by former UCD and Limerick hurler and footballer Stephen Lucey. Also present at the launch was Pat Leahy, political editor of the Irish Times, whose granduncles played on the Boherlahan team.
One hundred years ago, in October 1917, UCD Collegians (representing Dublin) were crowned All-Ireland hurling champions. They defeated Meath, Offaly and Kilkenny to win the Leinster Championship and then faced Tipperary in the All-Ireland final. Some 12,000 spectators turned out to see the defending champions, Boherlahan (representing Tipperary) lose to UCD Collegians by 5-4 to 4-2.
The Collegians had won the right to represent Dublin by winning the Dublin senior hurling championship and, under the rules of the time, were able to supplement their championship-winning team to compete in the Leinster and All-Ireland chamionship with some of the best players from other Dublin clubs, most notably Faughs.
The success of the team was based on the astute recruitment of playars and on the coaching and physical training of the radical Republican Harry Boland and team captain John Ryan. Like all the Dublin All-Ireland winning teams, it was filled by hurlers who came from outside the city. Two of the Collegians on the field that day, Sean O’Donovan and Frank Burke, had already been interned due to their involvement in the 1916 Rising and others, such as Sean Hyde, an intelligence agent for Michael Collins, later entered the realm of militant nationalism as foot soldiers and officers of the Irish Republican Army during the War of Independence. Other players included the brilliant Clare goalkeeper Tommie Daly.
For further information contact: Paul Rouse e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 087 9422500