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All you’ll ever need to know about Garryowen Football Club

The Limerick club has produced rugby greats such as Keith Wood, Phil Danaher and David Wallace.

Keith Wood of Garryowen is tackled by Blackrock's Shane Byrne in 1994.
Keith Wood of Garryowen is tackled by Blackrock's Shane Byrne in 1994.
Image: INPHO/Billy Stickland

AS PART OF our regular series, will give you the low-down, interesting facts and fascinating anecdotes on an Irish rugby club.

We follow up on our feature on Shannon RFC by staying in Limerick to learn about Garryowen Football Club.

  • Founded: 1884
  • Home ground: Dooradoyle
  • Club colours: Light blue jersey, white shorts, light blue socks
  • Club Captain: Rory Brosnan
  • Honours: Three All-Ireland League titles, two AIB Cups; 38 Munster Senior Cups, 17 Munster Senior Leagues.
  • Notable Internationals: 56 Garryowen players have represented Ireland, including Tony Ward, Rob Henderson, Richard Wallace, David Wallace, Conor Murray, Mick Doyle, Noel Murphy, Phil Danaher, Damien Varley and Keith Wood.
  • Facebook: Garryowen Rugby Club
  • Twitter: @GarryowenFC

*Other former Garryowen players of note include Eddie O’Sullivan and the actor, Richard Harris:

YouTube credit: Conor Ryan

David Wallace — Garryowen, Munster, Ireland and British & Irish Lions

The All-Ireland League was so big when I was making my breakthrough in the game, in the late 1990s. The games were often so much bigger than the interpros. I remember a Munster and Leinster game back then, when they were doing some redevelopments on Thomond Park, that only attracted two or three hundred spectators.

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We played Cork Constitution around the same time and got a crowd of around 20,000 along for it. It was immense. That was a really great tournament up until the mid 2000s when the interpros became so popular.

Two of the biggest hits I ever got in my rugby career came when I was playing for Garryowen. We were playing against St Mary’s and they both came within five minutes from Trevor Brennan. He really could leave an impression.

imageTrevor Brennan and Victor Costello of St Mary’s get to grips with Garryowen’s David Wallace in 1999. INPHO/Billy Stickland

We got to two A.I.L finals during my playing time with Garryowen but unfortunately we never got the all-important win. We were beaten by Con in 1999. It was a draw after full-time and the game went into extra time.

ROG [Ronan O'Gara] got a penalty to win it for them. Even back then he was showing his nerve. They won 14-11 but we beat them a couple of weeks later in the Munster Senior Cup, which was a measure of payback.

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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