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We've debunked Irish schools rugby's greatest mystery - Why don't Roscrea play in Munster?

The school is one win away from their first ever Leinster Schools Senior Cup triumph.

Alan Tynan, Dylan Murphy and John Teahan Bourke celebrate after Roscrea's semi-final replay win over Newbridge.
Alan Tynan, Dylan Murphy and John Teahan Bourke celebrate after Roscrea's semi-final replay win over Newbridge.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

WE DON’T HAVE to wait too much longer for this year’s Leinster Schools Senior Cup final between Roscrea and Belvedere but rather than break down the game position-by-position, The42 decided to put on its Sherlock Holmes hat and get to the bottom of schools rugby’s greatest mystery:

Why do Roscrea play in Leinster?

If you have ever played Discovering Ireland then you know Roscrea is actually a town in Tipperary, so you would assume that Cistercian College Roscrea would compete in the Munster Schools Senior Cup.

The college has reached four senior cup finals (1910, 1941, 1999 and 2011) but have yet to lift the trophy.

We didn’t want to get the school tossed out of the Leinster competition two days before their attempt to win it for the first time, but our search for the journalistic truth took us straight to the top.

Roscrea principal Brendan Feehan gave us the background information and it turns out the name Roscrea is a bit of a smoke-screen, because while the Tipperary town is the closest one to the school, the college grounds aren’t in that county.

“The College in its entirety is in Leinster (Offaly) – we just happen to have a Roscrea postal address,” Feehan said.

“Cistercian College, Roscrea was established by the Cistercian monks of Mt St Joseph Abbey in 1905.  The college buildings and playing fields are situated within the campus of the abbey which is located in the Leinster townland of Mountheaton, Co Offaly, but the school is frequently presumed to be in Munster due to its proximity (4km) to the town of Roscrea, Co Tipperary.  The Offaly/Tipperary border is in fact only 250m outside the front gates.”

So having the team compete in Leinster wasn’t an elaborate scheme by the Cistercian monks to smuggle their school across the border into a different tournament – it actually is in Leinster after all, albeit less than an Olympic track away from being in a different province.


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Mystery solved.


The Leinster Schools Senior Cup final takes place in the RDS on Tuesday at 4pm.

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