Olann Kelleher

Olann Kelleher learned his rugby at Newbridge College. During his time with UCC he won a nice selection of medals- Senior & Junior League medals and Minor & Dennehy Cup medals as well as captaining the Munster Junior Side.

Upon leaving UCC he joined Dolphin, he was on the 1976/77 Charity Cup side and club captain in 1978/79 and served as Club President in 2005/6.

He represented Munster at two sports, Rugby and Cricket. He was on the bench for Munster for the famous victory over the All Blacks in 1978. He was also a Munster Selector when Munster beat Australia in 1992.

Judge Olann Kelleher became a recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award for Voluntary Service for his contribution to UCC RFC as a coach and manager, he was Club President  in 2015/6 & 2016/17, one of the few people having been President of two Senior Clubs.

He was also President of Cork County Cricket Club three times in four years between 2000 & 2003.

Barry Keeshan

Barry made his Dolphin AIL debut v Young Munster on 16th October 2005 and by the time retired in 2018 he had made the most appearances for Dolphin in the AIL (195), scoring 1634 points, five tries, 344 penalties, 230 conversions and 39 drop goals. This is in addition to the 164 points with UCC and 18 with Cork Constitution. He retired being the highest points scorer in AIL History. All that with just using a cone, he was well known not to use a kicking tee, just a simple cone.

A product of PBC, he played for Munster Schools and went on to play for Ireland U19’s, both against England and in the FIRA Tournament (World Cup) in France.

In 2005 he was in the Irish 23 for each U21 Six Nations Squads, he did start against England when he kept Johnny Sexton to being an unused substitute.  Tommy Bowe, Andrew Trimble, Stephen Ferris and Gareth Steenson were other well-known names in the squad that season.

He made a then record 10 appearances for the Irish Club International side. He played for Munster A and was named  twice in the  Munster 23  for Celtic League fixtures without being given the opportunity to take the field.

Barry was in the Munster 7’s Squad that played in the City of Stirling Seven’s in 2007.

Following his retirement in 2018, Keesh worked with Chris Rowe as backs coach to the Senior Team.

Tom Keogh

Tom attended his first rugby game in February 1982, Ireland v Scotland International. He took up rugby playing inter firm with the ESB, persuaded to move to Dolphin and play Junior, by November he was playing senior for Dolphin.

6 ft 6 with a personality to match, a superb scrummager and untouchable at 2 in the lineout. In the days before lifting in the lineouts, Hugh Farrelly put in so well ,” a wipe of his nose, a quick nod to Terry, a swish of his arse and it was another ball for Dolphin”.

Loved the maul, as pack leader had two calls, Blue, keep in the forwards and Red, give it to the backs, he insisted Blue overrode Red. How often did the backs call a Red ball only to hear TK saying cancel, Blue ball and set off on another trundle up the park.

Munster selectors were reluctant to consider him, he did not appear to be the fittest man around. Olann Kelleher pointed out that he has was winning lineouts against everyone in Munster and he was selected for the Munster Final Trial. He asked that someone count the number of times he handled the ball compared to the other forwards. When details were tabulated it was found that he was on the ball more than anyone and he was selected v Connacht.

He was Dolphin captain for 1990/91 when they won the Munster Senior League, to qualify for the AIL round robin. With three going up, victory over Galwegians after a draw with Dungannon meant Dolphin were promoted without needing to play the final game v Blackrock College. He was captain again for 1992-93 season.

He made 41 AIL appearances for Dolphin, scoring five tries. When his son Thomas played AIL for Dolphin, they became the first father and son to play AIL for Dolphin.

Declan Kidney

(The majority of members would know of Declan’s association with Dolphin and being the most decorated Irish born coach, but our younger members would not realise how successful a coach he has been)

Declan’s early rugby days may have been in the black and white of PBC, but he spent much time in Musgrave Park watching various Dolphin sides with his dad Joe who was Dolphin President in 1979. His brothers Kevin & Paul also played with Dolphin.

Declan played in 2 Munster Senior Schools cup finals with PBC, being on the winning side in 1978 alongside Mick Kiernan. He played for the Munster schools side and captained the Possibles side in the Irish Schools Trial. He went on to UCC and at just 19 he started his coaching journey with the PBC U 13 side. He continued playing and won a Munster Junior Cup medal with UCC.  He moved up to coach the Junior Cup side and they won four successive Munster Junior Cup titles. Four Senior cups in five seasons then followed.

He coached the Irish Schools side for four seasons, highlights were  a Triple Crown and in 1992 a 9 game tour to New Zealand. They won 7/8 warm up games against quality opposition. They came up short against a very good New Zealand side which contained future senior internationals, Jeff Wilson and Jonah Lomu, only a late Wilson penalty gave the home side victory.

He had being playing senior with Dolphin during the 80’s until 1993, having played two seasons in the AIL making 11 appearances at 10 in the clubs 18 games. With Mick Kiernan  being the designated kicker  he did kick three conversions and also scored two tries and  two drop goals. That makes him Dolphin’s joint 4th drop goal scorer in the AIL. Interestingly, he played on the Dolphin 1986 & 1989 sides that beat Swansea and he scored a drop goal in both games.

In 1995 he took over as Dolphin coach from Phil O’Callaghan. With forwards like Terry Kingston, Tom Keogh, Eddie Walsh, Peter & Philip Scott, Philo built his game around a powerful rolling maul. Out went the hours of laps, scrum and maul practice, to be replaced by an extensive fitness programme and a quick ruck game. It took time to adapt, a realignment of the Divisions meant that Dolphin were not relegated.

He introduced many new systems, warm downs before they ever became fashionable. He attracted some young new talent for the 2nd season and the club won promotion to Division 1 in his 2nd year in charge (1996-97)

Dolphin did have a little wobble as the season was getting to an exciting stage, with four games to go, Kidney was off to Argentina coaching the Irish U 19 side at the World Cup. He did his preparation before he departed. He left two speeches to be relayed to the players, one for a win and one for a loss. Ireland were knocked out at the semi final stage, he returned to oversea victory in the last two games.

Going to Malone for that final game, the side were extremely nervous, needing victory for promotion. Then Kidney produces a video, one he had got from a Hotel in Torquay of the antics of the team on a pre season tour, it took the tension out of everything and victory followed.

Deccie was on the rugby radar, Munster were looking for their first professional coach, John Bevan accepted the position but then changed his mind and rather than taking Dolphin to Division 1  Deccie went to Munster.

In 1997 and 1999 he brought Ireland to the semi finals of the U 19 World Cup, but 1998 was to be their year to lift the trophy. It was not without controversy, in the Q/F they were 17-0 down after 25 mins, they scored a last minute try which was converted by Brian O’Driscoll to level the game. It went to penalty kicks, five players who were on the pitch at the final whistle, Ireland missed two and were out, but inexplicably South Africa used a player who had been replaced. This rule had been laid out at two pre tournament meetings and by the referee on the day, and Ireland went through and brought the trophy home from France.

An historic three interprovincial titles in succession, a Celtic League Title, a  European Cup final and semi-final appearance in successive seasons underline his coaching prowess and his ability to extract the best from his players. He also won a Triple Crown with Ireland A. He became Assistant to Irish Coach Eddie O’Sullivan in 2002. With O’Sullivan being offered a 4 year contract before the 2003 World Cup, this combination was not destined to last. Deccie went for the vacant Head Coach position with Newport Gwent Dragons in 2004, just as soon as he accepted it  Gary Ella parted company with Leinster and less than 3 weeks after taking the Dragons job he was confirmed as the new Leinster Coach.

He re-joined Munster in 2005 and in his  first season Munster won the Heineken Cup and again in 2008. The celebrations of the 2nd Heineken Cup were just dissipating when he took over the Irish Head Coach role in July 2008. Like his return to Munster, his first season was phenomenal a Triple Crown, Grand Slam and the Ireland Wolfhounds won their first Churchill Cup. He was awarded the IRB Coach of the year in 2009 and the Philips Manager of the Year for the third time in four years. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by UL in 2009.

The World Cup in 2011 saw another quarter final exit, on the way they had their first ever clean sweep of their pool and first ever win at a World Cup against a major side (Australia).

In 2013 Ireland had a poor run, much of it due to a terrible run of injuries, culminating with a loss to Italy. That game is remembered for Peter O’Mahony being moved out to the wing due to injuries in the backs, and yellow cards for Brian O’ Driscoll, Donnacha Ryan and Conor Murray. That loss was Kidney’s final game in charge.

He then changed direction and in August 2013 he was appointed Director of Sport and Physical Activity at UCC. He had other coaching opportunities but he wanted to be at home with his wife Anne who unfortunately passed away in 2016.

London Irish came calling and he was appointed a technical consultant in March 2018, moving roles to being Director of Rugby in May 2018.

He is relishing the role with London Irish and hopefully he will continue to do so.

  Mick Kiernan

Mick Kiernan first came to prominence in 1976 as out half on the Munster Schools Junior Cup winning PBC side, following up with a Senior Cup medal winners medal He represented Ireland Schools for two seasons before he joined Dolphin.

He was also a very talented athlete, in 1981 he managed to combine both, he toured South Africa with the Irish Squad, was on the Munster side that defeated Australia, was  National 200m champion and represented Ireland v Scotland in athletics.  In his first season with Dolphin he made three Munster appearances and the following season his Irish Senior debut.

The first match of the 1982 6 Nations championship was cancelled because of snow. Kiernan, just turned 20, was selected on the bench for Wales on 23.01.82, his chance came early due to a broken leg for the unfortunate David Irwin. Ireland won 20-12 and went on to win the Triple Crown, for the first time in 33 years.

In 1983 he toured New Zealand with the B & I Lions, starting in three tests.

In November 1984 Ireland played Australia, Moss Finn was the designated kicker and went down injured, Mick Kiernan took over. Not having taken a kick in his 13 previous Internationals, he stepped forward and was 3/3 on the day.

Fast forward to England 1985, having already defeated Scotland & Wales, the sides were level 10-10 in the dying minutes, Mick Kiernan was standing at first receiver, as Jim Sherwin called it on RTE Radio, ‘Drop-goal on. Drop-goal taken. Drop-goal good! Kiernan was the hero. They won the Triple Crown and Championship as five Kiernan penalties gave Ireland a 15-15 draw with France.

He earned further Lions honours in 1986 against the Rest of The World in a game celebrating the centenary of the International Board.

In 1987 he appeared in the inaugural Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and Australia. He is pictured  below scoring a try against Australia in the RWC Q/F in Sydney 07.06.1987.

When he retired,  Kiernan was Ireland’s fourth highest points scorer of all time, with 308 points (6 tries, 40 con,6 dg, 62pen) in 46 International appearances. He scored a record 65 points for Ireland  in their 1985 tour to Japan and in the inaugural World Cup (1987) was also Ireland’s top scorer with 36 points.

He came out of retirement in 1994, persuaded by the Senior coach Phil O’Callaghan to come back for the last four games of the season as Dolphin needed to win at least three to remain in Division 2. Three victories later, Division 2 status retained, Kiernan finally got to hang up the boots after an victory away in Ballina on 09/04/1994.

Sporting Relationships


Jim      –  Represented Munster at Full Back, also played Cricket for Ireland

Angela  (Lane)  played in 2 All Ireland Camogie Finals with Cork


Tom Kiernan – 59 Caps (including  5 B + I Lions )

Mick Lane     – 19 Caps  (including  2 B + I Lions )

Richard (Dick) Lane  Irish 60 yards + 100 yards (twice) Champion

Gerald Reidy   – 5 Caps

Wales – Debuts

Mick Kiernan –  Ireland Schools

Mick Kiernan – Ireland

Mick Lane      – Ireland

Gerald Reidy – Ireland


Terry Kingston  Irish International No 835

Terry joined Dolphin from CBC having earned three international schools’ caps. He played 55 times with Munster between 1984 – 1996, captaining the side in victory over Australia. He also featured for Ireland U25 and Ireland B v Argentina.

His first international cap was against Wales in the inaugural World Cup in 1987, he captained his country for the first of six times in the 1991 World Cup and was the World Cup Captain when it came around again in 1995. He also was included in the following Irish Tours, North America 1989, Namibia 1991, New Zealand 1992 & Australia in 1994.

When he retired in 1996, he was the 2nd most capped Irish hooker (30 appearances) and one of only three Irish players to play in three World Cups.

The period 1988-1990 was a busy period for Terry, playing for Munster and Ireland and still finding time to captain Dolphin.

The start of the professional era came at the end of his representative career.  For that reason, he was a regular for Dolphin in the AIL, between Dolphin’s first AIL game in 1991 and his retirement in 1998 he played 63 times. With all that he had done for the club, it was apt that he had the opportunity to play in Division 1 before he retired and Coached Dolphin after his retirement.

He made three appearances for the Barbarians, including non-capped appearances v New Zealand and Argentina.

Dave Kirk

Last September, the sudden loss of a true Clubman led to a significant outpouring of grief and sadness throughout the club. It is appropriate that we include him today in the Dolphin Legends Series as Dolphin play his native Navan.

Dave was a proud Navan man, but not many people knew that his father, W.M.Kirk was a founder member of Navan RFC in 1924. He managed the early sides, including the team that won the Ryan Midland Cup in 1929.

Dave was an important member of the Minor A Cup winning team of 1967. It was a team of legends alright

Deccie Foley & Barry O’Flynn would be well known to most members, two other names that will be familiar, Kenny Lee who also recently passed away and of course Dick O’Meara.

Dave was involved in so many aspects of the club, we all know he was Club President and Youth Officer for several years, and co ordinating the AIL Gates. But there were others, he was a very important member of the team selling the Your Club Your Country draw, a vital fundraising avenue for the club.

And most importantly, a friend to all.


Mick Lane  B & I Lion No. 329

1950  Tour to New Zealand & Australia

Born 03.04.1926

The UCC winger made his international debut for Ireland against Wales in March 1947 in the then Five Nations Championship

He missed out on the 1948 Grand Slam through injury. He was back for all four of Ireland’s matches in the 1949 Championship. They retained the Championship and the Triple Crown, narrowly missing out on back to back Grand Slams.

Another highlight for 1949 was his only appearance for the Barbarians during the Easter Tour against Cardiff, also scoring a try.

He impressed sufficiently in his four international appearances in 1950 to be selected for the B & I Lions.

He made a total of 11 appearances scoring four tries, including tests against both Australia & New Zealand.

He made three appearances in the 1951 Five Nations when Ireland once again won  the International Championship. It would have been a second Grand Slam in four years had Wales not equalised to make it 3-3 in the final game at Cardiff Arms Park.

He played twice against South Africa in December that year, a test match for Ireland, and also with Munster.

In the second of his two appearances in the 1952 Five Nations, Lane scored his only points for Ireland with a try against Scotland. His final appearances for Ireland came during the 1953 Five Nations.

It was interesting to note that in his 17 Ireland appearances, the opposite winger in 7 games were Dolphin men, Bertie O’Hanlon & Maurice Mortell.

The former Irish Sprint Champion later transferred to Dolphin.

He played for Dolphin for just two seasons, at the end of the 1954-55 season both he and fellow B & I Lions player J S McCarthy both retired.

His nephew Mick Kiernan, himself an Irish 200m champion also played for the B & I Lions. Mick Lanes sister Angela was married to Jim Kiernan. Another team mate, Gerald Reidy was married to Jim Kiernan’s sister Anne.

Lane was inducted into the Rugby Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame in 2011.

His sons, Joe & Martin played Senior for Dolphin in the 1980’s, Martin is currently the clubs Grounds Chairman.


Paddy Lawlor

Paddy won Charity Cup & Munster Senior League medals with Dolphin in 1948-49. The following season he made his Munster debut against Leinster, the 2nd Row made his international debut in February 1951.

He was only the 2nd member of the Garda Síochána to play rugby for Ireland. His brother John, also a Garda, he represented Ireland at the Rome Olympics in 1960 and finished 4th in the Hammer competition.

Paddy transferred to Dublin and joined Clontarf and later captained the side. He earned 13 caps for Leinster between 1954-56 He played for Ireland 14 times between 1951 + 1956. Fixtures v Argentina were not recognised at that stage so he officially has 12 caps.

The 1952 South American Tour was nearly cancelled as they left Dublin Airport, Eva Peron, the First Lady of Argentina passed away.

It took 6 days to get to Argentina, Eva Peron died as they flew to London. They had to decide if they should continue, Argentina entered national mourning and businesses all around Argentina closed for three days. They decided to continue, their route was Paris,Lisbon, Dakar, Natal, Rio de Janero, Buenos Aires for 1.5 days while they arranged the trip to Santiago.

Lawlor was dropped for the 2nd game, reports were that Irish Management told him he was *****.  He decided to take off mountaineering and hiking in Patagonia, no one saw him for 12 days. . When he returned, a team meeting was hastily called. ‘The team manager solemnly announced that he had been talking to Dublin, which was a big deal in 1952, and then looked around menacingly and said, “I’m deciding whether or not to send some players home.” Paddy stood up straight away and replied, “We’ve been talking among ourselves and we’re deciding whether or not we should send you home!’”

The final tour game was v Universitario B.A.- the hosts only had ,2 subs, when the hooker was forced off, a 5’8’, 11 stone scrum half replaced him. He could not throw or scrummage but could he tackle. The ferocity of his tackle was something else- the players called him Fuser, the rest of the world later knew him as Che Guevara.


Jack Mahony   Irish International No. 434

Jack attended CBC and excelled at many sports- he was school handball champion, captained the school swimming team to Munster Schools Senior Squadron title in 1917 & 1918. He hurled with the CBC team that was beaten by Farranferris in the final of Cork Schools Cup, and then there was rugby. He captained CBC to the Cork Senior Schools title in 1918 and also captained the Munster Schools team.

In 1921, he captained the Irish Giants against the Yankee Invaders at the Mardyke in the Baseball Championship of Ireland.

He also represented Ireland at Water Polo.

His rugby career was short; he gained his International cap v England on 10.02.1923 and was a travelling substitute for the Scotland and Wales games. The following year he suffered a serious injury in the Munster trial and did not play again until 1925, when he was again substitute against England and Scotland.

In 1926 he retired owing to a recurrent injury. Jack was a brother of Nacey Mahony, who became IRFU President in 1973/74.


Noel Cameron Mahony

The former Dolphin player & Irish Cricket International Noel Mahony died just two weeks short of his 93rd birthday.

He was educated at the King’s Hospital in Dublin, where he captained the senior team for three seasons from 1930. Besides a short period when he learned his trade at Trinity, it was to be a lifelong relationship with the school, where he taught mathematics.

He was a very talented sportsman, besides his rugby and cricket interests he played interprovincial table-tennis and captained Greystones and Hermitage golf clubs. In his 80s he frequently shot less than his age and had a hole-in-one at age 86.

In 1937, he performed the unique feat of appearing for Leinster v Ulster in July and Munster v Leinster in August as he spent much of the summer holidays in Cork. His international career was curtailed as internationals were suspended for six years due to the 2nd World War. He made a total of nine appearances for Ireland, six as captain when they won 2, lost 2 and drew 2. He won Leinster Senior Cricket medals in 1943 & 1950. He attended MCC Youth coaching course at Blackpool then went on to become the first Irishman to obtain the MCC advanced coaching certificate, the highest award of it’s kind available, only 400 world wide had been successful.He became the first NCA qualified coach in Ireland and national coach of the ICU for many years and in his retirement coached the Irish women at their first World Cup in Australia in 1985 and Irish Cricket Union President in 1979.

He was an honorary life member of Cork County Cricket Club

In 1944/45 he played with both Clontarf & Dolphin in the same season and was on the Dolphin side under Robin Bolster that won the Munster Senior Cup, defeating the Army (Southern Command) 8-0 in a replay. Noel Mahony converting Bertie O’Hanlon’s try and also scoring a penalty.

Noel’s older brother Sidney, is an Hon Life Member of Dolphin RFC, he has a Munster Senior Cup winners medal from 1930/31 and a Munster Junior Cup medal from 1925/26.

Sidney Mahony  1907- 2009



Our oldest member at the time, Sidney Mahony passed away in 2009. Only a couple of years previously we had three former players aged in their 90’s, Frank Dorgan, George Carpenter and Sidney Mahony. Sidney was the eldest, he outlived the others before passing away in his 102nd year.


Rugby and hockey were his main sporting interests, he played hockey for the Munster Junior Interprovincial side and was on a losing Harlequins side in an Irish Senior Cup final. He was President of Harlequins 1938-40. He was the oldest living holder of  Munster Senior Cup and Junior Cup medals, up until shortly before he passed away re would recount the stories of the two finals, which he remembered vividly.


The 1925/26 Junior Cup final was against Star, a Limerick side. Sidney was just 18 and out of school. The game itself was more than a little physical, Star finishing the game with just 11 players after three players were sent off (including a clergyman) while another broke a collar bone in a tackle on Sidney. Dolphin finished with 13, and the Cup.

The Senior Cup victory over Garryowen at the Mardyke was not without a twist either. A crowd of 12,000 witnessed an unusual event, a Garryowen player kicked ahead, with Sidney being the first to cover back but as he did so a spectator leapt off the sideline and obstructed him. The ball rolled into the in goal area, Sidney chased back and dived on the ball along with a Garryowen player, the referee gave Sidney the benefit of the doubt and awarded a 25 yard drop out.

When asked if he actually won the race to touch it down, Sidney would not be drawn on it, he did say that the spectator was wearing a scarf, of another Limerick side.


His younger brother Noel, who passed away, just two weeks short of his 93rd birthday, predeceased him. Noel was Dublin based from his schooldays, he did however play with both Clontarf & Dolphin in 1944/45 season, winning a Munster Senior Cup medal. Noel was a very talented sportsman, Captained Ireland at Cricket, was the Irish Cricket Union President in 1979. He also played interprovincial table-tennis and captained Greystones and Hermitage Golf Clubs. In his 80s he frequently shot less than his age and had a hole-in-one at age 86.

Sidney was for many years Secretary of the Cork Operatic Society, taking the stage at the Opera House with a number of his Dolphin club mates, Pearse O’Leary, James N Healy, Cecil Rezin, Bill Twomey, J B Murphy and Donie O’Sullivan.

During the War years he was in the Army, stationed at Collins Barracks until 1945 when he joined Butlins in England as a Construction Supervisor. He returned to Ireland two years later to supervise the work at Mosney before he went to the Bahamas. He did return a couple of times but spent c 30 years in the Bahamas. ahamas where he remained for 30 years. He was a Founder Member and President of Freeport RFC for 6 years. He kept up the contact with Dolphin and when he retired and returned to Cork he once again came back to support his club.


Sidney Mahony on the occasion of his 100th birthday with two of his fellow Hon. Life members- Derry O’Shaughnessy and Burr Murphy.









Up to his late 90’s he was a regular at Dolphin league matches, Jane Kidney (daughter of his great friend and club colleague, Bertie Deacon) would bring him along. He would sit upstairs in the Pavilion to watch the game, and he knew his rugby.

He was a great source of information for Ger Hodkinson when the Club History was being compiled for the Centenary, and he did not spare him later when he found an error.

Sidney receiving a presentation Frank Matthews, Club President, along with Derry O’Shaughnessy, Burr Murphy, Milo Lynch and Dave O’Regan.

To reach your 100th birthday is a fantastic achievement, he did this in July 2007, he had been planning it for quite a while and had a special table reserved for his Dolphin friends at his birthday celebrations at the Carrigaline Court Hotel. One guest spoke up on behalf of all the guests present, the Cork Operatic Society and Dolphin RFC, Burr Murphy. He even broke into song and persuaded Sidney to sing with him with an excerpt from an Opera they both took part in many years ago.


J S. (Jim) McCarthy

Jim, from Ballintemple, captained CBC in the Munster Junior Schools Cup in 1941. He was on the Ted Murphy led Schools Senior Cup winning team in 1943, the first time the famous school had won the cup since 1925- incidentally, his first cousin and Dolphin team mate Gerald Aherne was on the defeated Rockwell College side.

In 1944 Dolphin became the first club to win the Munster Senior & Junior Cup double, barely 19, Jim was on both sides and the Cork Minor Cup winning side. He made his Munster Senior debut v Leinster in 1945-46, the first of his 30 appearances in which he scored 8 tries.

He was aged 22 making his Ireland debut, he had many highlights during his Ireland Career.

  • 28 Caps – selected 32 times but forced to withdraw on four occasions.
  • A little known fact was that to prove the fitness of an injured knee, Jim played for the Dolphin Wednesday XV v The Army, just three days before lining out against England.
  • Made a try scoring debut v France in a 13-6 away victory in 1948.
  • Captained Ireland four times, he was the first Munster man (after 75 years) to captain his country.
  • Scored eight tries, then a record for an Irish forward.
  • His most famous try was v Wales in Swansea to win the Triple Crown in 1949.
  • Won Three Five Nations Championships, Grand Slam (1949) and two Triple Crowns.
  • One of his strongest suits was anticipation, knowing where Jackie Kyle would go.


He made four appearances for the Barbarians between the 1948 +49 Easter Tours

Jim McCarthy relates the story that when Lord Longford was Minister for Civil Aviation in the British Government, he approached McCarthy in the dressing rooms in Colombes after a hard match with the French.

‘”McCarthy,” said Lord Longford. “I have a bet on about your weight. I bet that you are twelve and a half stone. Am I correct?’”

‘To which a rather weary McCarthy replied: “Did you bet on the first or second half – because in the second half I was much less than twelve and a half stone?!’


Won a total of three Munster Senior Cup medals before he retired at 29. He moved to Sutton in 1970 taking up business opportunities with his former Dolphin + Ireland colleague A J F O’Reilly. He was very close to Tony and was his best man, twice.

JMC  –  Tony (O’Reilly) came down to take up his first job in Cork and joined us for afternoon tea, which led him to stay a few days, which became two years and in the process he became one of the family.

‘When he first came, he would say, ‘your house, Jim, and your children and your wife’, but he quickly changed the ‘yours’ to ‘ours’. I had no problem with ‘our kids’ and ‘our dog’, but when he started saying ‘our’ wife I showed him the door!


The McCarthy Family have been very involved with Dolphin, his father Dan did some good recruiting for Dolphin, his nephew Gerald Aherne had played minor with Cork Constitution while in Rockwell College, he joined Dolphin and the following season another Rockwell College man followed, future Grand Slam winner Bertie O’Hanlon.

His son James has been very generous with sponsorship, he arranged the McCarthy O’Reilly Cup (below). James is CEO of Nissan Ireland and the club is very grateful for the sponsorship throughout the years.

Jim McCarthy B&I Lion #332


  • Toured Australia & New Zealand in 1950.
  • Scored 4 tries on 1950 Lions tour against several of the stronger provinces but did not make the Test side as he was seen as to slight. He weighted in between 12 + 12’7 lbs
  • Made 12 B & I Lions appearances, the tries scored were in four consecutive matches.



Jim McCarthy & his soon to be Dolphin teammate Mick Lane who is still hale and hearty, were the two Cork based players on the 1950 B & I Lions tour to New Zealand & Australia.

James McCarthy, Jim’s son, was interviewed on RTE ‘s Seascapes on 2nd July (and is available on the radio player) where he gave details of the trip from Jim’s tour diary.

It was the first tour since 1938, they were the first ones to year red jerseys and not to be known as the British Isles but the Lions. The entire trip lasted 6.5 months, and luckily, they came back on time as Jim got married two weeks after coming home. It was the last Lions trip undertaken by sea, it took 32/33 days each way, they circumnavigated the globe, taking in the Panama Canal on the outgoing journey and the Suez Canal on the homeward journey. (Lewis Jones became the first Lions replacement when he was flown out as a replacement for one of the original 30 players.)

The ship they travelled out on only carried 85 passengers, they had strict rules, plenty of sleep, bed for 11.30 except on Saturday nights, moderate beer intake but no spirits, moderate eating and P E and scrum practice. One of the players Ken Jones had competed at the 1948 Olympics, winning a silver medal in the 4 X 100m relay took charge of P E/fitness training on deck.  (Lane McCarthy & Jones met up again at the Mardyke in Oct 1953 when Newport played Dolphin when on an Irish tour)

The tour captain was Dr Karl Mullen who was also responsible for coaching the forwards, while the two Welsh centres coached the backs.

Another thing they had plenty of time to do was choir practice every evening and had a repertoire of 20/30 songs and recorded an LP when in New Zealand.

One thing that the Munster & Leinster players were worried about was there no priest on the outward journey for spiritual guidance.  When in New Zealand they were hosted by the Archbishop of New Zealand where they must have got some absolution. There was no problem on the way back, it was a far bigger ship on the return journey, there were 1200 passengers including four priests so no problem with daily Masses.

Rugby Football in New Zealand: British Isles Tour (1950) – YouTube

On the playing front they won 21/24 of the non-test fixtures, narrowly lost three New Zealand tests and drew the other, they won the two tests against Australia and an unofficial friendly against the Ceylon National Team.

They were well looked after when they were in New Zealand, they all received new boots and someone sponsored a Food Parcel home for each member of the party, it was only a few years after the 2nd World War, so they were well received.  While the New Zealand population was 1.9m, their games were attended by 520k people. When they left the port there were hundreds of people standing in the raining giving them a traditional send-off singing “Now is the Hour” & Auld Lang Syne”

The worst of the sea journeys was actually the crossing of the Tasman Sea from New Zealand to Australia with mean of them suffering sea sickness.

They did receive an allowance of 50 bob a week, about €4 in today’s monies- the 2017 Lions were on €11k per week.  They were hosted everywhere they went so their money was able to go a long way.

They stopped in Bombay (Mumbai), Aden and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) on the return jersey, Jim & Mick being shown around Colombo by a Skibbereen woman.

The last entry in diary was made on the final leg of the journey, the train from Dublin to Cork, they worked out they travelled a total of 33,656 miles. “Not bad when you are being paid for it”

The friendships made lasted, James was concerned when he met his father one time in London when Jim was in his 70’s and he not looking well, until he learned he had been out with one of his fellow tourists until 2.30 am at a night club.