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

Parents

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

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

Uncles

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

 

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.

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.

Sidney, may you rest in peace.

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 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.

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.

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.

Sidney, may you rest in peace.