In the period 1967-69 Frank O’Brien was recognised as the top forward in Colleges Hurling with St. Finbarrs Farranferris. In 1969 he scored two vital goals as they defeated Colaiste Criost RÍ. in the final of the Harty Cup. They went on to play Gort in the All Ireland Colleges semi-final where Frank once again scored a brace of goals. St Kieran’s College were their final opponents, what a game Frank had. He scored four goals and two points, one of the points came from him kicking a moving ground ball over the bar. A scoring record for the competition.
He was a great all-rounder, played soccer with Cork Celtic in the Munster Senior League and Munster Senior League with Dolphin. From 1966-68 he played Minor with Blackrock, winning three county medals. In 1970 he joined Glen Rovers but only played two games with them, playing with Youghal RFC in 1971.
He tried his hand at a number of business ventures before he joined 96FM. He was a Programme Producer as well as being the rugby correspondent. People will remember Frank doing his match updates from Musgrave Park and ringing around to get updates on the other Cork AIL sides games. Always a great Dolphin supporter, rarely missed a Pre-Match Lunch, would travel to away games, his interview with Billy St John after victory over Malone to gain promotion to Division 1 was legendary.
For 12 years he commentated on Munster games for 96FM, he had a unique style and would have his audience in stiches from time to time. Former Dolphin President Olann Kelleher was often his co commentator, Olann himself tells this story. He introduced him as “the former Munster scrum half who talked his way on to the Munster Team and played his way off it”
Bertie O’Hanlon (Irish International 559) 1947-50 12 caps 3 Tries
1948 GS Winners Bertie O’Hanlan & Jack Kyle – 2009 GS Winners, R O’Gara, Bertie O’Hanlon D Kidney
Born in Ballyclough, Mallow, his father was dispensary doctor, on his death, the family moved to Cork in 1932 he was introduced to rugby at PBC . At the age of 12, he became a boarder at Rockwell College . An all round sportsman, he also represented Rockwell at Gaelic Football and was South of Ireland sprint champion over 100 and 220 yards and long jump champion for two years.
Played scrum half on Junior cup side that also contained Dr Paddy Hillery President of Ireland
He moved to centre and played Senior Schools Cup for three years and in 1942 beat PBC in the final with Gerald aherne at scrum half.
Rockwell College failed to retain the trophy in 1943, he agreed to play with Cork Constitution in the Munster Senior Cup. They sent a taxi to the school for him to bring him to Mardyke to play in MSC semi-final. They won and while he was a substitute for the final v the Army he still got his first MSC medal, he also won Minor Cup and League medals. He played in the Munster Junior Cup with Clonmel but they were defeated in the final.
With all his friends in Dolphin he joined Dolphin in September 1943 but missed much of the season through injury. In 1945 Dolphin retained the MSC so Bertie claimed his 2nd medal. Also in 1945 he made his Munster debut, scoring two tries and playing against each of the other three provinces. Interestingly he played centre for Munster and later wing for Ireland.
He scored two tries on his International debut, a 22-0 victory over England on 8/2/1947. Barney Mullen tried a drop goal, it screwed off his foot and Bertie won race for touchdown. There was no luck involved in 2nd try he collected a kick on his own 10 yard line, beat defender after defender to score by the posts. He was just the 2nd Irish player to score two tries on his debut.
He was selected 13 times for Ireland, but had to cry off against Australia in 1947 because of injury. He had a short international career of four seasons (1947-1950) that was littered with honours, two Triple Crown’s and the Grand Slam. The pinnacle of his career should have been the Lions tour of New Zealand & Australia in 1950, in those days the tours lasted 6 months and he was asked by the IRFU to allow his name go forward but his employers would not release him.
In 1948 has was Dolphin vice captain and they were victorious in the MSC and he won his 3rd MSC medal.
in 1951 he dislocated his shoulder in the Senior Cup v Cork Constitution, it never knitted and his career was over at 28.
He died in 2016 at 91, the last surviving member of the 1948 Grand Slam Team.
D B O’Loughlin – Dolphin’s War Time International
D B O’Loughlin (David Bonaventure) was born in Glenbeigh, Co Kerry in July 1916. When he was attending UCC he won the first of his six official caps for Ireland in 1938. That season he played against England, Wales and Scotland, in the opening game in the front row, 2nd game in the 2nd row and the third game he played in the backrow.
There were no Internationals between 11/03/1939 & 25/01/1947. In their absence, on April 1,1939, Sam Walker’s 1938 touring side to South Africa reconvened to play an unofficial Lions match against their manager, B C “Jock” Hartley’s XV at Ravenhill in Belfast and O’Loughlin was on Hartley’s side.
He played on an Ireland XV that played the British Combined Services in 1943,1944 & 1945. In 1946 he played in the two “Victory Internationals” against England & France, the unofficial war time internationals, he was one of three players from the pre war era to play.
He won Munster Senior Cup medals with UCC in 1937 & 1939, following his transfer to Dolphin in 1940-41 he won a Charity Cup Medal and followed that up with two further Munster Senior Cup medals with Dolphin in successive years 1944 + 1945. He was Garryowen captain for the 1948-49 season.
He was also very involved with Clanwilliam, he worked for a period in Cleeves Creamery in Tipperary. He actually played for Clanwilliam in the Mansergh Cup, the Sunday before he made his Irish debut in 1938.
Following his retirement from playing he was soon involved with Munster & Ireland sides again, this time as a selector for the 1949-50, 1950-51 and 1954-1955 seasons. He was manager of the Golden Vale Co-Op when he passed away just days after his 55th Birthday.
Darragh O’Mahony did not come through the traditional Schools route, attending Rochestown College which also was the Alma Mater of other internationals John Kelly & Richard & Paul Wallace.
Having played underage with Cork Constitution, he went on to UCC and played for Munster U20’s and Irish Universities (6 caps) and Irish Students.
Having completed his degree he moved to Dublin to complete a 2 year diploma in UCD. His rugby career had started to take off, he was putting in good performances with UCD, Tyrone Howe withdraws from the Ireland A side, Darragh was called up and held his place for the next game.
The next thing he was playing a pre World Cup (95) warm up v Italy and made the World Cup squad for South Africa. It was an incredible 12 months for him, in 1994 he could not make the U 21 side, in 1995 he was playing in the World Cup.
On his return he joined Lansdowne and the following season he declared for Leinster and went on to make his first Heineken Cup appearances.
He was then offered a professional contract with Moseley, he left his Banking career behind him and headed to Birmingham where he was in rich try scoring form, scoring 32 tries in 33 games over two seasons in the English 2nd tier. He still has the record for tries in consecutive games for Moseley (5).
He was still on the fringes of the Irish Senior side as he was capped 3 times at each Moseley & Bedford Blues by Ireland A.
In 1998 he moved to the first division side Bedford Blues where he scored 11 tries, 2nd highest try scorer that season to the record breaking English try scorer, Rory Underwood. The club was sold on and O’Mahony moved to Saracens at the end of the season.
He spent five seasons with Saracens, making 142 appearances and at one stage with 24 tries he was the clubs record try scorer. This included 3 in the Heineken Cup.
At 31, O’Mahony & Saracens called it a day and he decided to return to Cork and in October 2004 he made his Dolphin debut as a substitute against Highfield. He went on to start each of Dolphin’s 31 games in that and the following season. In the 2nd season Dolphin won promotion to Division 1.
In 2006 Darragh decided to return to Banking and took up a position with AIB in London. He returned to playing with Old Albanian’s and he turned up on the bench for the Barbarians in 2008 against his old side Bedford Blues, his only appearance for the Barbarians.
John O’Mahony 125 AIL Appearances- 1203 points
John was introduced to rugby by his father Matt, a former Munster Out half and President of Dolphin in 1993-94. His early rugby was with Cobh Pirates before he went to PBC, he went on to represent Munster Schools and Ireland A Schools.
He joined UCC from PBC and also wore the green jersey of the Irish Universities a number of times, including on a tour of Australia in 1997, just before he joined Dolphin.
He made 125 AIL appearances for Dolphin, (currently the 3rd highest) making his debut v Garryowen on 06/12/1997. He was a prolific points scorer, and when he retired after lining out v Shannon on 21/04/2007 he had scored 1203 points for Dolphin- 9 tries, 289 pens,132 con + 9 dg’s in addition to those in UCC colours.
On 11/01/2003, John, between his points with UCC & Dolphin he became just the 3rd player in AIL history to score 1,000 points.
Following his retirement, he spent 5 seasons coaching with UCC, with 3 sons he returned to get involved with the minis in Dolphin and is currently one of the U13 coaches.
John O’Meara Irish International No. 593.
John won 22 caps for Ireland, became a Barbarian 52/53. Represented Munster on 21 occasions between 1950/56.
He learned his rugby in CBC before he moved to Clongowes Wood, shoulder injury while hunting cost him his senior cup place. What he took from the period on the side-line was how effective his replacements dive pass, something it became a feature of his style of play
He played just half a game as a sub in the supplemental Irish Trial in January 1951, playing for UCD v Wanderers, he was just 21. O’Meara got his opportunity when Ulster scrum half Hubie McCracken withdrew as he was suffering from pleurisy. Having got the call up the day before, a late call up, O’Meara had to get to Dublin, if he went by CIE, he would not make the kick off. He got himself a lift in a Cork Examiner van.
The first time he passed a ball to Jack Kyle was the day before the French international in 1951. Putting O’Meara at ease before his first cap was Kyle when he approached O’Meara and said, “and where do you want me to stand
He started in UCC in 1949, studying Law to follow the family Legal Profession. He quickly got on the Senior team and was part of the side which won the treble in 1949-50, Munster Senior League & Co and Cork Charity Cup, they retained the MSC the following season.
Chosen for 1952 Argentina tour played both representative fixtures, from that time to 1955-56 became the automatic choice for Ireland
He captained Dolphin to victory in 1955/56 Munster Senior Cup, but unfortunately had to sit out the final with a broken thumb. His final cap came against Wales in 1958, he kicked a ball from the base of a scrum and won the race for the touchdown, later in the game he was carried off on a stretcher. He was forced to retire due to a leg injury which had been troubling him for 2 years, having withdrawn from several Irish sides during the period. Originally an Achilles tendon injury and subsequent complications.
He was Dolphin Club President for the 75th Anniversary in 1976-77.
His son Barry, also a scrum half, played for Dolphin in the AIL in the 1990’s.
Gerald’s long and happy association with Dolphin began back in 1939 while still at CBC. Dolphin were playing at Ballintemple in those days, and he was encouraged to join Dolphin by his classmate George Foulkes who lived about 200 yards from the ground- he was also the only one in the class who owned a ball.
He won a Munster Senior Schools medal as a front row forward, alongside two other future Dolphin men, John O’Flynn and J.B. Murphy in 1944 and the following year first won representative honours when he played for Munster Schools v Leinster at Lansdowne Road.
He played with UCC for the next three seasons making his colours debut in 1946 v Trinity.
In 1948 he re-joined Dolphin, winning Charity Cup & Munster Senior League medals but finished on the losing side in the Munster Senior Cup twice in three years- to Sundays Well in 1949 & UCC in 1951.
He earned the first of his 13 Competitive Munster Caps in 1949 at Thomand Park in a 6-3 victory over RAF and was on the 2nd Munster team to win the Interprovincial Championship in 1952/53. He also played against South Africa & New Zealand.
The 14th March 1953 was a special day- Gerald’s first international cap; he took over from fellow club mate J.S.McCarthy. Wales were victorious that day 5-3 in Swansea, the final international at that venue. There were only two other Munster men on duty that day, the late Tom Reid and of course John O’Meara.
Four further caps followed the following season, one being against Scotland in Ravenhill, again it was the final international played at this venue- the only time Gerald finished on a victorious Irish side. His final cap was again against Wales; on 13th March 1954.