What follows is but a whistle-stop tour of the proud history of Clonakilty RFC, which, with your help, we hope to build on. If you have additional information or stories, or if you have photographs from the past we would welcome your contributions. Please get in touch with us at:

Clonakilty Rugby Club as we know it now was formed in 1977 at a meeting in the Kilty Stone Tavern. The main reason at that time for the reformation of the club was to provide a social outlet for those involved.

Rugby had been played for periods previously in the town. In 1890 a Clonakilty side competed in the Munster Senior Cup for the first time. The club played their games in the Showgrounds but disbanded in the early 1900s.

Clonakilty RFC took the field again in the 1930s when the late Paul Blewitt, father of the revered former Hon. Sec. the late Jimmy Blewitt was a stalwart player and administrator. The club disbanded again before the Second World War and was not heard of again until that fateful evening in the Kilty Stone Tavern in 1977.
The first game, a friendly was against neighbours Bandon on a pitch borrowed from Jennings' in Desert Clonakilty.

The club commenced competitive rugby at Minor A level and won its first trophy, the Dromleena Cup in 1978. Following victories in 1980 and 1982 in the Minor League it was decided to move up to Junior grade in 1982/83.

The O'Neill Cup was won in the 1995/96 season and the Junior 1 team won promotion to the 1st Division as well as winning two local cups and the annual "Jimmy Blewitt Memorial Cup" played between Clonakilty and Donaghadee.

In 2001, Clonakilty reached the top of Munster regional rugby and obtained promotion through a round-robin league by winning over the champion sides of the three other provinces. Since then, the club won the title of the Senior Third Division in 2006. Promoted to Senior second division, and obtained a brilliant third place the following season in the Second Division places.

Over the years a number of players being selected for Munster and Irish sides:

Munster Junior Interpro

  • 1994/1995 Derek Dillon, Thomas Neville
  • 1995/1996 Kevin O'Regan, Eddie Knowles, Kevin Mullen
  • 2009/2010 Kieran Howlin (Leinster Junior)

Munster Under 20

  • Kevin Mullen (attached Cork Con)
  • John McCarthy
  • Batt Duggan (attached to UCC)
  • Michael O'Hea
  • Alex O'Mahony

 Munster Youths Interpro

  • 1986/87: Kieran O'Regan, Justin Crowley, Bernard Hart 
  • 1991/92: Ronan Walsh
  • 1993/94: Kevin Mullen
  • 1994/95: Kevin Mullen
  • 2007/08: James Deasy
  • 2012/2013: Philip Poillot, Bobby Smith, Joe White

Ireland Youths

  • 200/01: Dave Cookson, Alfie Harte , John McCarthy
  • 2003/04: David Lombard, Michael O'Hea

Schools Interpro

  • 1993 / 94 Ian Murphy Leinster
  • 2006/ 07 Derry O'Neill Munster
  • 2007/ 08 Alex O'Mahony Munster
  • 2011/ 12 Peter Deane Munster A
  • 2013 / 14 David O'Mahony

Munster Lady Inter Interpro

  • Karen Fitzpatrick
  • Deirdre Scannell
  • Laura Guest
  • Grace Sheehy
  • Aoife Deasy
  • Eimear O'Sullivan
  • Laura Guest
  • Maeve Quirke
  • Aishling O'Brien

Lady Internationals

  • Laura Guest
  • Eimear O'Sullivan
  • Maeve Quirke

Underage successes over they years have included the Under 12 side of 1993/94 who were the first team from a Junior Club to win the South Munster U12 Cup, the South Munster League, the Highfield Tournament and the All-Ireland Mini Rugby Tournament, and the Under 18 side of 1999/2000 who won the All Ireland League.
2012/2013 was another exciting year for the Underage section with the U-15 claiming victory in the South Munster Leagues and the U-17's emerging as victors of the Munster League.

Clonakilty also had a very successful ladies for a number of years with some members qualifying to wear the Green Jersey including Laura Guest, who has 21 caps for Ireland and was a member of the hugely successful Irish team of 2012/2013 which won the Triple Crown, the 6 Nations and the Grand Slam.

Clonakilty R.F.C. began playing at the local Showgrounds and subsequently at a pitch at Lyre some distance from the town before arriving at its current location in Shannonvale Cross in 1982.

The development of playing grounds and a clubhouse also continued apace over the years. The first step in developing the existing facilities was the development of two playing pitches. In 1987 the current grounds and clubhouse were purchased, followed in 1990 by the official opening of the Clubhouse by Tom Kiernan during a week long celebration of rugby from 21st - 29th April, culminating in an exhilarating match played by many of rugby's household names here in Ireland as well as in Wales.
The Clubhouse contains dressing rooms, shower areas, a referee's room and a medical room, with a gym on the first floor. A Member's bar, a function room, kitchen, and other ancillary facilities, are also available, whilst the playing grounds consist of three pitches two of which are floodlight.


Donal Mac Sweeney Club Captain 2018/19

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