Monkstown Hockey Club (‘town; Irish Cumann Haca Baile na Manach) established in 1894 is one of the oldest in Ireland located at Rathdown School in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin.
The concept and formation of Monkstown Club came from Mr C. P. Ball and Mr H. S. Findlater. In response to circulars sent out by them a meeting was held in Kenny’s Hotel, Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) on 17 September 1894. It was unanimously agreed that a club be formed named Monkstown Hockey Club. The following officers were then elected: Honorary Secretary H. S. Findlater, Honorary Treasurer C. P. Ball, Committee: R. Rice J. W. Ball, B. W. Scott, G. R. Symes and R. G. Boughton. Mr. Herbert Findlater who proposed the formation of the club was a member of an eminent business and professional family in Dublin. Of the existing clubs in Leinster, Monkstown is the 3rd oldest after Dublin University and Three Rock Rovers, which were founded a year earlier. At that first meeting a deputation was elected to ask Mr. Bousfield of Corrig School for permission to play on the lower portion of their cricket pitch at Tivoli Terrace. This he readily agreed to, for which he was promptly elected the first President of the club, and all Corrig Boys School became honorary members, therefore incurring the club in no financial outlay. The annual subscription was set at five shillings with an entrance fee of two shillings and six pence; the following year the subscription was raised to seven shillings and six pence, except those living outside a five mile radius of the club ground, when it would remain at five shillings. The colours of the club were chosen to be “light blue shirt with dark blue pipings and M. H. C. on the pocket in dark blue.” Later the Honorary Secretary reported that arrangements had been concluded with “Lynch” of Westmoreland Street, Dublin to supply shirts made of flannel thoroughly shrunk at 7/6 each. Some years elapsed before the standardisation of the colour of shorts took place when white was chosen. This was later changed to navy blue.
Monkstown Honorary Life members: Trevor Watkins, Gorgon Watkins, Paul O’Brien, Tommy Allen, Don Cowman, Brian George, Crawford Tipping, Michael Murdoch, Sam Farrar.
Monkstown Originally formed in 1982, the ladies section of Monkstown disbanded in 1991.
Monkstown Ladies was revived in 2008 by Aileen Kealy, Sarah Lovett, Suzie Murray, Amy McGovern and Grainne Wall and 12 other members. The ladies ethos from the outset was driven by a desire to share in the fun & comradery which was so evident in Monkstown HC. The ambition was to grow a strong and successful ladies section that would complement and mirror the success of the men’s section in Monkstown HC.
The ladies players who formed the initial team in 2008 came from a number of different clubs and levels throughout Leinster and dominated division 14 wining all their matches their inaugural season. In 2009 the team was promoted to division 11 and after just two games the Leinster Hockey Association promoted the team to Division 8 and a second Monkstown Ladies team was introduced.
The ladies sections attitude, skill and dedication building each season and winning promotion throughout the teams had created an appetite for Fillies hockey from families affiliated with Monkstown. In 2010 the first fillies took to the field on a Sunday morning in Rathdown, coached by the ladies & supported by Sharon Cole & Laura Martin.
In 2012 Monkstown HC expanded adding a third and fourth team when they were joined by Dalkey Ladies Hockey Club.
Monkstown Hockey Club now have 6 teams competing in the Leinster Leagues and the All Ireland EY Hockey League. A vets team was established in 2015 and play in the Leinster Ladies’ Vets league.
From their revival in 2008 the 1st team enjoyed promotion every season (excluding one) until 2016 when the Monkstown Ladies successfully gained promotion into division 2 and the club merged with Hermes Hockey Club cementing its place in the Irish Hockey League.
Dalkey Ladies Hockey Club was originally set up in 1981 by Hillary Dixon, Berni Nolan, Rachel Kerr and Colleen and Katrina Hogan as an informal team to facilitate school leavers eager to continue playing hockey. In 2000, the club stopped for a season, but was started up again by Gillian Coffey and Mary Jane Mulligan, and quickly became successful again, growing to 4 teams and achieving success in Leinster leagues and cups. Dalkey joined with Monkstown Hockey Club in 2012.
Hermes Hockey Club was founded in 1966 with 48 members. The club has produced numerous senior international players over the years, including many Irish captains and several who have achieved over 150 caps, Jenny Burke (161 caps), Mary Logue (153), Linda Caulfield (151) and others capped whilst playing for Hermes include Gwen Doherty, Daphne Sixsmith, Carol Devine,
Tara Browne Catriona Carey, Fiona Connery, Kristin Farrell, Jill Hodgins, Sarah Hilliard, Nicola King, Christine Quinlan. The current crop of Irish players includes Anna O’Flanagan, Nikki Evans, and Chloe Watkins. In 2011 Gwen Doherty became the 1st Hermes player to be inducted to the Irish Hockey Hall of Fame.
Hermes achieved outstanding success in recent years winning the Irish Senior Cup in 1997, 1999, 2005 and 2006, the All Ireland Club Championships in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008 and representing Ireland in European competitions on six occasions. They won the inaugural EYHL in 2016 and qualified for the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup in June 2017. Hermes merged with Monkstown Hockey Club in 2016.
It would be impossible to record the history of Hermes without mention of its “roots” – the Old Wesley Hockey Club . During the 50’s and early 60’s, Old Wesley Hockey Club, whilst featuring prominently at Leinster Intermediate level, found the competition in the senior ranks quite a different story. After a few dismal years it became apparent that a change of policy was needed. By tradition players in Old Wesley H.C. mostly came from Protestant schools and it was obvious that fresh feeding grounds were urgently needed. Existing Old Wesley members, notably Tina Tennant, Heather and Beryl Squires and Gladys Ruddock finally had their ambition fulfilled with the formation of Hermes H.C. in April 1966, with membership open to all comers.
Because the existing first eleven of Old Wesley agreed to join Hermes, the Leinster Branch allowed the new club take Old Wesley’s place in the Senior Division – so the ship was launced with 48 members. The radical changeover to the new name, new uniform and new image proved to be the injection the players needed to prove their worth and from the beginning there was great spirit and enthusiasm. The 1967-68 season saw them climb to third place in the Leinster Senior League and from this platform successes achieved in the 70’s began. The Leinster Senior Cup was won for the first time in 1973/74 and again in 1978. The club continued to thrive, winning the White Cup (Irish Junior Cup) in 1979 and other cups and leagues in the lower ranks.
The clubs first Irish Senior Cup success was in 1997 beating Muckross 2-1 in the final. As a result of that victory a first trip to the European Cup Winners Cup A Division in Belgium was the prize but the squad could only manage 7th place but the experience gained was invaluable. The second Irish Cup victory was in 1999 beating arch rivals Pegasus 3-2 in a thrilling encounter. In April this year the clubs finest moment to date was clinching Bronze medals in the A Division of the Cup Winners Cup in Koln, Germany.
The club has had some notable members throughout its existence. Founder members Winnie Chadwick and Gladys Ruddock gave many years of service with Gladys becoming Honorary Secretary of the Irish Ladies’ Hockey Union from 1975 to 1983. In 1985 Gladys was honoured with the ILHU Presidency and is now an Honorary Life Member of the Union. Geraldine Magee, Hilary O’Herlihy, Anne Brownlee, Via Maume, Joan Morgan, Eithne Moran, Goretti Hestor, Esther Walsh, Judy Graham, Helen Kilroy, Jenny Burke, Roly Burke, Jenny Hickey, Christine Quinlan to name but a few have all contributed significantly to the clubs success.
ROLL OF HONOUR IRELAND
- Gladys Ruddock 1985-1986 President Irish Ladies Hockey Union
- Gladys Ruddock 1975-1983 Secretary Irish ladies Hockey Union
- Gladys Ruddock Honorary Life Member Irish Ladies Hockey Union
- Gwen Doherty – inducted Irish Hockey Hall of Fame 2011
- Hermes Club of the Year – 2003
Honorary Life Members
Gladys Ruddock, Gwen Doherty, Goretti Hester, Eithne Moran, Joan Morgan, Maria Hamilton, Helen Kilroy, Susan Spence