Dundalk Rugby Club was first formed in 1877. At that time the game was known as the “running game” and Graves Leech was first captain and moving spirit behind the club’s establishment.
Dundalk became one of the earliest members of the Provincial Towns Union which later merged with the Northern Union and formed the Northern branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union. We remained a member of the Northern Branch until the 1890’s. The club disbanded in 1912 but was reformed in 1922.
We won our first Towns Cup in the 1931-32 season. A second Cup win came in 1937 and that team featured Don Kearney grandfather of Robert Kearney, current Irish and Lions player.
Family connections have traditionally been a part of the club teams over the years.
Connections with this year’s team are Johnny Williams a 3rd generation to make a final. His dad Derek won in 1987 and his grandfather Denis in 1939. Cillian Mc Donald’s father Andy also featured on the 1987 team. Captain Stephen Mc Gee’s two uncles Vincent and Gerry won in 1970 and his grandfather P.V. won 5 times in the 1940s.
The 1940’s brought 4 further Towns Cups. The 1950’s were a barren period for cup wins but many excellent players donned the Dundalk jersey during this time. The club played their home matches by virtue of the generosity of the Quinn family at Ballymascanlon, where they provided a playing pitch and dressing room facilities at the Imperial Hotel.
In 1967 Don Mc Donough secured land at Mill Road and the club had, for the first time, their own grounds. The official opening of the Mill Road grounds and Pavilion took place on Sept 28th 1969 with a Dundalk Selection met a Wolfhounds Selection to mark the occasion. We are still here in Mill Road and the club has gone from strength to strength since taking up residence.
We currently field 4 adult teams and have a vibrant Juvenile Section. 2015 sees us join the All Ireland League after a very successful season last year when we won our league, the All Ireland Junior Cup and the Round Robin Series to qualify for the first time ever for Senior status.
Go néirigh linn.