Link With The Past

The popularity of the club’s widely acclaimed website was further evidenced this week, when club President, Tom Gilligan received a letter from a former Sligo stalwart, who has been following Sligo RFC’s fortunes on the world wide web.

The writer was Jack Regan, who departed Sligo in 1952, and now resides in Ontario, Canada. The letter nostalgically recalls the challenges presented during his period of involvement with the club [1949-1952]. At that time, he reports, the club had no income or assets and relied on ‘benevolent farmers’ for a pitch for home games. To prove that sporting ecumenism was alive and well in Sligo, he said that they borrowed the goalposts from the ‘local GAA’, and in an era when the positions of Grounds Chairman and Sponsorship Chairman were figments of somone’s imagination, he said the players marked the field and paid all their own expenses.

Jack was the team’s hooker then, and also served as the club’s Hon. Secretary. Among the committee at that time were Cmdt. Bill Barrett, C. O. Irish Army, who was club President, the aforementioned Jack, a student accountant, was Hon. Secretary, John Sheridan, Albie Donnolly, and Tom Torsney.

The team included the the last named quartet, Con Sheehan, Higgins [a wing forward] and scrum-half, Harry Johnston, who happily still resides in Sligo. Jack has the distinction of designing the original club insignia, which features a Sligo hare rampant on a rugby ball, and his design was inspired by the Springboks jersey of that period. In 1949, the club, after some years of inactivity, was reconstituted by Jack and his friends, and the acorn sown then has become the mighty oak of to-day, where the game of rugby now enjoys unprecedented popularity in our region.