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The recipients pictured with their respective jerseys at last Sunday’s presentations. Photo: Mike Bardsley

Cobh Pirates RFC was fortunate to be able to honour players who represented Ireland at various grades over the last number of years.
The Executive committee, along with club members, players and family were on hand to pay tribute to the players who worn the green of Ireland throughout their playing career.

Club President Mr Eddie Mc Carthy spoke from the heart, being a previous Juvenile Chairman and coach, when he said he was honoured to be able to pay tribute to such talent. He emphasised the club and community spirit as he highlighted the fact that the majority of the Cobh Pirates who represented Ireland are still involved with Cobh pirates at some level.

Chairman Mr Kieran McKeown spoke of the continuing development of the club, in particular the flood light project that is soon to commence, and the ever growing juvenile section that has 400+ children playing rugby with Cobh Pirates on a weekly basis. Kieran welcomed Mr Nick O’Keefe whom was a formidable influence in juvenile rugby in Pirates for many a year. Nick embraced the underage structure for many years and facilitated the growth of many players in their opportunity to gain provincial and national honours.

The evening commenced with the jersey’s being presented to the players, family and friends in order of year (some may say seniority) thus allowing Julian Kahn be the first to take the fore. Julian played for Irish Colleges and Universities in 1987/88 and 1990/91. Julian is still with Cobh Pirates coaching the under 18’s grade.

Next up was Barry Keating, whom represented the Irish youths, as prop forward, in 1991. Barry was a formidable force and, against the odds, continued his career and is now a juvenile coach in Cobh Pirates.

Colm MacCoitir was the Irish Youths outhalf for 1990/91, and went on to play senior with Dolpin RFC. Declan Kidney then coach with Dolphin, spoke highly of Colm who returned to Pirates to captain the club to their Munster Junior Cup victory.

Speedster Michael O’Donovan played with the Irish Colleges team in 1996. Michael played senior with Dolpin RFC after learning his trade, albeit a late starter, with Cobh Pirates.

Not to be outdone by his brother, Rob O’Donovan played for the Irish youth’s team in 1997, against Wales and Sotland. Rob also played with Dolphin RFC before returning to Cobh to gain a Junior Cup medal.

Mark Cronin played for Irish youths in 1997 against Scotland. He dominated the outside center spot provincially and went on to play senior rugby, before returning to Cobh. Another member of the Junior Cup winning team, Mark has passed on some of his wisdom to the youth in Pirates.
Club coach and world cup winner, Brendan Ronan played for Ireland in 1998 at under 19 level. Brendan played at number 10 for the side that had numerous stars on the squad. Brendan himself went on to play for Cork Constitution RFC, playing division 1, and returned to Pirates to assist the club in gaining Junior and Challenge Cup titles.

One of this year’s junior coaches and 2001 Irish youths players, Jonathon Dennis played against Italy. Johnny, as his is known, propped in his youth days before going on to play in the back row for both Cobh Pirates and the Irish Defence Forces.

This year’s current outhalf, Eamon Ronan, played with the Irish schools in 2003 and again the Irish under 19s in 2004. Playing for consecutive years in green he showed his strength and talent. Eamon enjoyed playing senior rugby at the young age of 19, and is now assisting his brother in showing the way in Cobh Pirates.

Finbar Dorgan, was instrumental in the founding of wheelchair rugby in Munster. Finbar is a current member of the Irish Wheelchair Rugby team who, still in their inaugural phase, finished a highly creditable 6th place in the recent European Championships. Finbar is currently the Cobh Pirates club registrar.

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