The Hospital Pass – celebrating 140 years of the Dublin Hospitals Rugby Cup

Ireland's longest running rugby cup competition

The Dublin Hospitals Rugby Cup has a long and interesting history which lies at the very heart of Irish Rugby. It is the longest running rugby cup competition in Ireland and many hospitals cup players went on to represent Ireland and the Lions. Dublin medical students hold the distinction of captaining Ireland to their first Triple Crown and grand slam successes.

On Thursday, 3 October, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland’s Heritage Centre will host a special commemorative event on the history of the Dublin Hospitals Rugby Cup.

Talks will be delivered by former Irish rugby international Dr Con Feighery, Dr Michael Farrell and Dr Morgan Crowe, all who played in the Dublin Hospitals Rugby Cup. They will discuss interesting stories and findings from research they carried out over the past two years, including the many famous hospitals that participated, most of which are now closed, as well as the energy and ambition of some of the players down through the decades.

As a rugby playing student in RCSI I heard many stories about the Hospitals Cup from my father, who had played for RCSI in the 1940s. There were stories about famous students and players such as Jamie Clinch, yarns about playing for several different hospitals in the same week of the competition and trying to persuade GAA players to tog out when teams were short in numbers.

Dr Michael Farrell

20% of players capped for Ireland since 1875 were medical doctors

Almost 20% of the players capped for Ireland since international rugby began in 1875 were medical doctors, the majority of whom had excelled in the Hospitals Cup and in their later careers.

Many of these had also played hugely important roles in the development of the game of rugby in Ireland. 

The Hospitals Cup promotes social interaction within the hospital team and is a wonderful  opportunity for young medical students to get to know and interact with older students, newly qualified young doctors and with consultant staff who act as mentors, not just in rugby but also in their careers and in life in general.

The interhospital rivalry often carried over from school’s rugby where you could find yourself playing against your best pals from school or colleagues attending different hospital- so there was no holding back. We were also very conscious that the Hospitals Cup promotes social interaction within the hospital team and is a wonderful opportunity for young medical students to get to know and interact with older students, newly qualified young doctors and with consultant staff who act as mentors, not just in rugby but also in their careers and in life in general.

Dr Con Feighery

Although my Dad had won several medals with The Richmond Hospital and went on to play for Ireland, he never talked much about rugby so you can imagine how surprised I was to discover, that because of a Hospital’s cup injury he was forced to drop out of the 1930 Lions trip to New Zealand!

Dr Morgan Crowe

The event, in 6 Kildare Street, will start with an opportunity to view Rugby Cup photos and memorabilia between 6-7pm. Talks will take place 7-8.30pm, followed by a reception.

If you would like to attend the event please contact heritagecentre@rcpi.ie

 

Yvonne McCahill

Press Officer, Communications Department

Tel: +353 1 8639 627 | Mobile 086 7723056

For general press enquiries or if you want to speak to a trusted medical expert, contact Yvonne in our Communications Department.