Five new Irish caps, all fine, young, inordinately hairy men, They heaved against the veterns de rugby francais and gritted it out for an historic and most unlikely victory (France 9 Ireland 14).
Paul McWeeney writing in the following Monday’s Irish Times said:
It was a sobering thought before the match, when asked if I had ever seen Ireland win at Colombes, to realise that, in fact, only myself and one or two other of my British press colleagues had ever had the pleasure, nor was I all that optimistic that I would ever see it again.
It is with deep regret that I have decided to retire from professional rugby following medical advice. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all at Rugby Club Toulonnais for their understanding and support over the past few months.
Since sustaining the injury at the World Cup I have been fully focused on returning to fitness and starting an exciting new chapter for both myself and my family in Toulon.Unfortunately this will no longer be possible.
I have been blessed to be a professional rugby player for over 14 years and to be part of Munster and Ireland teams that have experienced success.
I have played with some of the best players to ever line out in the red of Munster and the green of Ireland and have had the privilege of captaining my country.
I would like to thank those at Young Munster RFC, Munster Rugby, the IRFU and Lions Rugby who have supported me over the course of my playing career.
Special thanks must go to my wife Emily for her unwavering support through the good and the bad and to my parents Michael and Shelagh.
Lastly I would like to thank everyone who has supported the teams I have been a part of. The support you have shown me is humbling and an immense source of pride for both myself and my family.
Paul O’Connell announcing his retirement this morning.
At the Cardiff Arms Park, Ireland put in an oddly schizophrenic performance but prevailed over Wales.
Edmund Van Esbeck writing (through rose tinted spectacles) in the Irish Times said:
A season that started with such bright promise and hope, but faltered in the midway period has ended in a triumph and triumph this was. Never has the appellation “the fighting Irish” been more appropriately applied to an Ireland rugby team..
..the heart of Irish rugby still beats with strong rhythm. It was a great day for the fighting Irish last Saturday.
For those who threw rocks and made use of a bolthole, they salute you.
Joe Donnelly writes:
We have a very long and rich heritage of Irish songwriting that deals with colonial oppression by the British. For centuries the folk tradition has cultivated hundreds of ballads and songs of protest and anger. Irish people have always gathered together to sing; it’s part of our identity as a community. This playlist, using the 1916 centenary as a platform, builds up a brief history of some of these songs.