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About Letterkenny RFC

Letterkenny RFC was founded in 1973 when the town’s rugby players, who were travelling to Derry and Limavady for games each week, decided to form their own club.

A team was entered into the Ulster league and initial games were played at Robinson’s Field on Letterkenny’s Port Road. The following year the fledgling club purchased four acres of land at Drumnahoagh near the Dry Arch Roundabout. In an ambitious move a club house and changing rooms were constructed. The club flourished for the next decade with a vibrant social scene and successfully ran 3 teams for many of those years.

The club then opted to move to the Silver Tassie at the Halfway Line between Letterkenny and Ramelton and prepared new pitches to take the club to the next level and provide more space. This was in 1985 and the club continued to flourish initially, with Allen McCrea’s team winning the Forster Cup in Ravenhill defeating Malone 21-9.

Unfortunately the ownership of the Tassie passed out of club hands and the club underwent a period of decline. The third team failed to field from 1992 and for a while the interest in Rugby waned locally. As in all sports and clubs, the fortunes are sometimes cyclical with times of growth followed by periods of stasis. It was fairly clear that the playing surface of the fields at the halfway Line were inadequate for rugby particularly during the winter months. It was an exposed site with a lack of natural drainage and teams could go for weeks without games due to conditions underfoot. During these lean times the Club was kept afloat by the undying commitment of Jim Moore, Marty Moylan, Shane Fulton, Robert Love, Louis Walsh and others. There is no doubt the club would have folded without the selfless contribution of these members.

In 1996 Denis Faulkner returned to the Club and was followed during the next few years by a string of captains and quality players such as Shane Fulton, Michael McGarvey, Jason Black, Arthur McMahon, Roger McMahon, Harry Walsh, Mark Scott, Peter Brooks, Roger Roulston, Marty Bond, Boyd and Phillip Robinson. These players contributions on the playing field, socially and to the club in general have resurrected the club’s fortunes to where we are today.

Driven by the players mentioned, the club returned to Letterkenny in 1999 to lands bought at the Glebe. This move improved the playing surface and made the club more accessible to the large population living in Letterkenny. This move has given the Club a new lease of life and has brought the club closer to its origin at Bunagee.

In more recent history, the commitment of coaches Kevin Brady and Gordon Curley have taken us to a new level. Promoted twice in the last three seasons, the 1st XV is now to play in Ulster league Qualifying 2. This is the highest level of Rugby ever played by a Donegal Club and is a credit to the players and coaches mentioned.

Many of our first team are now home grown players from Donegal and with the rapidly expanding Youth Section this trend will continue to fill our senior teams. Several of our first team came through the Youth Rugby team in Sheephaven Rugby Club. Unfortunately the Sheephaven Club folded some four or five years ago. We have benefited with the influx of quality players such as Mark Scott, Liam McGlynn, Brian Peoples, Chris Peoples, Mark Peoples, Terry McFadden, Allan Duggan, Carl Duggan and Hugo Duggan. These young players combine in our senior teams with Letterkenny grown talent such as Roger Roulston, Jason Black, Marty Bond, Boyd and Phillip Robinson, Damien Williamson and Derek Daly. With Letterkenny thriving the way it is, we also get ‘blow in’ players such as Englishmen Peter Brooks and Jeremy Worth, Kiwis Dean James and Tomo Hayle, Welshman Wayne Colgate, people from Dublin and one from Falcarragh!

Our Club has always been a ‘grass roots’ club with a firm grounding in the local community. We are currently experiencing success at all levels and have a real vision for the future. We are proud of our history and our identity and look forward to the coming developments with huge optimism. We ask that all players, supporters, ex-members and Rugby enthusiasts buy into this vision and support us in the coming seasons

All Blacks visit Co Donegal to honour ‘Great’ -  9th November 2005

The  world famous ‘All Blacks’ side, paid an historic visit to Co Donegal on the 9th November 2005 Six players and seven officials from the New Zealand-based squad  arrived at City of Derry Airport and then travelled  to Letterkenny and Ramelton. The delegation were visiting to pay homage to founding team captain, Ramelton native, Dave Gallagher, who led the All Blacks to victory in 35 of their 36 matches in 1905.

“Dave Gallagher is a great among greats. He was instrumental in building the ‘All Blacks’ tradition. We’re pleased for the chance to pay our respects,” team captain, Tana Umaga, said ahead of the visit.

The group officially named Letterkenny’s RFC grounds at Glebe, the ‘Dave Gallagher Memorial Park’ and joined with the local team’s younger players in an informal skills session during the opening.

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