Rugby clubs in Ireland have faced many challenges over the years. Time and again the clubs have risen to these challenges through the support of their loyal members…

A loyalty borne out of the unbreakable bond of friendship found uniquely in the club game.

Whether it’s forged in the heat of battle on the pitch, or in the hard working ranks of committees and volunteers, it is these friendship bonds that hold clubs together. Up and down the country clubs understand the value of these friendships, and the importance reunions play in keeping them alive.

Monkstown FC, based in the heart of Sandymount in Dublin, is one such club with one of the longest and richest rugby traditions in the country spanning the last three centuries. Hundreds of friendships have been formed on the hallowed turf, many more in the club bar and on the famous Sydney Parade dancehall floor.

On Sunday 10th February, before the Ireland v England match, Monkstown FC hosted a Matchday Reunion Lunch to reconnect old friends. Unsurprisingly the lunch was oversubscribed and the clubhouse was packed with representatives from teams covering the last seven decades.

‘Everyone knows that being a member in Monkstown is something special’, says Communications Director Christian Kinnear, ‘members are lifelong friends and the reunion is a great opportunity for the club to help maintain and strengthen the friendships that define us as a club”.

In addition to a number of Monkstown legends, Leinster and Ireland legend Victor Costello was also in attendance as guest of honour. Monkstown players past and present seized the opportunity to share their stories and memories with the big Number 8. In return Victor duly entertained the audience with a variety of insights and priceless anecdotes of international matchdays.

A tremendously successful and enjoyable reunion by all accounts. The bonds of friendship in Monkstown FC appear to be stronger than ever, a solid rock on which to build the next 130 years.