Morris Corporation’s Rugby Tour Party Grown from Seven to 50

A blast of Irish hail welcomed the New Jersey based Morris Rugby Corporation party to Castleisland in January 2018. Included from left: Mitch Miller, Mike Ryan, Phil Stumph, Denis Brosnan, Gerry Collins, Seamus Brosnan, John Sutherland and Dan Casey.  ©Photograph: John Reidy
Flash-back to the first trip by the Morris Rugby Corporation and a great night in January 2013. Publican, Paul Reese (left) pictured in Sheila Prendiville’s Bar and Grocery with locals and members of the Morris Rugby Corporation from New Jersey. Included are: Séamus Brosnan, Tom Feury, Don Slade, Craig Chapman, Kieran Coffey, Mike Ryan, Denis Brosnan, Chris Walsh and David ‘Dauber’ Prendiville.  ©Photograph: John Reidy 23-1-2013

There aren’t too many organisers of local events who took their visitors to Sheila Prendiville’s Bar and Grocery to make a great first impression.

The small handful who did were delighted with what they found there.

No Shushing Conversation

It could also have been what they didn’t find there. For there, you didn’t have a television bullying and shushing the flow of conversation from one end of the bar to the other.

One of the many memorable nights we had there was the one on which members of the Munster Rugby Corporation from New Jersey visited with Denis Brosnan and his son Séamus in January 2013.

Wine In – Wit out

There was an almost instant clicking of characters and as the wine went in the wit came out.

At the end of the night one of the party of seven Americans called for six pints. Barman Paul Reese was inclined to relax after a long day behind the counter and he told the caller to fill away himself.

He tried. But found there’s a knack to filling porter.

Chief Ambassador

The pub’s chief ambassador, David Dauber Prendiville stepped into the breach and gave a master class with four of the six pints and he handed two more glasses to one of the visitors and the order was filled to perfection.

On that occasion there were seven US visitors and they haven’t missed a year since. Now, on the coming Friday they’re back and their number has increased to 50 – and the preparations are being made here.

Unique Surroundings

They still talk about their introduction to the filling and appreciation of black porter and the unique surroundings in which the exchanges took place.

While here they will play a selection from the local Castleisland RFC on Friday evening and they will be in Thomond Park on Saturday to see their beloved Munster play Exeter Chiefs in Round 6 of the Champions Cup.

Magnificent Seven

The first seven US visitors in 2013 were: Castleisland native and US resident, Séamus Brosnan along with Tom Feury, Craig Chapman, Kieran Coffey, Don Slade and Mike Ryan,Chris Walsh.

The Morris Rugby Football Club was founded in September 1977. The club has grown with an Old Boys team and a women’s team and more avid Munster Rugby supporters you won’t find anywhere else.

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