Rugby school past pupils urged to show ‘respect’ after fight

Videos posted online show young men fighting near Donnybrook stadium

Gardai were called to the scene of a street brawl between two rival Dublin schools in Donnybrook, Co Dublin, after a secondary school rugby match.


Rugby school past pupils have been urged to show “respect, friendship and sportsmanship” following a fight which broke out after the Terenure College v St Michael’s College Senior Cup match in Donnybrook stadium on Monday.

The altercation broke out at around 5.40pm on Monday outside’s Kiely’s pub on Donnybrook Road shortly after the secondary school match which was held in the nearby stadium.

Videos published on social media show a large group of young men punching and kicking each other outside the pub with some wearing jerseys representing the Terenure and St Michael’s fee-paying boys’ schools.

A Garda spokeswoman said gardaí were called to “an incident outside a public house” in Donnybrook after the disturbance was reported to the nearby Garda station.

A number of people were asked to leave the area but no arrests have been made and there were no injuries reported.

A spokeswoman for St Michael’s College said the school would not comment on the incident. Terenure College has also been contacted for comment.

Meanwhile, an email entitled “Taking responsibility for our actions” was issued to members of the Blackrock College Union ahead of Tuesday’s Leinster School Senior Cup rugby match between Blackrock College and Castleknock college.

In the email, Eunan O’Carroll, president of the Blackrock College Union, reminded members that “times have changed” and that the “unruly actions of a few can cause untold damage to the school they represent and at the same time tarnish all the pupils, both present and past”.

In his email, Mr O’Carroll wrote that the violent actions of a few men on Monday evening had taken away from the achievements of rugby players in the senior cup and their supporters.

He called for attendees at Tuesday’s game to show “the type of respect you would expect for yourselves” and requested that they keep in mind “the traditions and ethos of the college”.

He wrote: “As past pupils we must continue to support these young men and all we ask is that you keep in mind that there is a lot at stake for the boys from both teams and our behaviour off the pitch should reflect this.

“The reputation of the college, the boys on the pitch, the current and past pupils should be respected at all times and our support of the team from the terraces today should be an example to all who are there to enjoy what will be another competitive game of rugby by two great schools.”

On Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of eager rugby supporters decked out in their school colours queued outside the stadium on Donnybrook road shortly before the 3pm kick-off. The atmosphere outside the stadium was lighthearted as fathers joined their sons to watch the Senior Cup match between Blackrock College and Castleknock college.

Further down the road in the direction of Donnybrook village a large group of young men in their early 20s emerged from a pub with cans and pints in their hands. Not dressed in the colours of either school, the men confirmed they were also planning to attend the match.

Paul Mescal, who was attending Tuesday’s game, said violence among supporters of any sport should never be condoned and that Monday’s incident had sent out a “desperate image”.

“If this had happened at a GAA or soccer event the media would probably come down heavily on that too but I suppose it’s also due to this happening in what is considered a privileged environment. But you can’d condone that behaviour in any sport.

“Sport and proper training in sport should bring about good behaviour and instil proper attitudes. People involved in sport understand what fair play is and about doing the right thing. The violence is a broader cultural issue and it just so happened to be in the context of these jerseys yesterday. Hopefully it won’t happen again.”