In 1948 Ireland won their first Grand Slam. The team was captained by Courtown Harbour native Karl Mullen.  

To celebrate the occasion Karl brought a team to Gorey to play a local selection. It is believed that this team was the first rugby team that ever represented Gorey.  

There were a number of famous local characters on that team. Florrie Webb and Herbert Stephens are two that come to mind.                                    

Another name in that Gorey team was that of a young boy of 16 years of age, also from Courtown Harbour,  who had the honour of lining out for Gorey in the front row.   His name is Tom Byrne. 

Tom celebrated his 90th birthday on Saturday 12th February.   Coincidentally Tom went on to play for Suttonians RFC  who Gorey played in the Leinster League on his 90th birthday. 

Tom also had a long association with Galwegians RFC and Connacht Rugby.  But he never forgot his home town where he nurtured his love for rugby.  

Everyone at Gorey RFC would like to wish Tom a very  Happy 90th birthday. We look forward to have Tom back in the club soon.

PS:  After Ireland won the Grand Slam in 2009, Tom told the story that after Ireland's 1948 Grand Slam win, he was sent by the Headmaster of CBS Gorey to Karl Mullen’s uncle’s shop to bring the 1948 Grand Slam ball to Karl. The family asked him why he thought he was given the ‘honour’ and he replied "because I was probably the only boy in the school playing rugby at that time"


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