Ulster Rugby: Crowning good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea?

I’m grateful to FJH for alerting me to this year’s winners of the IFA Schools Cup (ERM, MAKE THAT a successful defence of the BELFAST SENIOR CUP). [check your sources boy!! – Ed]

Let’s just say it would be a surprise to the class of 78 that the old St Patricks College won anything sporty (scroll down the comments at FJH’s for more detail on that).

It’s not that much of a surprise they’re playing decent soccer at my old stomping ground so much as they are also affiliated with the Ulster Branch of the IRFU. And they are far from the only avowedly Catholic school in Northern Ireland that are.

In fact the affiliation list runs from St Colman’s in Newry to the Pobal Scoil na Rosainn in Dungloe, and even St Columba’s down the road in Glenties. Literally from sea to shining, erm, ocean…

The great success of both the Irish national team and the provincial sides has to have been a factor in its growing popularity. It’s also possible that for many young sportsmen it is proving to be more viable route into professional sport.

Whatever the empirical driver is it’s excellent progress in breaking down old cultural habits and resistances.


  • “Of course…still have Ice Hockey. And Rowing.” ..fjh

    I think fjh needs to get out more 🙂

  • Otto

    Is the IFA School’s Cup not this then?


    This says SERC beat St Pat’s

    I’m confused

  • Reader

    Otto: This says SERC beat St Pat’s
    Keep reading on down, though this may be a recent update.

  • Otto

    Ta Reader

    I linked to the U18 which isn’t finished.

    I think Mick’s talking here about the U16.


    Too many schools’ cups.

  • Mick Fealty

    Yep, I should have double checked that dodgy source… He has form on spreading disinformation.. 😉

    Her for your delectation is the UTV report (a successful defence no less)

  • Otto

    That’s better Mick.

    I see the source hasn’t bothered to change the original but why waste time of facts when there’s yet another chance to indulge in the vanity of petty differences.

    You have to wonder at the mentality that wants to turn a cross-community competition into a prods vs taigs test of genetic or cultural superiority. It reminds me of the Jude Collins piece telling us that Ulster (who’s fans sing sectarian songs according to Jude’s febrile imagination) couldn’t match Leinster in 50 years.

    Although 50 years mustn’t be a very long time for this dinosaurs this ancient. In your linked piece it tells us the Catholic School performance is all the more impressive because the schools have come from a “standing start” “just” “40 years ago”!

  • USA

    Going back over 30 years I remember St Pats always had good young soccer players, we just never competed against anyone. Well done boys 🙂 Our old Alma Mater, Mick 😉