UCD Boat Club has a proud and distinguished history, dating back to its founding in March 1917. From humble beginnings, the Boat Club ascended to become the dominant force in Irish rowing in the 30s and 40s and then again in the 70s.
The Boat Club has always produced top quality oarsmen, many of whom have gone on to attain international representative selection. This tradition was started in 1948 when the Ireland VIII that competed in the London Olympic Games contained no fewer then 6 UCDBC members and was coached by an Old Collegian.
International selection of UCDBC members and former members continued over the years at Home Internationals, European Championships, World University Championships, World Under 23 Championships, World Championships and Olympic Games.
Rowing available – at one penny fare from D’Olier St by Prof. Patrick Meenan documents the club’s early days in Ringsend and first appearance onto the rowing scene at the Metropolitan Clubs Regatta Fete in June 1917, the Club’s move to Islandbridge in 1928, the beginnings of UCD dominance in Irish Senior rowing in the late 30s, rowing through the war years, the introduction of the Gannon Cup and the Club’s first appearance at Henley Royal Regatta.
A Story of Success by Prof. Patrick Meenan documents the history of UCD Ladies Boat Club from their founding in 1975 to 1997.
A number of UCD Boat Club members have written about their experiences with the Club and the international representation that followed, some of which you can read below.
Holding of the Thin Green Line – University College Dublin Boat Club & the 1948 Olympic Games
by Morgan McElligott
Morgan McElligott, one of the UCD members in the Ireland VIII that competed at the London ’48 Olympics, provides a first hand account of those times and the experience of what became known as the Holding of the Thin Green Line.
The Last Forty Years
by Tom Sullivan
Tom Sullivan then takes on the story, providing an account of UCD rowing from the 1950s to early 90s, describing the growth of the club through the 60s, the successes of Old Collegians Boat Club, the ‘Animals’ of the early 70s, the UCD victory in the Ladies’ Plate in Henley Royal Regatta in 1974, the selection of several UCD members to compete in the World Championships, and the re-building efforts of the 80s and 90s.
by Jaye Renehan
Jaye Renehan then provides his personal account of his time in the Boat Club, from joining as a novice in 1972 to being selected to race in the Montreal Olympics in 1976 in Ad Astra.
Rowing in UCDBC
by Domhnall Macauley
Domhnall Macauley also gives us an account of his days in the Boat Club, from the infamous Butler Cup of his novice year in 1975 through to his World Championships experiences of the late 70s in Rowing in UCDBC.
It is now up to the current members of the club to take on this distinguished mantle and continue the success story of UCD Boat Club.
Recent historical achievements include the 2008 season where UCD won a magnificent clean sweep in all four Colours races against Trinity on the 60th anniversary of the Gannon Cup and later won the Wylie Cup at the University Championships for the first time in 17 years.
UCD Boat Club won the Prince Albert Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta in 2010, while 2011 saw the club lift the ‘Big Pot’ for Senior VIIIs at the National Championships for the first time since 1973 and also winning a Senior IV National Championship for the first time in the Club’s history.
Rowing available, The Last Forty Years & A Story of Success are taken from the book ‘St. Patrick’s Blue and Saffron, a miscellany of UCD Sport since 1895’ by Prof. Patrick N. Meenan.
A wealth of rowing-related historical material is available at the Irish Rowing Archives.