CP Crowley always referred to himself as a dyed-in-the-wool Galwegian, and as the years went by he was asked by Jimmy Lydon of Corinthians to write a few lines about the friendly rivalry which had existed down through the years between Glenina and the “fellas down the road”.
Crowley imagined what Jimmy had in mind was that, having been around the general rugby scene in Galway city for more than 40 years, he would have many stories to tell concerning the two clubs, and of course there were any amount of happenings – many of them hilarious, on and off the field . However, looking back down the years, what struck Chris was the similarity rather than the differences in the histories of Galwegians and Corinthians.
Both played on the same Sportsground for years, and their headquarters were hotels. Both clubs realised about the same time that the Sportsground had become untenable for two senior clubs and neither could continue to muddle along without a clubhouse of its own. When they did eventually move out, one chose Glenina, and the other Ard na Cregg.
Chris also remembers one Sunday morning in the Augustinian Church when a new slant on their sameness was emphasised from an entirely unexpected quarter – Father Anderson, who was renowned as a particularly forceful preacher.
His text on the morning in question was one of those angry letters Saint Paul wrote to the Corinthians – and according to Chris, there was a good scatter of members from both clubs in the congregation.
He remembers the preacher, eyes flashing, voice reverberating throughout the church, threatening Corinthians with all sorts of fire and brimstone unless they quit messing, and of course the Galwegians among the congregation sat back and smiled benignly at each other.
According to Chris, as Fr Anderson reached his “peroration”, he paused for a long minute, glaring theatrically around the church, his piercing gaze seeming to home in on each individual on the benches. It was obvious he was heading towards his punchline and there was not a pin dropped….
To hear the punchline, make sure to order your advance copy of the book when it is released for sale shortly.