The Glynn Cup, 50 Years On

By Tom Kenny
From the Galway Advertiser, Mar 12th 2009

Johnny Glynn was only 46 when he died on January 10 1959, midway through his term as president of the Irish Rugby Football Union. He was a director of Glynn’s famous fancy goods and toy shop on William Street (where you could buy tickets for rugby internationals). He was educated at the Bish, played rugby for Galwegians and Connacht (12 caps), became a well known referee, served in various offices including president of his club, and dedicated himself to the advancement of the game of rugby in Connacht. He was a modest man who preferred to work away in the background and demanded only that there be no departure from the spirit of the game, no lapse from the fundamental decency of rugby football.

His sudden death left a huge gap in Connacht rugby so the two city clubs, Corinthians and Galwegians, decided to put up a memorial trophy in his name known as the Glynn Cup, which would be played for between the clubs every Saint Patrick’s Day.


The inaugural match was played in 1959 in the Sportsground. Our photograph shows the two teams and officials on that day. They are, back row, left to right: touch judge Lobby Lardner; Johnny Dooley, Joe Brennan, Brendan Guerin, Harry Begley, Joe Tyrrell, Jimmy Gleeson (Devon Park), Sean Calleary, Tom Kelly, Tom Reynolds, Terry O’Neill, Tony O’Sullivan, Sean Ashe, Seamus McIvor, Brian Wright, Noel Corcoran, John Armstrong, Sean McHale, referee KD Kelleher; and touch judge Michael Heaslip.

Seated are: Don Armstrong; Christy O’Connor; Dickie Roche; Tommy Lenihan, president, Corinthians; Rynal Coen, captain, Galwegians; Tom Higgins, captain, Corinthians; Jack Deacy, president, Galwegians; Eamonn Fitzpatrick; John Callanan; and Ken Dexter.

In front are Dermot Lovett, Brian Silke, Danno Heaslip, Patsy Lynch, and Brendan O’Beirne.

A very big crowd turned up to watch the match which the favourites, Galwegians, won by 17 – 6.

They also won it from 1960 to 1963. There was no competition in 1964 and Wegians won it again in 1965 and 1966; Corinthians 1967; Wegians 1968 – 1972; Corinthians 1973; Wegians 1974; Corinthians 1975 and 1976; Wegians 1977; Corinthians 1978 – 1990; Wegians, 1991; Corinthians 1992; Wegians 1993; Corinthians 1994-1996.