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The Bold Collegians The Development of Sport in Trinity College, Dublin
The Bold Collegians The Development of Sport in Trinity College, Dublin

Trevor West

ISBN: 0 946640 80 7
Format: Hardback
Size: 234x156mm, 150pp
Publication Date: 1991

Physical Copy (supplied by Lilliput Press)
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Modern sport - with its teams, rules, clubs and federations - evolved as a Victorian phenomenon, beginning in English public schools and spreading to the ancient universities and thence to the wider world. Trinity College, Dublin, having the oldest rowing, football (rugby), hurling and athletic clubs in Ireland, and the second oldest cricket club, played a decisive and pioneering role in the development of these games.

The Bold Collegians traces the history of Trinity's sporting community in chapters on the emergence of early clubs, the College Races and the Athletic Union, the Gaelic Athletic Association, postwar revival and the consolidation and expansion of sporting activities in the mid to late twentieth century. The larger conflicts of political revolution, civil war and partition left a legacy of athletic division; but these fissures, first apparent in the 1880s, were healed, often by Trinity sportsmen and women acting in conjunction with their colleagues from other universities in the 1960s.

The author illustrates his story with archival material from College Library (notably, the letters of C.B. Barrington - father of Irish rugby), and provides a fascinating series of vignettes of outstanding sporting personalities - from J.P. Mahaffy, Anthony Traill, J.C. Parke, Harry Read, Dickie Lloyd, Denis Coulson, George McVeagh, Samuel Beckett, Oliver Gogarty, Maeve Shankey, David Guiney and Jonah Barrington, to present-day heroes such as the Christle brothers, John Robbie, John Prior, Brendan Mullin and Hugo MacNeill. He sheds valuable light on the codification of Irish games, while siting the progress of university sport within its socio-political context. Historical photographs of teams and individuals from the 1860s onwards embellish the narrative.

The Bold Collegians is an entertaining and important work for all concerned with the history of world sport and the growth of games in Ireland.


TREVOR WEST, educated at Midleton College, Co. Cork, and the High School, Dublin, is a graduate of Dublin and Cambridge Universities, a fellow of Trinity College, Dublin and associate professor of Mathematics. He represented the university for twelve years in the Irish Senate and has been chairman of the Dublin University Central Athletic Club since 1976. His biography of the founder of the Irish co-operative movement, Horace Plunkett, Co-operation and Politics, was published in 1976.


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