It was in September 1900, when a group of happy young men cycled up the avenue at St Mary’s College Rathmines, Dublin and after an historic meeting agreed to form Old St Mary’s FC as was to be called; however, later it became St Mary’s College RFC. It was to be an open club, open to all, playing open rugby, a tradition retained, nurtured and cherished to this day. There was a close relationship between the college and the club and that relationship still exists today.
In the early days, the matches were played in the front field at the college and the first trophy, the Leinster Junior Cup was won in 1905 In 1911, the club earned senior status and secured its own grounds off Beaver Row in Donnybrook (showing the way to Riverview). There it thrived until the First World War when, along with the college, it closed down and although the college reopened after the war, the club did not get going again until 1932.
During the Donnybrook days, Ernest Farrell had been a star and earned the first inter provincial cap for his club in 1911, by now an active priest he supported a group of young men, past pupils of the college, to re-establish the club. One of those pioneering lads, Paddy Branagan, survived happily until 2009. They were lucky to secure a ground at Kimmage Grove, which they rented from a farmer, Mrs Doherty, for over twenty years until the farm of which it was part was sold in 1954 for building, to become what is now College Park Estate.