Gilsenan is a name synonymous with St Marys, so Saturday 12th March gave mixed messages. Two Gilsenans faced each other as outhalves on opposing teams. They were brothers Conor and Matthew. Conor wore the royal blue of St Mary’s College RFC and Matthew the light blue of UCD RFC. They both did their clubs proud. Conor had just returned from a prolonged injury and although out of position (normally a scrumhalf) he acquitted himself to the quality of the name. Matthew scored 12 of his club’s winning total 32. Both had been schoolboy stars at St Michael’s College. They are both most affable and personable young men and worthy of their illustrious name.
Their father and grandfather had been of course both products of St Mary’s College Rathmines.
Grandfather Matt, came to the club in 1948 and later captained the club and brought his team on the first overseas tour, to Italy in 1954. He became a senior referee when injury ended his playing career. When only 25 he was appointed a trustee; and was a driving force for the development of the club from then on. He was president from 1975 to 77. He continues to take a strong interest in the club’s fortunes.
Dad, John was also at school in St Marys and he later played junior rugby at the club and was involved in rugby management. He served as club treasurer, and in 2011-12 season was president when St Marys won the AIL for the second time. He was the club’s first chairman in 2015-16 and is deeply involved in the club’s financial management.
So the dynasty continues and we at St Marys are lucky in the extreme to have the Gilsenans.