Current and former members of the Coláiste Iognáid Rowing Club spanning several decades got together last weekend to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the club.
Celebrations began on Saturday at the clubhouse, which was renamed in honour of Fr Eddie Diffely SJ, one of the founding fathers of the club. The ceremony attracted a very large crowd of Jes rowers, past and present, along with many friends and supporters of the club. Former rower Colm O'Donnellan — a member of the 1974 national championship crew — was the master of ceremony, and another ex-oarsman, Sean O'Rourke, was the guest speaker. Fr Murt Curry, SJ, a former president of the club, performed a blessing of the clubhouse, with the plaque in honour of Fr Diffely being unveiled by Bobby Molloy and Brendan Healy.
A history of the club was also launched at the event; this book outlines the history of Jes rowing from the foundation of the club in 1934 to the present day. It includes some fascinating insights into the early days of the club and charts the successes and challenges of the Jes on the water down through the years. The history is a tremendous archive of Jes rowing and it also provides commentary on the key figures and characters who made the club what it is today.
The highlight of the commemorations was a dinner in The Ardilaun hotel on Saturday evening, attended by a large number of former rowers, particularly from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The evening was addressed by Colm O'Donnellan and Sean O'Rourke, along with school principal Mary Joyce and club chairman, Evan Molloy, the latter being the driving force behind the 80th anniversary celebration events.