A New Home At Temple Hill

When the club was put on notice by University College Cork that their long-time lease on the Mardyke would not be renewed, the members went about seeking a new home for the club. The site at Temple Hill was chosen and the land purchased. Two pitches were laid out and a small clubhouse built. The official opening was performed by Club President John Tierney, with many dignitaries in attendance including P.A.McGrath, Lord Mayor, the former club President and Captain. The opening game at the venue was against Lansdowne on September 26th 1953.

A second Munster Junior Cup under the captaincy of Charlie Connolly was won in 1951, when Old Crescent were beaten 5-3 at the Mardyke. Better was to follow when a remarkable three-in-a-row success was achieved in 1956-58. Ray Hennessy captained the first against Old Crescent 6-0; Joe Cunningham the second against Young Munster 9-3; and Dan Murphy the third, also against Young Munster, 8-0 after a replay. They reached the final again in 1959, but lost to Young Munster 0-6, after another replay.

Breen Mullen and Dermot‘Starry’Crowley were members of the Munster team that lost 3-6 to the All Blacks at the Mardyke in 1954 – Munster’s last major game at the venue.

Jim Kiernan had won a Munster Senior Cup with UCC in 1955 and was captain of Constitution in 1956-57 when they defeated Dolphin 14-3 in the club’s first final at Musgrave Park. The team included Noel Murphy, son of the former International. Noel would go on to even greater glory in the years to come. He won his first cap against Australia in 1958 and was selected for the Lions to Australia & New Zealand in 1959 – the first Constitution Lion since Oliver Piper in 1910. Archie O’Leary and Marney Cunningham were also capped for Ireland during the period.

Ray Hennessy and Noel Murphy were members of the Munster team that drew 3-3 with Australia at Thomond Park in 1958. They were joined by Liam Coughlan for Munster’s game against South Africa at Musgrave Park in 1960, when late scores gave the visitors a 9-3 victory in their first visit to Munster.

Dan O’Connell was President IRFU 1951-52, while John Tierney was President Munster Branch 1956-57.