Connemara All Blacks
The vocation for rugby in Connemara dates back to the '20s when some workers of the Marconi station at Clifden played this sport in their spare time. Many young men in the area, formed from a hard life which required a tough and sturdy constitution, became players in the teams of the most prestigious colleges in the nation, but the official birth of the team took place in 1946, on Boxing Day, against the formation of Galway Corinthians.
Connemara All Blacks play and train on Monastery Field, just outside Clifden, purchased in 1976 by the Franciscan Brothers (hence the name) and opened in 1981. The team currently plays in second division B and can boast a senior and a junior formation, plus of course a breeding ground for future promises whose age ranges from 7 to 18 years.
For the curious ones, the name of the team, though reminiscent of the celebrated New Zealand team, yet draws its origin from a hand-made fishing bait, very common in this area. The team shirt is strictly black, with the symbol of the club - a darting salmon on the background of Twelve Bens - embroidered in white.
And finally a curiosity: the official anthem of the team Connemara Boys has been composed by a well known musician of the area, Mickey Mack, collaborator of Connemara Community Radio, a local station managed by volunteers in Letterfrack, broadcasting traditional music and news on all the events of the area (including of course radio commentaries of Rugby matches!).