News 2017

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Renewal Day, Sunday, July 2nd 

All former Jes Rowers, current rowers, their families and supporters are invited to take part in a Jes Rowing Renewal Day to be held at the Club on Sunday the 2nd July 2017.  All former rowers will be able to renew acquaintance with rowing on the river or at the very least going up the river in  launches. This will be a daylong event starting at 11.00am and all rowing will be in eights to ensure that all of our former rowers can showcase their skills in crew boats.

It is intended that rowers from all eras from the fifties onwards will participate and form crews with their contemporaries.  Considerable interest has already been expressed from former rowers and particularly from parents of rowers who have recently taken up social rowing.

Even before the event has taken place former rowers are hoping that this can become an annual gathering and give an opportunity to meet up with their crewmates and revisit  former glories.

Two recently acquired new fours, one coxed and one coxless, will be named and blessed on the day. The Blessing of the Boats will be at 4.00pm.

There will be ongoing catering at the event and all Jes Rowing rowers and supporters are invited.

For those former rowers intending to row with their contemporaries it would be advisable to set a specific time for your squad/crew to meet and go for a row. The club will be borrowing a number of eights from other clubs on the day so no excuses for not getting on the water.

Be sure to contact us at rowingiognaid@gmail.com if you have any questions. We would be delighted to see you on July 2nd.

Jes Rowing Trip to Germany - July 1966

In July 1966, a party of 25 members of the Jes rowing club, under the leadership of Rev. Liam Grimley, S.J., undertook a rowing trip to Germany. Details of the trip and a diary like account of the events were recently discovered in papers kept by the late former President of the Irish Amateur Rowing Union, Mr Wally Stevens of Neptune R.C. An article by Dave Tuohy, now Fr David Tuohy S.J., one of the oarsmen who travelled, was published in in the Connacht Sentinel on the August 9th, 1966. Our thanks to Keving Murphy for providing us with the material.

Both accounts are now reproduced here in their entirity. They provide fascinating insights into travel and school tours from more than 50 years ago. The formality of the trip is very obvious and it is unlikely that there would be a similar trip today from that perspective. The other notable feature is the success that the boys had on the water in rowing in unfamiliar boats against German crews.

Reception with the Lord Mayor of Bonn. Using the bottom step as row 1. From left to right.
Row 1 Enda Folan, Rev. Fr. Domo Hendrick SJ, Rev.Fr. Bob Mc Goran SJ, Lord Mayor of Bonn, Lord Mayor's Secretary, Row 2 Eamon Lawless, Kevin O Rourke, Ger O Máille, Alan Howard, PJ Coughlan, Kevin Murphy. Row 3 Joe Keaney, Peter Murphy, ( Declan Black ?), Declan Ashe, Mattie Keane, Pat Mc Carthy, Murt Curry, Ian Quinn, David Tuohy.Back Row Jimmy Dolan, Mike Kyne, Pat Holland. Participants on the trip not identifiable in the photo were Chris O Dea, Donal Bracken


Members of the organising and coaching team: (stk) Rev. Fr. Bob McGoran, SJ, Dr. Brendan Healy, Rev. Fr. Liam Grimley, SJ, Rev. Fr. Domo Hendrick, SJ

Friday 8th Departure from Galway at 3.00pm.
Saturday 9th Competed at Dublin Metropolitan Regatta, Blessington.
Sunday 10th

Departure from Amiens St. station at 7.30pm.

Dun Laoghaire - Hollyhead - London - Dover -Ostend.

Monday 11th Arrival Cologne at 6.43pm.
Tuesday 12th

Motor coach tour of Cologne at 2.00pm.

Attended the ballet at new Cologne Opera House, 8.00pm.

Wednesday 13th Conveyed greetings from the Mayor of Galway to the Lord Mayor of Cologne.
Thursday 14th

Departure from Cologne by train at 12.09pm

Arrival Frankfurt at 3.26pm.

Welcoming party from the Frankfurt Rowing Clubs at the station, including Herr Gipp and Herr Krebs, President of the Frankfurter Ruder Gesellschaft, who toured Ireland some years ago, winning 10 or their 12 races.

Friday 15th

Official state reception given to the Irish group by the Lord Mayor of Frankfurt in the City Hall at 9.00am. Greetings conveyed from the Mayor of Galway.

Motor coach tour of Frankfurt at 2.00pm.

Rowing practice on the River Main at 5.00pm, in order to get accustomed to the heavier German boats and the rowing conditions.

Saturday 17th

Competed in the Frankfurt Internal Schools Regatta.

St. Ignatius B crew won the Schools Eights (under 18).

St Ignatius B crew defeated in the Schools Fours (under 21) by Frankfurter Ruder Verein.

All other races abandoned due to bad weather.

Sunday 17th

Departure from Frankfurt at 2.05pm.

Arrival Mainz at 2.32pm.

Monday 18th

Departure from Mainz at 8.45am for journey to Bonn - over 100 miles- by Rhine steamer. Arrival Bonn at 4.35pm.

Included in the reception party on arrival were the various Chairmen of each of the nine school rowing clubs in Bonn.

Tuesday 19th

Motor coach tour of Bonn at 1.30pm, by courtesy of the Irish Embassy in Bonn.

A rowing practice on the Rhine at 6.00pm was intended, but was not possible due to bad weather.

Wednesday 20th

Official state reception given by the Lord Mayor of Bonn at 4.00pm - attended by the Irish Ambassador, Mr. Eamonn Kennedy. (president Bourguiba, who was received the previous day, was the last person to sign the Visitors Book. President deGaulle signed it after the Irish signatures on the following day.)

Competed in five events in the Bonn Internal Schools Regatta at 7.00pm. St. Ignatius A crew won the Schools Four event (under 19) and in the Schools Eights event were narrowly defeated by the Bonn School Rowing champions, the Bonner Ruder Gesellschaft. Presentation prizes were awarded to the winners by the Irish Ambassador, Mr. Eamonn Kennedy, a former UCD oarsman. Ten school teams in all competed.

Thursday 21st

Departure from Bonn at 1.55pm, having been presented with plaque and prizes by the Bonn rowing clubs.

Arrival Essen at 3.30pm.

The reception party at the station included Herr Wilhelm Gieseck, President of the North Rhine-Westphalia Rowing Union, and the 20 German families with whom the boys were staying.

Friday 22nd

All of the Irish boys attended two classes in Science and English at a German Secondary school, the Holmholz Gymnasium. The first class began at 7.45 am.

Motor coach tour at 9.30am by courtesy of the City Council of Essen.

Rowing practice on Lake Baldeney at 5.00pm.

Saturday 23rd

Competed in the International Schools Regatta on Lake Baldeney, beginning at 9.00am. More than 800 schoolboys from 42 different schools competed in the Regatta.

The St. Ignatius College crews took part in five of the twenty six events, in which they were placed 1st in the Schools Fours (under 18), in which they gave their most magnificent rowing performance ever, 2nd and 4th in the two Schools Fours events (under 16) and 3rd and 4th in the two Schools Eights events (under 18). All members of teh St. Ignatius College party were awarded presentation prizes.

They were guests of honour at a dinner given by the Lord Mayor of Essen at 1.00 attended by over 60 dignitaries, including the German Minister of Culture, Prof. Dr. Paul Mikat. The Loard Mayor proposed the toast of St. Ignatius College and Rev. L. Grimley S.J. proposed the toast of German schools rowing.

Sunday 24th

Formal farewell to the St. Ignatius College party from a representative of the Bishop of Essen, preceded by a Missa Cantata at 10.00am, celebrated by Rev. Fr. R. McGoran, S.J.

In the afternoon the Irish group were brought on a guided tour of the Gruga Park. A farewell social was held in the Jugendheim St. Markus at 7.00pm.

Monday 25th

Departure from Essen at 7.00am

Rev. L. Grimley S.J. thanked Herr Wilhelm Gieseck for the wonderful arrangements that he had made for the party and also thanked the German families for their extraordinary hospitality.

Tuesday 26th

Arrival Dun Laoghaire 6.45 am

Arrival Galway 12.10pm.

One of the crews which represented the Jes with Brendan Healy (coach)

Sentinel Report

One of the boys, David Tuohy, wrote the following account of the tour and this was published in the Connacht Sentinel.

Koln Hauptbanhof....Koln Hauptbanhof....Koln Hauptbanhof....

With this sound ringing in our ears, twenty five travel weary boys from St. Ignatius College alighted from the train in the vast station of Koln. Twenty four hours previously, we had departed from Dublin for a rowing holiday on the Rhine-the result of six months hard work, organisation, worry and money saving.  Next morning we had a swim in one of the city's many pools before starting out to discover Koln which was bathed in sunshine.

We visited the wonderful Gothic Cathedral, which dominates the skyline, including the Shrine of the Magi.  The birds eye view from the 500 step tower was breath taking. So also was the view of the big barges travelling up and down the Rhine from Hohenzollern Bridge.

In the afternoon, we went on a coach tour of the city and saw the strides made by Germany in rebuilding since the War. Now the old blends perfectly with the modern skyscrapers of the Town Hall, Police Headquarters and the Post Office.

The next day was spent re-visiting places of interest and shopping.


On Thursday, we left for Frankfurt and were met by two directors of the Germania Boat Club.  This was the beginning of our attack on the German champions.  Our first day began with Mass and a civic reception at the Town Hall.  There we were greeted by the Superintendent of Schools and we presented our letter of introduction from the Mayor of Galway, Mr. Brendan Holland, to the Lord Mayor of Frankfurt.

After a conducted tour of the Town Hall, we were brought on a coach tour around the city, where we observed again the progress made by Germany in combing the old and the beautiful with today’s modern architecture. That evening, we had a row in preparation for the next day’s regatta.  This was the first experience of the German boats, which are bigger and heavier than our own – a necessity for the busy rivers of Germany.

This proved to be only a minor problem for our second crew in beating the Germania RC eight.  But our four could not match the Germania champion four.  The other races arranged for the day were cancelled because of the bad weather conditions.


On Sunday morning, we had another row and then departed for Mainz for an overnight stop before boarding the Steamer for Bonn.  This was the only disappointment of the trip for it rained for the whole eight hours.  But at least we got the impression of how beautiful it would have been had the sun shone.  At Bonn, we were greeted by representatives of all the rowing clubs in the city.  We were brought out to the Youth Hostel at Bad Godesberg, a town 5 kilometres from Bonn.

On Tuesday morning, we toured Bad Godesberg by ourselves and in the evening, we went on a coach tour of Bonn, the provisional capital of Germany. This beautiful city was en fete.  Not for us but for President Bourgiba of Tunisia and president de Gaule of France.  Our plans for rowing practice were upset by bad weather.


On Wednesday morning, we visited the Irish Ambassador, Mr. Eamonn Kennedy, who gave us the Irish newspapers with all the news from home. He later attended a reception in our honour given by the Lord Mayor of Bonn.  We presented the Lord Mayor with our letter of introduction and signed our names in the Golden Book.  His Excellency was again present at the regatta promoted by the Bonn rowing clubs.


The Bonn crews were comprised of members from all the clubs.  They proved too strong for us in three of the four races.  But our first four got the better of the Bonn four by three lengths.

On Thursday, we left for Essen in glorious sunshine.  Here we were greeted by Herr Gieseck of Helmholz Gymnasium Rowing Club and families who had kindly invited us to stay in their homes.

On Friday, we attended two classes in the Helmholz Gymnasium where school begins at 7.45am.  At 9.30, we went on a conducted tour of Essen and we visited the famous Krupp Museum. Later we went on a row on the beautiful Baldenevsee.

On Saturday, we participated in the regatta and had one first, two seconds and four thirds to our credit, and were more than pleased with ourselves.  On Sunday, we were greeted by a representative of the Bishop of Essen and wrote out Irish greetings with those of the other nations on the walls of St. Markies Youth Centre.  In the afternoon, we visited the beautiful Gruaga Park and attended a farewell dance in our honour. Next morning, we set off on our journey home.

Looking back on the trip, the things that stand out most are the warm hospitality and friendliness of our German hosts, especially those in Essen; the beauty of the parks and buildings and the traffickless shopping centres and the magnificently organised Youth Hostels.


It was a memorable and exciting holiday and we all appreciate the hard work and organisation of Rev. Liam Grimley, S.J., which made the trip so enjoyable.