County Dublin Championships
A NEW ERA AND A NEW MILLENNIUM
Sometime before the new millennium Carrickmines had ceased to be a country club. Dublin had expanded its boundaries and the construction of the M50 Motorway and the Luas Railway made the Club more accessible for members and competitors.
This decade was unusual in that no one successfully defended either the Men’s or Ladies Singles title. There were nine different winners in each Singles event. Only Lesley O’Halloran (1983 & 1987) and Michael Nugent (1985 & 1989) garnered two victories. Among the winners were Matt Doyle, Jim McArdle and Eoin Collins in the Men’s and Siobhan Nicholson, Margaret Redfearn and Joanna Griffiths in the Ladies. In 1984, Jim McArdle won his fourth Singles title, in three different decades.
Matt Doyle Champion in 1986 in the centre along with Pat Crowe on the right and Stan Smith on the left, the Wimbledon Champion 1972.
Matt Doyle was the Champion in 1986. He lost in the final the following year to Doug Stone (USA), and a year later to Lindsay Rawstorne (FRA), in 1988. Lindsay’s father, Francis Rawstorne, was also Champion in 1963. Matt won the Irish Open on six occasions. He played a leading role, along with Sean Sorensen, when Ireland reached the World Group of the Davis Cup in 1983. Ireland eventually lost out to the John McEnroe inspired USA team in front of a packed RDS. When he retired from playing, Doyle played a leading role in Mats Wilander’s coaching team when he reached No.1 in the World, in 1988. That year, Wilander won the Australian, the French and the US Opens.
In the County Dublin Championships in 1993, Eddie French became the Tournament Director with Ronan Reid as referee. Pat Crowe took over the reigns as referee in 1995 and has remained in the role ever since.
Eddie French, Tournament Director along with John O’Brien, Champion 1965
Eddie ran the tournament with skill and vision for 10 years from 1993 -2003. It became one of the largest participant tournaments in Europe. With the newly built Clubhouse, ten hard courts (three indoors) and the eight grass courts, the tournament regularly had entries in excess of 600 and some years over 700. In these marquee days, 1500 members and friends dined in the club and partied till late. Thousands of spectators arrived to view the tennis and socialise.
Presidents Brian Farrell (2002), John Regan (2000) and Eddie French (1998).
Wayne Arthurs, the Australian Davis Cup player and British No.1 Samantha Smith headed the list of quality entries during the 90s. Samantha was champion in 1994. The top Irish players of the decade Owen Casey, Gina Niland and Yvonne Doyle all won the Championships on two occasions.
British player Mark Loosemore, Champion 1994
INTO THE MILLENIUM 2000-2020
The Championships of 2000 was particularly challenging to host as the new clubhouse had just been handed over by the building contractor a couple of weeks prior to the tournament. The County Dublin Championships managed successfully to maintain its momentum and character in the changeover from the beloved old to the splendid new Clubhouse with indoor courts.
Tournament Committee 2000. Fionnula Dunne, Eddie French, Jenny Patterson, David Roy and Brian O’Neill, Gemma Byrne and Sonja Buckley
Alan Bradley filled the role of Tournament Director in 2004 with Norman Walker taking over the following year. The committee included Pat Crowe (Referee), Sonja Buckley, Fionnuala Dunne (Treasurer), Rory Wilson, David Roy and a youthful Rossa Fanning.
Tournament Directors, Graham Sedgwick (2013-15) and Alan Bradley (2004)
Arsenal, Juventus and Ireland football legend Liam Brady along with Pat Crowe playing in a five a side football tournament in the 1980s. Pat has been the Tournament Referee since 1995.
No play today! Championships 2010
In 2000, Owen Casey won his third successive title with Gina Niland winning her second after an eight-year break.
Owen Casey in action in the 1999 final. Owen was Champion in 1998, 1999 & 2000.
Claire Curran Champion 1998 & 2001, with President, John Regan
The 2002 Champion was Stephen Taylor of Carrickmines who surprisingly defeated James McGee en route to the final. McGee was Ireland’s top professional player for many years and played at the U.S. Open.
Stephen Taylor, Champion in 2002.
Amazingly in twenty years in the Men’s singles, no player defended their title successfully with Colin O’Brien the only player to register two wins, in 2004 & 2006.
Malik Jazari, from Tunisia, Champion in 2005. It was his first time playing on Grass. He reached a career high of ATP 42 and reached the semis in the US Open Doubles.
Ciaran Fitzgerald and Fiachra Lennon (Singles Champion in 2007) discussing tactics
Eoin Heavey, Champion in 2008 in action. He defeated Barry King in the final.
2008 Doubles finalists Eimear Sloan and Libby Lyons with President Caroline Gill
Classic two-handed backhand demonstrated by Lazare Kukhalashvili (GEO), 2010 Champion
Julian Bradley, Champion in 2014 with Rowena Quinn of Hunters Estate Agent and President, Cathal Muckian
Mark Carpenter & Rachael Dillon, Mixed Doubles Champions in 2015. Both won singles titles, Mark 2012, and Rachael in 2007.
Sinead Lohan, Ladies Singles Champion 2013 & 2015 pictured with Club President Cathal Muckian on Finals Day 2013. Sinead played with Ruth Copas on the Carrickmines Summer League winning team in 2018.
Ruth Copas Ladies Champion 2019 and Sam Bothwell Men’s Champion 2019
L to R: Seniors finalists Gerry Cleary, Margaret Ann Broderick, President Gary Coburn, Helen Johnstone, Ben Cranwell, and Club member and Sponsor Rowena Quinn & son Harry.
Welcome visitors to the tournament over the years have been the Harvard & Yale Prentice Cup team. The team first played in the tournament in the 1950s and continue to return to Carrickmines every four years.
Carrickmines v Harvard & Yale Prentice Cup teams 2018. Carrickmines won on this occasion.
Full House for Finals Day 2018
The 2020 tournament was unfortunately cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Carrickmines C & LTC look forward to the recommencement and the next chapter of the County Dublin Championships.
Thanks to the following who supplied information: May Pim, James O’Driscoll, Alan Little (AELTC), Hugh Hamilton, Fitzwilliam LTC, Mark Ryan (County Dublin Championship results) and Tom Higgins (Sligo LTC and History of Irish Tennis).
And to sub editor Imelda Loughnane, and all who took the photographs.