28 Jul Rushbrooke Tennis Club unveil a mural of June Ann Byrne
Rushbrooke Tennis and Croquet Club unveiled a wonderful mural recently as a tribute to June Ann Byrne, who is an incredibly inspirational Irish tennis legend.
The World Champion provided Ladies team training to club members, passing on decades of knowledge and a true passion for the game. Fantastic idea by Rushbrooke and well done to all involved. The mural was painted by the talented Jack Hickey.
Thinking she was making an appearance to open the club’s new terrace, she was actually there to witness the unveiling of a mural in her honour. The club’s determination to keep it a secret was rewarded with her genuine surprise when she rounded the corner and saw the latest work from talented artist, Jack Hickey, who has a painting of Professor Marie Cassidy, former state pathologist, hanging in the National Gallery of Ireland. Working from a photograph, this latest mural – covering the club’s practice wall – features the teenage June Ann in action.
“I was overcome; I was gobsmacked. It’s so magnificent”, says June Ann, describing the moment of the big reveal. “I thought I was going to walk out of the mural, it’s so alive.”
The idea for the mural came about just after Covid struck last year and the club sent out a text to clarify that the wall – known as ‘the bash wall’ – was closed. Within an hour Sally Donegan, the club’s chairperson, received a call from June Ann objecting to the term ‘bash wall’, instead calling it a ‘practice development wall’ and outlining how important it was in preparing for her career.