Busi­ness and sport­ing hub

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - AROUND KINSALE ROAD - John Daly

The thriv­ing busi­ness along the Kin­sale Road and nearby com­mer­cial parks are neigh­bours to Cork City F Ca nd the famed rugby grounds at Mus­grave Park

By any yard­stick, Mus­grave Park is spe­cial in sport­ing terms. First opened in 1940, it ranks as one of the most fa­mous rugby grounds in the coun­try and wit­nessed the first triumph by an Ir­ish pro­vin­cial side over in­ter­na­tional tourists when Aus­tralia were beaten in 1967.

In 1973, it saw Mun­ster earn a fa­mous draw against the tour­ing All Blacks.

In 1992, the ground saw one of Mun­ster’s finest achieve­ments as Aus­tralia, reign­ing world cham­pi­ons, were de­feated. Rugby pun­dit Ge­orge Hook un­der­lined the ground‘s fa­mous her­itage: “This is a very, very spe­cial ground. I first at­tended matches here back in the 1950s and this isn’t just a big-game ground — you get schools rugby here and, of course, club rugby with Sun­day’s Well and Dol­phin.

“It’s also steeped in his­tory with Mun­ster hav­ing beaten the Wal­la­bies here, and of course that fa­mous 1973 draw with the Al­lBlacks when Mun­ster may have been blood­ied but were to­tally un­bowed.”

Sim­i­larly, for­mer Ire­land star Tony Ward re­called how the Cork ground also held fond me­mories for him: “I won my first big vic­tory with Gar­ry­owen here back in the early 1970s and of course played the Wal­la­bies twice here. This is a very spe­cial place.”

The fa­cil­ity was first named in 1940 for the longserv­ing Ir­ish rugby of­fi­cial, Jimmy Mus­grave, and has been graced over the years by many of Mun­ster’s grea- test play­ers in­clud­ing Donal Leni­han, Ro­nan O’Gara, Moss Keane, Mick Gal­wey, An­thony Fo­ley, and Peter Clo­hessy. In­deed, prov­ing that sport is un­fet­tered by bound­aries, the fa­cil­ity also hosted a Uefa Cup foot­ball match be­tween Cork City and Bay­ern Mu­nich in 1991.

In June 2015, thou­sands of Corko­ni­ans en­joyed the rare de­light here of José Car­reras and Kather­ine Jenk­ins, in con­cert with the City of Cork Sym­phony Or­ches­tra.

Pic­ture: Ex­am­iner Archives ref no 153/16 153/016

Mun­ster vs All Blacks at Mus­grave Park in 1971, which fa­mously ended in a draw.

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