The History of Skerries Golf Club

Lecture by Michael Branagan
(Skerries Historical Society Meeting – 10th September 2013)

It was the year in which Las Vegas was invented, Greta Garbo was born, Einstein’s theory on relativity ‘E=MC2’ came to be published and the Russian revolution was in full swing. But none of these were what was attracting attention in lovely Skerries – no, the town was setting about forming a golf club.

So it was that in October 1905, a club was formed with Lord Holmpatrick as the patron and A J Hussey the inaugural captain. AC Pickman of Portmarnock was asked to lay out the original 34 acres bought for the purpose in Hacketstown and, hey presto, 9 holes were in play. The Great Northern Railway line was persuaded to have a halt stop provided for golfers coming from the city and so began the magic that is still Skerries golf club to this day.

Milestones over the years included going to a Championship 18 hole course in the early 70s. An Taoiseach Sean Lemass joined the club in 1932 and would become Captain and President – and he famously used the train to get back to Dublin.

Lemass was playing cards in the club and, holding an excellent hand, was told that the train had pulled up and was waiting to take him back to Dublin. Lemass is quoted as saying, “Bring the driver in and give him a stiff one!”

Music was always at the heart of the club and Joseph Locke and Phil Coulter as well as Skerries own Orla Boylan have entertained there.

Golfing highlights have included the exploits of the late great Gerry Owens as well as current star Maria Dunne – and in 2003 Skerries winning the All-Ireland junior cup.

Michael Branagan, Club Captain in the Centenary Year 2005, gave this well-received presentation on the history of the club and the game of golf to a large audience recently.

Report by George Hand

Page updated – 28 / 3 / 2014