Remembering the early days

Here we have some accounts from our members from the past about the club. If you wish to share one of your stories with us please email

A group of four Irish J1 students met up in New York. While passing a municipal tennis centre they went in and were about to book a court before realising that one of them couldn’t or didn’t play tennis. The others looked sheepishly at her saying,  ‘don’t tell us you come from Leopardstown and you can’t or don’t play tennis!


The image above from 1979 was when we won class 5 summer league ( there was no class 6 or 7 at the time ). Our team ranged in age from 12 – 16 then. Jennifer Blake our Captain was a 35!

I joined LTC in 1972, when the membership number was 139. The offer was ten years membership for twenty pounds and I couldn’t afford it. Mind you, my monthly mortgage repayment was also twenty pounds.

From the early days with membership restricted to specific roads in the estate (Laurleen didn’t exist), there was considerable opposition to competitive tennis. However, along with a few others I wanted to play League Tennis at least once in my career and we managed to enter a team in class 4 (lowest class in those days).

Leopardstown’s first ever men’s league match took place on Saturday May 29th 1976 in a home game against Lansdowne and the line-out was as follows

  1. Denis Ryan
  2. Sean O’ Farrell
  3. Kevin O’ Carroll
  4. Ray Carroll
  5. Michael McLoughlin
  6. Tom Clancy

We were beaten 5/4 and I thought ‘we are not so bad’. Our remaining league matches finished 0/9 1/8 1/8 2/7. However we persevered and won our first league game two years later. Men’s matches started at 2pm and Ladies’ at 6 pm. With only three courts for six games of singles followed by three games of doubles, the ladies were often kept waiting.

Our clubhouse was an old caravan. There were no bathroom or shower facilities. In an emergency, Mary and Joe Brennan of Leopardstown Grove offered their house toilets. Otherwise, it was down to the Leopardstown Inn. On many occasions, we had to send someone up to Westwood to rescue our opponents who would be warming up and wondering where we were!

The success of the club is down to many members over the years who contributed so much to make it a success, My thanks to all who helped me enjoy playing for the last fifty years.

– Denis Ryan

ltc 1982

I am delighted to be asked to make a contribution to the new LTC website on the occasion of our fiftieth birthday.

In the early 1980s, shortly after we moved into Laurleen, a near neighbour mentioned that there was a tennis club around the corner and would we be interested in taking out family membership? Although the club had been up and running for over ten years, and we knew that a hardcore of founder members was strongly against admitting anyone who didn’t have a  ‘Leopardstown’ address, our applications were successful and we have no regrets. In fact, Orlaith and I have enjoyed many long and happy years of social and competitive tennis, friendships formed and friendships retained.

I have always referred to the debt of gratitude we owe to our founder members who, from very lowly beginnings, set up this now very highly-respected and successful tennis club, fifty years ago this year.

By the mid 1980s a new generation of club and committee members was beginning to emerge replacing the trailblazing pioneers of 1971. Names of those that spring to mind that helped shape and bring new direction to the club include Sean O’Farrell, Denis Ryan, Kevin O’Carroll (RIP), Padraig O’Siochru (RIP), Brian Lenahan, Pat Glennon, Walter Schilling (RIP), Michael McLoughlin (RIP), Michael Foley (RIP), Dermot Murphy (RIP), Vincent McCarthy (RIP), John and Colm Holmes, Richard Clear, David Ceannt, Paul Kilcullen, John O’Dwyer, Una O’Siochru (RIP), Theresa Schilling, Breda Byrne, Desna Campbell, Jackie Curtin, Carol Kelly, Jennifer Blake, Mary Brennan (RIP), Eithne Murphy, Iris Roberts, Oonagh Ennis and Deirdre Hayden.

Dublin County Council was very good to us with regard to practical help and advice. In particular, Michael Lynch was always open to suggestions that promoted sport, well-being and education when and where it benefitted the local community, with one non-negotiable exception. Any mention of ground ownership was off the agenda!  Ach sin sceal eile.

I wish George and Brian, the present committee and all club members, every success with the new web-site, plus lots and lots of covid-free health and tennis for the next fifty years.

– Gerard Cagney