Monkstown Golf Club honoured esteemed long-serving members Jim Long (Golf Ireland President) and and IRFU President Greg Barrett earlier this week.
Both Long and Barrett were honoured by Monkstown for reaching the highest level in their sporting fields.
Golf Ireland President, Long, is a past Captain of Monkstown Golf Club and has been a long-serving member of the club, playing on numerous Senior Cup and Barton Shield teams over the years. Long has held several roles in Golf Ireland at both national and local level over two decades culminating in his journey to becoming President.
IRFU President Barrett is not only a Monkstown legend but a Munster Rugby legend. A member of Monkstown for over thirty years, Barrett is also a member of the famous rugby club Cork Constitution and has held captaincy, presidential and chairperson roles within the club.
Barrett was also part of the famous Munster side who beat the All Blacks in Thomond Park in 1978.
President of Monkstown Golf Club Martin Walsh said: “2023 presents Monkstown with uniqueness, having two long serving members reach the Everest of their sporting lives. To have Jim Long as President of Golf Ireland and Greg Barrett as President of the IRFU. We are delighted to honour them both for reaching such an elevation and wish them the best for their year.
“We really are enjoying a resurgence in Monkstown Golf Club and it’s great to be a part of it. We’ve had success in the last couple of weeks and we’re looking forward to two All-Ireland quarter-finals in the coming weeks. We’ve had disappointment losing some Munster finals but overall the playing here has improved dramatically, and the yellow buzz is everywhere.”
2023 Monkstown captain Anthony O’Sullivan spoke of his delight in honouring Long and Barrett in a unique situation.
“Every club requires volunteers to exist and carry on it’s day to day operations and everyone who does that is greatly appreciated. To go from there to help run a sporting body at regional or provincial and above that again at national level shows a commitment to the development of the sport and deserves great credit. We’re very lucky in Monkstown to have Mary Bergin on the Munster Regional Executive, Michael Collopy who is Chair of the IRFU Marketing and Commercial committee and Ada O’Sullivan who a member of The Open committee for the R&A.
“As we all know Jim is a past captain of the club and have represented Monkstown in Senior Cup and Barton Shield among other teams. He has served in many different roles in Golf Ireland’s administration, and his succession to the role of national president follows two decades of work at national and local level.
“Greg has been a Monkstown member for over 30 years and is a member of Cork Constitution and has held the roles of Captain, President and Chairman, and most importantly he was a member of the Munster team who beat the All Blacks in Thomond Park in 1978.
“To have one club member in such a position is special, to have two at that level at the same time is not only rare, it’s unique.”
President of Golf Ireland, Long was delighted to be honoured and is proud to be a member of Monkstown.
“It’s been a great privilege for me to represent Monkstown in various Golf Ireland and GUI roles over the years. I was thinking back to some of the aspects of volunteerism and why I got involved. I remember John Barry when he was Captain back in 1988 rang me one day and asked me if I’d get involved with the juniors. And I think it’s really from there, when I saw the people that were involved in Monkstown over the years and the enjoyment I got from it.
“Sometimes people feel as if it’s hard work, it has never been hard work as far as I’m concerned, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. From the involvement in junior golf, to refereeing and meeting people who are so proud of their own golf courses and golf clubs.
“I’ve met so many people in Monkstown who were occupying voluntary positions, and I think Anthony is right when he talked about volunteerism. Where would we be without volunteers in sport, whether it’s golf or rugby or whatever sport and Monkstown is no different. That really encouraged me to get involved with the GUI as it was then and Golf Ireland now.
“It’s a great source of pride and honour to represent Monkstown both nationally and internationally. Once people you meet get beyond talking about the weather they next thing next thing they’ll ask is ‘where do you play’. And I’m absolutely delighted to say Monkstown Golf Club.”
For Barrett, it’s a family thing for the thirty-three-year member who hopes to play more golf with his wife Lorna who is in her 15th year at the club.
“I am deeply grateful to the members of my club Monkstown for honouring me with the wonderful reception, it’s exciting and humbling in equal measure. I’m extremely proud to have been a member of this club for 33 years and will be forever grateful to Donal P McCarthy for his nomination when he became President in 1990.
“The last 33 years have flown by but I have fantastic memories of fourballs and have made lots of golfing friends along the way. The club has made enormous progress in recent times and I’m looking forward to having a bit more time for golf and playing with my wife Lorna who has been a member here for 15 years. When my term comes to an end I intend to spend a lot of time here.”