Michael McTiernan

All in Clontarf Cricket Club were extremely saddened to hear of the sudden passing of lifelong member Michael (Mickey) McTiernan.

Mickey was one of those members who could be viewed as having virtually lived his life in the Castle Avenue grounds, with the family home on Stiles Road backing onto the ground – at just about deep mid wicket or deep extra cover depending on the bowler’s end.

Mickey’s left arm spin was honed in the nets of Clontarf, day after day with his great mate Phillip Flipper Ellis

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(Michael in the Clontarf side of the early 80s)

A pupil of St Joseph’s, he was picked for the Irish Schools side of 1978, the first from his school to be selected. It was a very fine side which included Stephen Warke, Marc Cohen, Jim Patterson and Jimmy Kirkwood, but it was Mickey who was the star turn for the team that year.

Against Wales Schools in the second innings he took 6 wickets for 16 having taken 2 in the first, as Wales hung on for a hard fought draw.

A week later he took another six against The Leprechauns, who had Julian Weiner, John Elder and another high class left armer spinner Dermot Monteith in their midst. It seemed that this might be the start of something special.

However, breaking into the Clontarf first team of that era proved a difficult task. With a bowling attack of Hughes, Bunworth and Kirwan dominating, it left little time nor opportunity for the flight and guile that Mickey’s bowling offered. But when he was good, he was a joy to watch.

His finest moment in Clontarf colours came in 1979 when he became only the third player in the club’s long history to take all 10 wickets. Playing for the 2nd team against CYM, he replaced Paddy Murphy after Paddy had bowled 4 overs (three of which were maidens so he cannot have been happy).

(Scorecard as Michael took all ten wickets)

Mickey then bowled 28.2 overs and took his 10 wickets for only 31 runs. All wickets were either caught or bowled. CYM totalled 61 that day, 61 which just happened to be the birthday Mickey celebrated on the 15th December.

The majority of Mickey’s LCU senior career was in the period 1979 to 1982 and in total he took 81 wickets in his 87 senior games. Mickey became resigned to a career on the second team and what a player he was for them.

He was a decent bat too but arguably one of the best catchers in the club’s history. He will be remembered for one in particular, a blinding effort taken in front of his own house that left the webbing in his hand split. He caught the ball, casually tossed it back and jogged off, blood pouring from the wound, not a man to cause a fuss. Incredibly having had the damage repaired he proceeded to have his head split open when batting. It made a great story to tell later in the bar.

It was impossible not to like Mickey and Clontarf was disappointed to lose him when he decided to head to Cork for pastures new.

There, he thrived on the cricket pitch with Cork Harlequins where he teamed up with his older brother Eoghan on occasions and also captained the club.

His time in Cork also led him to be capped for Munster which was a huge thrill for him and a vindication of his talent. While in Cork he struck up a great friendship with the late Johnny Rolf.

In due course, he came back to Dublin but a road accident left him very immobile, not that it stopped him coming around on his mobility scooter to watch a game and hang around with his good friends in particular Paddy Ennis and Pat Byrne.

To his brothers and sisters, Meabh, Marie, Brian, Eoghan, Padraig and Una, many of whom have had very close affinity to Clontarf, we offer our wholehearted condolences.

We are all the richer for having known Michael .