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Seamus Deering

Seamus Deering  left  St Marys College in 1966, having been a brilliant schoolboy rugby player and winning a SCT medal that year. He  started veterinary medicine and while at college he played for UCD and Leinster.  He qualified in 1971 and practised in Limerick and  so played for Garryowen and for Munster.  He loved the tough hard Munster game, but his first love was St Marys.  After some  years he joined the Dept. of Agriculture as a veterinary Officer and was first posted to Dublin and later to Mullingar where he became a Senior Veterinary Inspector in charge of the Mullingar District Office, covering that area.  During all that time he played for Marys and of course he played for Leinster 13 times, for Munster 18 times and for  Ireland 8 times; he also captained Ireland in 1979 against the All Blacks.  At that time the provinces played mainly  four or five times a year, which gives a perspective of his achievements.

He was  big gentle but very tough man who played wing forward and while at college and in his Ireland days formed a super backrow partnership with Fergus Slattery, they were like two "seek and destroy missiles".  But there was a lot more to his game than being a superb tackler, he was a great ball player and reader of the game and was brave to a fault. He was a born leader -- from the front.

He played at senior level for St Marys  for many years , playing to the mid eighties.  This was a golden era of St Mary's rugby when many cups and leagues were won, he captained St Marys to a league win in 1979-80 and Shay was surrounded by other great Mary's players like Sean Lynch, Johnny Moloney, Tom Grace, Ciaran Fitzgerald, JB Sweeney, Terry Young, the Hickies and many more.  In the late eighties he was diagnosed with cancer and after a typically brave and uncomplaining  fight he died.  It was a tragedy for the club and for all those who loved him, and for rugby.  Mount Argus had never before seen the crowd that came to say good bye to "the Deero". He was  such a happy good humoured man who never forgot his friends or his roots.  He certainly numbers amongst the most popular and best respected players and members in the history of St Marys and to imagine that he achieved  as much respect and admiration in Garryowen and Munster, where you earn respect the hard way, gives some idea of the wonderful man he was. For all those who knew him, he will always have a special place in their memories.  The Shay Deering annual Trophy is played for between St Marys and Garryowen the winning of that highly  coveted Deero Bust is added incentive to both clubs.


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