Irish team wins inaugural Celtic Challenge!
The inaugural Celtic Challenge match was held at Radley on Sunday 4th March, and after a day of very enjoyable tennis, the Irish team emerged victorious. Many thanks to all involved in organising the event.
IRTA pair takes part in Brigands tournament
The IRTA were defeated at the semi-final stage by the eventual champions, the LRTA. Many thanks to Hardwick House for hosting a great weekend of tennis.
Results of 2017 Closed championship
Congratulations to singles champion Rupert Derham, and to doubles champions Richard Ramjane and David Lowry!
Article on real tennis in Irish Independent
Max McLean summarises the history of the game, and how it has been growing steadily in recent years.
Results of 2017 Open championship
Congratulations to singles champion Christopher Edgington and to doubles champions Mark Maclure and David Lowry!
IRTA fixture vs The Haphazards, Hardwick House, UK
The IRTA emerged victorious in this friendly fixture vs The Haphazards. Many thanks to our hosts and to the organisers.
IRTA fixture at Jesmond Dene, UK
Ten years after our first visit, a group of IRTA visitors were warmly welcomed back to Jesmond Dene for a fixture.
IRTA pair plays in Brigands tournament
IRTA pair Rupert Derham and Rustom Manecksha took part in this year's Brigands tournament for peripatetic clubs. Many thanks to hosts Hardwick House.
Results of 2016 Closed Championships
Congratulations to champion Roland Budd!
Results of 2016 Open Championships
Congratulations to champion Derek O’Sullivan!
IRTA's 2012 Business Plan
The IRTA is now (May 2016) publishing this 2012 document, which up to now has had limited circulation, on its website, to give background and context to the work it was doing at an earlier stage of discussions with the OPW. As the document itself notes (§3, p.6), some parts are no longer current. Nonetheless we hope it will be of interest.
Urgent: Planning Application affecting Dublin Real Tennis Court
Ireland’s Office of Public Works (OPW) has sought permission for the development of a Children’s Science Museum at a large site which includes Dublin’s real tennis court. Please consider submitting an observation to Dublin City Council before the deadline of Thursday 31st March. Less than 2 weeks left!
Historical (1747) reference to Tennis Court in Wicklow
A 'to let' notice in the Dublin Journal of 31 January, 1747 refers to a farm near Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow having 'two profitable Gardens one of them walled in with a large Tennis-Court'. Thanks to David Best for bringing this to our attention.
Brigands 2015 tournament results
IRTA pair Roland Budd and Jack Woods were unbeaten, but failed to progress from group stage. Maybe next year!
Results of 2015 Closed Championships
Congratulations to champion Chris Herbert!
Results of 2015 Open Championships
Congratulations to champion Emmanuel Joffrin!
Visit to Hardwick House
IRTA members made a visit to Hardwick House and The Oratory over the weekend of 11–12 April, 2015, and were also given the opportunity to try the game of 'Fives'
Results of 2014 Closed Championships
Congratulations to champion Roland Budd!
IRTA reaches semi-final of Brigands tournament
Congratulations to IRTA pair David Keane and Derek O’Sullivan, who reached the semi-final stage of the 2014 Brigands doubles tournament for peripatetic clubs!
Trip to Middlesex University Real Tennis Club
A group of Irish newcomers to real tennis, albeit proficient in other racket sports, enjoyed an introductory session at MURTC.
International Tennis Day
Two real tennis bodies in the USA are organising an annual event to raise the profile of real tennis. The IRTA took part by displaying a banner outside the Dublin court.
Results of 2014 Open Championships
Congratulations to champion Kevin Sammon and doubles winners Richard Ramjane and David Lowry!
Return fixture: IRTA vs Biarritz, France
The IRTA was delighted to be invited back to France, where this time the IRTA team won 3–2. Many thanks for our hosts for a very enjoyable trip. (Pictures to follow.)
Fixture: IRTA vs Holyport
Many thanks to Holyport for welcoming us back for an excellent weekend's tennis.
Fixture: IRTA vs Prested Hall
The IRTA returned to Prested Hall, with its two courts, over a weekend in early December, and enjoyed a busy programme of tennis against the locals.
IRTA pair retains Brigands title
Congratulations to IRTA pair Roland Budd and David Keane, who won the 2013 Brigands doubles tournament for peripatetic clubs!
Results of 2013 Irish Closed Championships
Congratulations to Irish champion Rupert Derham!
Results of 2013 Open Championships
Congratulations to Open champion Fin Ramjane!
Short film: Anyone for real tennis?
Film-maker Philip Fulham directed and edited a short film about Dublin’s Real Tennis court, including some interview footage with IRTA member David Lowry.
Some old photos from the IRTA archives
Some scanned-in photos from the IRTA archives, showing the IRTA's replica half-court at The Point, and the Earlsfort Terrace court, around the year 2000.
Fixture: IRTA vs MURTC ‘Rest of World’
The IRTA enjoyed another excellent visit to the Middlesex University Real Tennis Club, drawing 3–3 with the host team.
Fixture: IRTA vs Biarritz, France
The IRTA team was outplayed by the host team in an unusual court, but the trip was an enjoyable experience nonetheless. International interest in the Dublin court was as strong as ever.
Dublin University Squash Rackets Club trip to Paris
The Irish group enjoyed a lesson and matches as part of a squash trip to Paris.
Fixture: IRTA vs Prested Hall
An enjoyable weekend of tennis — many thanks to our hosts and the organisers!
IRTA pair wins 2012 Brigands tournament!
Congratulations to IRTA pair Roland Budd and Rupert Derham, who won the 2012 Brigands doubles tournament for peripatetic clubs!
Results of Irish Closed and Open Championships, 2012
Congratulations to Irish champion Roland Budd and to Open champion David Lowry!
Trip to MURTC and The Queen’s Club
A group of IRTA members travelled to Middlesex University Real Tennis Club and The Queen’s Club. Pictures now available; full report to follow.
Tennis in Ireland by David Best
Real tennis historian David Best has researched the history of the sport in Ireland in great depth, and has written an extensive article on his findings. The earliest mention of real tennis in Ireland dates back to 1361!
Launch of book on Irish sporting history: Places We Play
A new book on Irish sporting history, Places We Play — Ireland’s Sporting Heritage (Mike Cronin & Roisín Higgins), had its launch event in the real tennis court. The IRTA had a presence, and our campaign generated a good amount of interest from those attending.
Updated with an excerpt from the book's introduction.
Dublin court used as venue for art exhibition
IRTA member Mark Heffernan reports, with photos, on a recent visit to the Dublin court.
2011 Closed Championships results
Congratulations to Irish Champion Roland Budd.
Brigands Doubles Tournament for Peripatetic Clubs
The IRTA entered a pair in this tournament, reaching the semi-finals.
2011 Open Championships results
Congratulations to Open Champion Maggie Henderson-Tew.
Real Tennis in the Courts — Human Rights in Ireland
David Keane writes on the Human Rights in Ireland site, arguing for the importance of the Dublin real tennis court from a cultural rights perspective.
Report on 1890 World Championships, The Speaker
IRTA member and historian of real tennis Brian Rich brought this article, reporting on the World Championship match between Pettit (defending) and Saunders (challenger) to our attention.
Trip to Bristol and Bath Tennis Club
A group of IRTA players travelled to B&BTC, and were joined by IRTA members from the UK for a successful weekend of tennis.
1998 article from Irish Times available
IRTA member David Lowry brought to our attention an Irish Times article from 1998, covering the early days of the IRTA’s campaign.
The Brigands tournament
The IRTA pair, Mark Heffernan and Roland Budd, reached the final of this tournament for peripatetic clubs.
Trip to Paris
David Lowry and fellow cycling enthusiasts played on the Paris and Fontainebleau courts during a recent trip to Paris.
2010 Championships results
Congratulations to Irish Champion Roland Budd, and to Open Champion David Lowry.
120th anniversary of World Championships
In 1890, the World Championships for Real Tennis were played in the Dublin court.
IRTA and Dublin University Squash Rackets Club trip to Oxford, UK
IRTA members David Lowry and Alvar Soosar organised some time and lessons on the Oxford real tennis court for members of the DUSRC squad.
Historical article from The Irish Times available
The Irish Times of 8 December, 1948, carried an article discussing the possibility of reviving Real Tennis in Dublin.
2009 Championships results
Congratulations to Irish Champion Stuart Baxter, and to Open Champion Mark Heffernan!
Trip to Leamington and Moreton Morrell
Stephen Kelly reports on a successful and enjoyable trip to Leamington Spa and Moreton Morrell clubs.
Copy of article in The Dubliner magazine
The March, 2008 issue of The Dubliner magazine contained a very positive article on our progress towards restoration of the Dublin court.
Call for entrants for 2009 Championships
To be held on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st May, at Middlesex University Real Tennis Club.
2009 AGM
Please contact us if you would like a copy of the minutes.
Tennis mentioned in Dublin Historical Record
The article 'Two Hundred Men at Tennis' appeared in Vol. LXI of the Dublin Historical Record, and included many mentions of tennis.
2008 Championships
Congratulations to Irish Champion Roland Budd and to Open Champion Mark Heffernan!
IRTA tour of south-west England
A busy weekend took IRTA members to Canford, Bristol and Bath, and The Hyde.
2008 AGM
Please contact us if you would like a copy of the minutes.
The 1890 World Championships
The Dublin court was the venue for the 1890 world real tennis championships.
Leaflet with latest news on Dublin Court published
Kárlis Zauers produced this brochure, mainly for distribution at the Tuxedo Club tournament in the USA, but generally available here.
Irish Times article on World Championships (May 1890) available
IRTA member David Lowry dug out a microfiche copy of the Irish Times from May 1890, which contained a report on the first day of play of the World Championships, held in the Dublin real tennis court. David also transcribed the article for its historical interest.
IRTA trip to Moreton Morrell and the Oratory School
A recent trip combined visits to the tennis courts of Moreton Morrel and the Oratory School.
Update on Dublin Court
We are delighted to announce that we have been recently in touch with the Office of Public Works. With University College Dublin having vacated the building, the Office of Public Works have indicated that they will work with us to restore the Dublin Real Tennis Court to play. Discussions between the IRTA and the Office of Public Works are at a very early stage, but this is definitely a large step towards achieving our goals. We will publish more news as it unfolds. Update, August 2011: Unfortunately, the ongoing economic difficulties have meant that this plan is on hold with no immediate prospect of revival. We are exploring alternative routes by which we might restore the court to play.
IRTA return to Manchester
Members of the IRTA paid a visit to Manchester, for lessons and also matches against the home team.
IRTA in Cambridge
New member Stephen Kelly reports on a trip to Cambridge, which combined introductory coaching with plenty of match play.
2007 Championship
We returned to Bristol and Bath Tennis Club for our 2007 Championships. Roland Budd again retained his title as Irish Champion, and also took the Open Doubles Championship, playing with Kárlis Zauers. A very successful weekend.
Article in Trinity News
IRTA member David Lowry wrote a piece for Trinity News introducing the game of real tennis to its readers.
IRTA in Manchester
A group of IRTA players, both beginners and more experienced players, went to Manchester for a weekend of tennis.
Joint IRTA / Dublin University Squash Rackets Club trip to Oxford, UK
Some of the Irish newcomers to real tennis are members of Dublin University Squash Rackets Club, and they took advantage of a DUSRC/Oxford squash match to introduce some fellow squash players to real tennis at the Oxford Club.
Return IRTA trip to Cambridge, UK
We were kindly invited back to Cambridge for a weekend of coaching and play. We also met up with some members of the Dutch Real Tennis Association.
Objection to destruction of Real Tennis court in Scotland
We learnt of a planning application to demolish a real tennis court in Troon, Scotland, and sent an objection to the relevant authorities.
IRTA fixture at Jesmond Dene, UK
A group of IRTA players from Ireland went over to Newcastle, UK, for a very enjoyable weekend of tennis at Jesmond Dene Real Tennis club.
IRTA trip to Cambridge, UK
Roland Budd led a group of newcomers to the game in a trip to the Cambridge club for a weekend of introductory lessons and play.
2006 Championship winners
We were delighted to be back at Holyport Real Tennis Club for our 2006 Championships. Roland Budd retained his title as Irish Champion, and Jim Duncan won the Open Championship. A very successful weekend.
Court status update number 11
Ted Neville, secretary of the IRTA, provides an update on the Dublin court situation.
2006 AGM
Please contact us if you would like a copy of the minutes.
2005 Championship winners
Our 2005 championships were kindly hosted by Holyport Real Tennis Club. Roland Budd emerged as Irish Champion, and Tim Church as Open Champion. A very enjoyable weekend was had by all.
Adventures of an Irish Expatriate: Real Tennis in Ireland
Sile Reilly of the United States Court Tennis Preservation Foundation visited the Dublin court on a recent trip to Ireland.
Lost Courts of Ireland: A Report on Dublin’s Famous Marble Court
Ted Neville, secretary of the IRTA, wrote an article which appeared in the April 2002 number of The Dedans, the newsletter of the United States Court Tennis Association.
2005 AGM
We held a fruitful AGM on 5 March, in facilities kindly provided, as last year, by Trinity College, Dublin. Please contact us if you would like a copy of the minutes.
IRTA vs Moreton Morrell
A team of IRTA members converged on Moreton Morrell to play a fixture over the weekend of 15–16 January. The doubles play produced very enjoyable tennis, and it was also an opportunity to meet and socialise with the Moreton Morrell membership.
2004 Championship winners
A very successful weekend was hosted by the Bristol and Bath Tennis Club, where Alastair MacKeown became Irish Champion, and Nick Ponsford Open Champion. Pictures now available.
Engravings from Victorian English publication The Graphic (1890)
IRTA member Brian Rich discovered a page of engravings published shortly after the 1890 World Tennis Championships were held in the Dublin court.
IRTA plans 2004 Championships
After the success of our 2003 event, we are delighted to have been invited back to the Bristol and Bath Tennis Club for our 2004 tournament.

IRTA's 2004 AGM

Updated: February, 2004

We held our 2004 AGM in the Luce Sports Centre, in Trinity College, Dublin. We are very grateful to Trinity College for allowing us to use their facilities for our meeting, and to everybody who attended.

Journalists from the Sunday Tribune interviewed IRTA secretary Ted Neville, and the campaign to have the Dublin court restored featured in an article on page 6 of the 22 Feb Sunday Tribune.

Proposal for new Real Tennis court in Perth, Australia

February, 2004

Although a long way from Ireland, this is worthy of mention here because it shows the strengthening in popularity of the game worldwide. A Perth businessman is proposing to convert a hall contained within an old hospital into a real tennis court. See the ongoing reports on the real tennis online website for more details on this exciting development.

The ‘Lost’ Court of Cumberland Island
Dennis McCarthy, an IRTA member living and working in Atlanta, Georgia, writes about a "lost and found" squash tennis court, and the analogies to the situation of the Dublin real tennis court.

First issue of IRTA newsletter available

November, 2003

Issue no. 1 of the IRTA's newsletter is now available. We hope to produce a newsletter a few times a year and send it out to members and others who have expressed an interest. If you would like to receive a paper copy, please get in touch. It is also available as a PDF file (650k).

2003 IRTA Championship a great success

Updated: June, 2003

The IRTA held the first Irish Real Tennis Championship on the weekend of Saturday 31st May and Sunday 1st June, 2003. Because Ireland lacks a playable real tennis court, the event took place at Bristol and Bath Tennis Club.

IRTA seeks information from Country Life readers

May, 2003

IRTA Committee member John McGrath writes, in the Questions and Answers section of the May 15 issue of Country Life,

I am a committee member of the Irish Real Tennis Association and am trying to trace photographs, artefacts and ephemera of any condition relating to the real tennis court at Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin. Passing into the ownership of the Irish government as a present from Rupert Guinness, 2nd Earl of Iveagh in 1939, the court has been used from that date as an engineering laboratory for University College and offices for a government agency. However, we are aiming to reinstate this architectural and sporting gem to its original use, as it is believed to be an outstanding example of its genre. Any photographs revealing how the interior used to look would be appreciated --- we have none to date.

If any visitors to this web-site have any photographs or other material of interest, please get in touch. Thank you.

World Champion Rob Fahey wishes IRTA luck

March, 2003

On holiday in Australia, two members of the IRTA, Ben and Bear North, called in to the ever-welcoming Melbourne Royal Tennis Club. The current world champion, Rob Fahey, is one of the professionals at the club. Rob has Irish roots, and spent some time with Ben and Bear discussing current progress with the Dublin court. He sends his regards to the IRTA, and wishes them luck with their endeavours.

World real tennis champion, Rob Fahey (left), with IRTA member Ben North on the court at Melbourne Royal Tennis Club recently.
Rob Fahey (world champion) with Ben North
IRTA applies for Irish Sports Council recognition
The IRTA is seeking recognition by the Irish Sports Council, as the National Governing Body of Sport for the sport of Real Tennis.