The purpose of the Badminton Museum of Ireland is to preserve the great heritage of Irish Badminton and to make the general badminton public aware of it.
It is always interesting to note where members of the same family achieve International honours and the Gallery section of this issue recognises the achievements of the Good family. Five members of this family represented Ireland between 1902 and 1954. There is an overlap in years in the case of Mrs.Good and her eldest daughter. I have not yet established if they played on the same team. The records show many other families with multiple appearances for Ireland. The Hamilton family had a father, two sons and a daughter. Frank Devlin had a daughter, grandson and son-in-law. There are many other combinations of couples also.
The Press report from 1931 suggests a significant departure from the Irish game with Frank Devlin and Curly Mack having played their last games for Ireland. Between them they played 35 International matches and also won 20 All-England Titles. However their mantle is being prepared for Tom Boyle and Jim Rankin who went on to play 60 International Matches. This report also notes the performance of the Hamilton family. Noting that Arthur Gave a walk over to his brother in the Welsh Open Singles final one wonders if this was to ensure that the brothers would win the Mens Doubles.
It is noted that Irish Trials were the usual method by which the team was selected and in this case the very top players were not asked to partake. It is also interesting to read the comment that “ nowhere in Ireland is the game of Badminton more popular than in Dundalk”. Sadly none of the Clubs mentioned appear to have survived although looking at the Louth Association website it would appear that the game is doing well at the moment. Perhaps the European Senior Championships, which are being played in Dundalk in two weeks time, will be a further boost to the game.
I am very keen to get indications of loans or donations of memorabilia and I can be contacted through the website.
Dick O’Rafferty, Curator, Badminton Museum of Ireland