Limerick’s ‘Voice of Rugby’ joins heroes

AS the Munster team captured the heart and admiration of the country, a local Limerick sporting legend was cast onto the national sports scene by last weekend’s events.

Len Dinneen, known among Limerick aficionados of the game as the Voice of Rugby, has been acclaimed for his coverage of the game, and the interviews carried out on the live RTÉ broadcast with the players — from a packed O’Connell Street last Sunday.

Limerick City Council is planning to honour the team and Len Dinneen.

Cllr Ger Fahy told a meeting of the council last night: “Len Dinneen showed what a great professional broadcaster he is on Sunday. For years, he has promoted Limerick and Munster rugby in local media, but on Sunday he showed that at national level he’s as good as you’ll get as a sports presenter.

“I think that, as we are now prepared to acknowledge the team, the city council should also acclaim Len Dinneen. He has done more than anybody else in radio in promoting the appreciation of rugby in Limerick. He has been broadcasting to the Limerick rugby public for the past 20 years — sharing their agonies and hailing their triumphs.”

Mr Dinneen, 64, joined the Limerick Chronicle in 1959 as a junior sports reporter.

He said yesterday: “Charlie Mulqueen joined the Limerick Leader the same day. Both papers were in separate offices, but printed in the same works. Des Hanrahan, who went on to become chairman of Bord na gCon was my first sports editor.”

After emigrating, Len joined London Irish and was club captain for a number of years.

“Richard Harris used come down regularly to watch us and I knew Dickie well from Limerick, and we always had a few drinks after games,” he said.

Len’s four sons have also distinguished themselves on the rugby field.

Leonard was on the Cork Con winners of the first AIL league final in 1991; Garret won two senior schools medals with Crescent College; David won a senior schools medal with St Minchin’s College, and Kevin won a Connacht Senior Cup medal with UCG.

Len said: “My wife Kay is a great team leader in our rugby household and travels with me to nearly all games in this country.

“And I can tell you, she knows her rugby and she’s the one person I wouldn’t argue with when it comes to rugby.”

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