The passing of Evie Reilly on Wednesday of last week was met with great sadness by all, especially the older members of Clonmel Rugby Club. Evie Reilly's late husband Tom was the main instigator in reforming Clonmel RFC back in 1968. Tom became president of the club and with his son Michael as secretary they kept the club running for the first number of years.
In the early days, Clonmel's main problem was a home ground to play their games. They started with The Showgrounds, moved to the lawns at Marlfield House, then the Reilly family provided their own back garden, in Inislounaght, as the club's home ground.
This was a huge commitment by Tom and Evie Reilly, as they gave their back garden as the club's home pitch, their outhouse as the dressing rooms and their drawing room for selection committee meetings.
This continued for over 5 years and during this time Evie Reilly never complained about all those rugby players trampling around her gardens or back yard.
In fact she went above and beyond the call of duty as she often took dirty jerseys and washed and dried them for the next game.
One of the club's older members said, "In those early years one of the perks of being a club selector was the meetings in Inislounaght, as Evie Reilly was a great hostess. Many of the meetings went on well into the night, deciding who to pick and who not to pick. And of course the tea and drink flowed freely. Oh yes, happy days".
On cold and wet Sundays in Inislounaght, Evie Reilly would invite alickadoos of visiting teams into the house for a cup of tea or a hot toddy to warm them up.
When Clonmel bought their own pitch at Ardgeeha Evie would attend many of the home games to see her three sons, Michael, Peter and Rory, play for the club.
Evie Reilly was made a life Vice President of the club for all her commitment and support to Clonmel RFC. May she rest in peace.