History of the Modern DU Fencing Club 


The following is a summary of club to sent to Trevor West for his book, ‘The Bold Collegians’. It was originally compiled by Sile O’Connor (Manuscript:MUN/Club/DUCAC/412), and transcribed by James Stratford on 20/6/2018.

Established in 1936, DU Fencing Club has since enjoyed consistently good results, and continues to produce many of Ireland’s top grade international fencers.

Much of the club’s success is due to the dedication of Professor Patrick Duffy, who was coach from 1952-87. Prof. Duffy, himself an olympic fencer in 1948 and ’52, helped DUFC members achieve outstanding success. Such members include Brian Hamilton, Colm O’Brien, Richard Robinson, Penelope Greene and Vernon Armstrong, who represented Ireland at various World Games, Junior World Championships and Olympics in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Shirley Armstrong-Duffy, our current coach, also competed in many of these events. More recently, the club’s reputation for brilliance has been maintained by international fencers such as Declan Wuulkeer [?], Cathy Ridge, Mark Davies, as well as Niall Ferguson who is ranked among the top 30 foilists in the world.

At intervarsity level, DUFC has remained undefeated for the last 12 years, a record unbeaten since the competition was initiated in 1956. And the annual Colours match has yet to present any difficulty. Over recent years, Trinity has hosted guest matches against foreign teams including Queen Mary and Imperial Colleges, London, Durham and Newcastle Universities, and also against a team from Happsalu [?], Estonia. We hold an annual international épée competition, the Duffy Memorial Team Épée Open at which clubs, both from Ireland and the U.K. compete. The competition has proven very successful, thanks to the support of DUCAC, and our club President, Mr Redvers Skelton. We would like to extend an invitation to any of our past members to join us over the Duffy weekend, either as spectators or participants. We anticipate it will be in mid November again, this year. Tours abroad include matches in London, and Oxford in 1987 and ’89. Again, DUFC were victorious, both in mens and ladies events.

DUFC currently holds more team and individual titles than any other club in Ireland. It also is host to 3 international competitions annually. The club record is a monument to its members, both past and present, and a credit to Dublin University.

Síle O’Connor