Foreword – Paddy Kilduff

It was little appreciated when Jack Murphy opened Stillorgan Bowl in December 1963 and introduced Tenpin Bowling to Ireland how many lives would subsequently take a particular direction.

During the next year a number of groups from Aer Lingus arranged social bowling outings to Stillorgan independently of one another but it was the group in Maintenance and Engineering who took the plunge and set up the Aer Lingus Tenpin Bowling Club during 1964.

They entered teams in the Stillorgan Winter leagues and eventually ran an Aer Lingus Inter-departmental Summer League – Summer Inter-D’s were a feature of a number ALSAA sports. Initially these were singles but matured into trios’ leagues.

The airlines international group, ASIA, introduced Tenpin Bowling as a sport in 1967 and Aer Lingus has played in this ever since. Contacts were made with other airline groups and the club members attended tournaments overseas with a number being arranged every year.

From 1973 the club has run its own International Airline Tournament in Dublin on 27 occasions with up to 250 people attending some events.

Another major change to the lives of the club members was the decision by Matt Kelly and the ALSAA Executive Council to build the ALSAA Bowl, which opened in 1983. Bowling now became a daily rather than weekly activity for some. 

Many more ALSAA members were introduced to bowling with leagues arranged to run every day of the week, with juniors on Saturdays. New facilitating, coaching and management skills were learned. The club Friday night league has continued throughout the year. Inter centre competitions were arranged with Stillorgan and subsequently Dundrum. 

Annual Club Championships were started 1985 and are now in their 20th year. The “Plate”, the “Knock-out Cup”, the “Masters” are regular annual events. The “ALSAA Open” has brought a high calibre of international bowler to ALSAA. 

Over the following years club members participated in leagues and competitions in other centres including National Scratch and Handicap Championships and other open competitions. This has resulted in club members winning National medals, being selected for Irish National teams and playing all over the world representing their country. Others have qualified for all-expenses paid trips to international competitions such as the Euro Gold Cup. 

Many club members have put in thousands of voluntary hours as coaches, league secretaries, league treasurers, ALTBC committee members, PROs, ALSAA council members, ITBA committee and sub-committee members, TBCI members, team managers, tournament directors and other “jobs” in order to contribute to the enjoyment of our sport. They are due huge thanks. CX-ALSAA and the ALSAA staff have always been there to support us. 

It has given me great enjoyment to research and compile this history. I have had help and input from a number of people and you will find their contributions inside. Cormac wrote the piece on the ALSAA Bowl project. I asked Del Delany, as our most experienced club member, for a piece and also Susan Zotti and Robert Starks have added views from an overseas perspective. Pat Tobin and John Dillon helped with layout and selection of photos, and other committee members advised on content. My wife, Margaret, has put up with the many hours of my being “stuck to the keyboard” over the past few months, tripped over the 50 archive boxes and has “proof read” from time to time. 

I have laid out the history in what, I hope, is a readable sequence with ALTBC activities followed by ALSAA, then International Airline events followed by National happenings. You will find names of bowlers included who have played their final tenth frame, and we miss them a lot, but all got great enjoyment out of our sport. I hope you enjoy the read.

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5