Ria Kenny

Ria Kenny is one of the great names in Ladies golf in Ireland. She served on the Eastern District Executive of the ILGU from 1960 to 1963 and was its Hon. Secretary from 1963 to 1968. Later she went on to become its Vice-President for 4 years until her death in 1991. 

Ria was our Lady Captain 1945 and served as Hon.Secretary of the ladies club for a total of  26 years. She was also a keen golfer and was on our  Senior Cup team  for six years, playing to a six handicap.

Ria gave generously of her talents in promoting and developing the game of golf,especially girls golf. In her honour the Ria Kenny Juniors ILGU Eastern District competition is played annually in Elm Park.

Ria was renowned for her charitable works. For over 20 years, she rose at 6.30 a.m. to drive children by special bus from all over the city to the Cerebral Palsy Clinic in Sandymount. The Ria Kenny Memorial Salver, which was presented in her honour to the ILGU by the Clinic, (now renamed Enable Ireland) is played annually in golf clubs in the eastern District. The proceeds of the competition go to Enable Ireland.

Although diminutive in stature, Ria was a giant both in her magnetic personality and her selflessness. Everybody she came in contact with warmed to her as much for her gaiety and extrovert nature as for her administrative skill. She addressed everyone as “chicken”, a magic formula for breaking down barriers and as an expression of endearment. An inveterate smoker, she always had a cigarette in her hand while playing golf and would only put it down in order to take her next shot!

No tribute to Ria would be complete without mentioning her dear friend and constant companion, Pat Fletcher. Pat herself was a Leinster Senior Champion in 1956, and the two ladies were an amazing team. Pat presented the Ria Kenny Perpetual Trophy to Elm Park in her honour.

Her husband, Dermot, was also a keen golf member and bridge player and the Bridge Club hold a competition in his honour each year called the Dermot Kenny Shield.  

For those of us who never got to meet Ria, we salute a charming and delightful lady who was a friend to thousands of women golfers in Leinster.  We are privileged to have had her as one of our own. 

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