INTERVIEW WITH TOM O’LOUGHLIN
I recently interviewed our fi rst Fore Editor Tom
O’Loughlin and asked him to tell me a little
Tom was born in 1931 in Cobh and arrived in
Malahide in 1968 via Limerick and Shannon
and ended up in charge of air traffi c control
at Dublin Airport. He moved residence to
Malahide in 1970.
The fi rst golf person he met was Paddy
Craddock in the club carpark in 1970. From that
day to this he and Eithne have had many happy
days in Malahide Golf Club and made many
friends. Tom recalls for 20 years he never had a
wooden club and used a 2 iron as his “driving”
club. For a man who carried 6 clubs in a light
bag to achieve a playing handicap of 5 was
remarkable. Tom’s big golfi ng regret was he
never won a “Malahide Major”.
Tom served on committee for a number of
years. He was also involved in fundraising and
helped with Fergus Roche to raise €10,000 pa
during the diffi cult fi nancial years in the 1990s.
He was also happy to take part in the Eamonn
MacLochlainn “Loan Funding” scheme, where
the capital was returned after a number of
years in which the participants had a chance of
regular draw prizes.
Apart from committee and fundraising work,
Tom played an active part in the club and
played for the Club Junior Cup Team. He also
tried his hand at snooker and won the Tim
Cremin Snooker Cup. He helped set up the
MEGS in 1996, serving as its fi rst President.
Tom also helped set up the Bridge Club 35
years ago and was also quite an entertainer –
as a whistler and gag teller. Tom is still an active
member of our bridge club and poker group
but no longer plays golf due to hip issues.
The Golf Club was not Tom’s only passion.
He was accomplished in many sports and won
a Munster Senior Cup Medal with Garryowen in
1951. He scored a try that day, having taken a
pass from Gordon Wood (father of Keith), both
Lions. Richard Harris (Actor) also played that
day. Tom also tried his hand at soccer and in
1954 helped Limerick win their fi rst All-Ireland
League Medal. Tom was also a founding
member of the Broomfi eld regional Bridge club
and an ex trustee of same.
Tennis was Tom’s real passion. He was a leading
light in Malahide Tennis and Croquet Club
where he now serves as Senior Trustee and
Honorary Life Member. He organised National
Junior Tournaments and set up a bridge club
in the Tennis Club. He managed 2 tennis teams
to win National championships and served as
Referee in the Vets National Championship for
33 years. Tom was also involved in Community
Games Tennis where the Tom O’Loughlin
perpetual trophy is still played for.
His biggest accomplishment in tennis was
the establishment in 1976 of the Park Tennis
Tournament. The objective was to promote
tennis in public parks and in disadvantaged
areas. Tom has chaired the organising
committee for 41 years and is very proud that
the tournament is now held in 32 counties
and 20,000 partake annually. To succeed
Tom arranged for AnCo to introduce their
fi rst outdoor sponsored sports coaching
programme (namely “Parks Tennis”) to ensure
access to quality coaches.
Tom continues to enjoy his association with
Malahide Golf Club and is hale and hearty. He
assures me he is taking all his tablets. Tom’s
many awards include “Dubliner of the Month
Award“, not bad for a Cork man.