The Leinster Branch of the IRFU was founded on the 31st of October 1879, in 63 Grafton Street. The constituent clubs represented were Wanderers, Lansdowne, Dundalk, Phoenix F.C., Stephen’s ( Steeven’s Hospital), Dublin University, and Arlington School.
R.M. Wall, secretary of Dublin University Rugby, had drawn up the rules for the club in 1868 in Botany Bay. His father, K.H. Wall, (F.H. Wall?) had been headmaster of Arlington School, which was described as ‘an early rugby nursery’. (West, Trevor, The Bold Collegians, The History of Dublin University Rugby Club).
Thus, rugby in Portarlington has a distinguished provenance. Arlington School closed on 30th May 1912. Portarlington R.F.C. was founded in 1974, with its first General Meeting on 20th February of that year.
The Name ‘Port Arlington’.
The list of officials engaged with the Corporation of the town of Portarlington in its early days includes the term ‘Portrieve’. Looking deeper into the definition of this term; the ‘rieve’ or ‘reeve’ portion appears to refer to a supervisor, such as that found in the office ‘shire-reeve’ or ‘sherrif’. The Port is an old English word for a market or walled town, not necessarily on, or near the sea. Furthermore; John O’Donovan, in his Ordnance Survey Letters for the Queen’s County, states that the word ‘port’ is the Irish reference to Fort Protector and Maryborough as ‘Port Laoise’ is an Irish word for a town.