Boomer and Classon make the paper!

Before the Clontarf AIL match the lads were featured in the Donegal news. This is the article.


Terenure College face into the cauldron of a top of the table derby meeting with Clontarf at Castle Avenue in the Energia All-Ireland League Men’s Division 1A on Saturday afternoon.

Securing their sixth straight bonus-point win last time out, Terenure College now have a four-point lead at the top of the table.

Forwards Campbell Classon and Conall Boomer, two players with strong Donegal roots, have contributed handsomely to those performances and will be part of the match day 23 this weekend.

Conall (26) is the son of Therese Gillespie from Portnoo and grand son of Mary Angela and the late Con Gillespie. Campbell (24) is the son of Therese’s sister Anna. Their cousins include Ardara GAA footballers John Ross and Karl Joseph Molloy, whose mother Angela is also one of the Gillespie sisters.

Last Friday, ‘Nure number eight Boomer played a starring role as part of an inexperienced Leinster team which put six tries past Chile in a friendly. It was a fitting reward for a player who has been performing consistently well all season.

Signed with Ulster on a three-year professional contract as a teenager, it came as a big blow to Boomer when he was subsequently released after just twelve months. The former Methody schoolboy, who represented Ireland at U19 level, would also play for his country in the 2016 World Rugby U20 Championship.

“There I was thinking that I had the security of a three-year deal when, suddenly, it was taken from me and I felt hard done by. Looking back, I suppose I was a bit naive but that whole experience has helped make me a better person,” he said.

Conall spent 2015 on a gap year in Australia and helped the Western Australia Under-20s claim back-to-back Southern States Championships as a member of Cottelsoe RFC.

Today, he works as a teacher in Terenure College where he also coaches the school rugby team.

“They’ve been very good to me (Terenure College) and I’m in a good place. I like Dublin, I like my job and I like playing my rugby in the AIL,” he said.

Conall admits that he laughed when he was first told that he had been invited to play for Leinster last week but once the news sunk in he said it was nice to get that recognition.

“It’s always been an ambition to play professional rugby but, traditionally, unless you go through the contract system with the provinces it’s very hard to get there via the AIL. I don’t see myself leaving this job in Terenure unless I leave Dublin. I enjoy teaching up here,” he said.

Looking forward to this weekend’s game, Conall said Clontarf’s Castle Avenue home is always a difficult venue.

“They’re a big, big team and we’ll need to cut them down early in the tackle. If we do our job well I can see us beating them but it was be close,” he added.

Clontarf beat Terenure in last year’s AIL final. It was a game that Campbell Classon missed through injury and he’s looking forward to a closely contested forwards battle this weekend.

“We’ve started the season well but this weekend is a real battle of the titans. Clontarf got beat by Young Munster last week and if we beat them we’ll be nine points clear of them,” Campbell said.

The Rosbeg native is in his fourth season playing loose-head prop with Terenure but, by his own admission, this year has been the most difficult to force his way onto the team.

“I tore my medial ligament before last year’s final so missed out on that big game but these things happen in life. Some top players have joined us from Leinster this year which means that there’s a lot more competition for places but competition breeds success so it’s not a bad thing,” he said.

“It’s nice to be part of a pack which includes your cousin. We played at ‘Hinch together and helped them get promoted into Division 1A. Hopefully we can now win the league together with Terenure,” he said.

Campbell works as an SNA at a Dublin school and, like his cousin, he’s enjoying his rugby.

“We’re playing at the best level of club rugby in the country and we’re part of a pretty successful team so it’s all good,” he added.

Both Campbell and Conall are also looking forward to lining out for Ardara GAA club once more next summer.

“With Karl Joseph (KJ Molloy) joining the senior ranks next year he’ll probably need one or two of the cousins to keep a close eye on him,” Campbell laughed.

“It’s always nice to come back to Ardara and to play football with the club,” Conall added.

In the meantime, Conall and Campbell will be doing their best to ensure that the All-Ireland League Men’s Division 1A trophy is safely tucked up in the trophy cabinet at Lakelands Park next year.

Kindly reproduced with permission from The Donegal News