James Joseph Magennis VC Frances Elizabeth Clarke Stewart Parker Samuel Beckett Sam Hanna Bell William Carleton John Hewitt Rosamond Praegar Bernard (Barney) Hughes

William Desmond McKee (1923 - 1982):
International Sportsman


Des McKee, as he was known, was both a rugby and cricket international. He played for the North of Ireland Football Club and was capped twelve times for Ireland between 1947 and 1951, initially playing on the wing but later as a centre. He scored two international tries, both against England, one in 1948 and the other in 1949. He played in the team which secured one of the most notable achievements in Irish rugby: the Five Nations tournament with a “Grand Slam” (winning all their matches) and the Triple Crown (beating the other three “home” teams). This double honour was 8secured in one match, played in Belfast on 13 March 948. His teammate Karl Mullen described McKee’s performance that day as “magnificent”. The historian of Irish Rugby, Edmund Van Esbeck, titled his chapter on McKee’s era simply as “The Golden Years”.

McKee also played cricket for Ireland on one occasion against Scotland in 1946.



Born: 27 September 1923
Died: 20 January 1982
Richard Froggatt
Bibliography:
Kate Newmann: Dictionary of Ulster Biography, Belfast, Institute of Irish Studies, 1993; Edmund Van Esbeck: The Story of Irish Rugby, London, Stanley Paul, 1986