In 1986 my sister knocked on my teaching bay in Frankfield Driving Range following a Pro-am event in Ennsicorthy where she had played in a group that included Darren Clarke. It was that same day she received sufficient encouragement to take the game more seriously.
“No doubt Eileen Rose was a gifted player,” explained her brother Brendan, “and was so consistent off the tee and rarely wavered. With some deft skills around the greens.”
“It was no surprise in time she gathered all sorts of titles,” continued McDaid
“Growing up Eileen Rose would have played with the family and done so off the men’s tees on most occasions, just as a matter of course playing casually with the family. Hardworking and committed her” said Brendan, “Her game was constantly improving as I watched her develop
A member of the Douglas Senior Cup team in 1990 Eileen Rose Power also represented Ireland from 1987 to 1995, also playing Curtis Cup in 1994 and in the Vagliano Trophy in 1995. However, the first staging of the Curtis Cup in Ireland saw Eileen Rose and fellow international Hazel Kavanagh in the running. However, it was Power that was once again named as first reserve.
“I’m sorry for Eileen Rose and Hazel and indeed for all of the players who didn’t make it,” said Captain Ita Butler at the time. “I have been given a well-balanced team with tremendous talent and though the Americans are never easy to beat. I feel confident about our prospects.”
Although Power had been a strong contender she suffered loss of form in preceding weeks despite remaining Irish champion at the time.
In 1998 Power won the prestigious Mercedes sponsored Hermitage Scratch Cup for a second time having first clinched it in 1987. Her two round total of 149 (74 and 75) was three over par and three ahead of her nearest rival Deirdre Smith from County Louth, also an international player,
In 1990 Power won the first of her three Irish titles at The Island during the club’s centenary year.
“A gifted player and very focused on swing thoughts. So consistent off the tee it was almost boring,” concluded Brendan who travelled to Chattanooga for the 1994 Curtis Cup.
“I felt captain Mickey Walker didn’t seem to give her a chance, “said Brendan “and she played in one losing game in the match in Tennessee.”
Eileen’s involvement limited to the second day’s foursomes in which she and Myra McKinlay were beaten but Europe retained the trophy when the match ended in a draw.
Brendan over that time not only coached his sister but also number of other Irish Ladies champions; Suzie O’Brien, Eavan Higgins, Barbara Hackett, Trish Mangan and Lillian Behan. All in his roles as Munster Ladies Coach from 1989-99 and as Leinster Ladies coach 1992-1995.
As for sister, Eileen she played all the early golf at Douglas Golf Club and established a strong reputation while also holding down a job at the local Bank of Ireland. As a result, she never really had thoughts of turning professional.
In later years through marriage to Eddie Power Eileen moved to Kilkenny from her native Skibbereen and continued working with the bank. It was in those years that she added more success at Kilkenny Golf club
For the McDaid family there is added pedigree as in the previous generation our Mother, Eileen Rose Snr, was a home international and a representative for Connacht, Munster and Ulster. Also winning the Senior Cup in 1967 at Douglas Golf Club.
She also played for Ireland before getting married under maiden name, Eileen O’Grady.
The next generation has now also announced itself with Eileen Rose and Eddie Power’s son winning the Peter McEvoy Trophy last week at CoptHeath Golf Club in England.
In doing so Mark Power became just the second Irish winner since Gavin Moynihan in 2012 with the Kilkenny golfer carding a 3-under-par 68.