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Pat Coughlan was an Irish sportsman. He played hurling with his local club Blackrock and was a member of the Cork senior inter-county team in the 1880s and 1890s.
The Coughlan’s were a famous family in Blackrock at the turn of the 20th century. The father, John Coughlan, earned his livelihood as a fisherman. All of his sons would later earn their livings on the sea. The Coughlan's also came to be regarded as a famous hurling family in the early years of the championship. Pat Coughlan was the eldest of the family. He was followed by Denis 'Lyonsie' Coughlan, Jer Coughlan, Dan Coughlan and Tom 'Honest Man' Coughlan who all played with 'the Rockies' and claimed All-Ireland titles with Cork.
Coughlan’s sons, Eudie and John, went on to win seven All-Ireland medals between them with Cork in the 1920s. His daughter, Kitty, won three All-Ireland camogie medals in-a-row between 1939 and 1941. John Coughlan's son, the grandson of Pat, continued the hurling tradition by winning a county title with Blackrock in 1961.
Coughlan played his club hurling with the famous Blackrock club in Cork and enjoyed much success. He won his first senior county title in 1887 as ‘the Rockies’ captured the very first Cork county title. Coughlan added further county titles to his collection in 1889 and 1891. Blackrock quickly became the standard-bearers in the county and Coughlan had further county victories with the famous club in 1893, 1894, 1895, 1897 and 1898.
Blackrock’s victory in the county championship in 1893 allowed them to represent Cork in the inter-county series. For the second year in-a-row the Cork inter-county team contained a mix of players, including Coughlan who was included as part of the Blackrock contingent. That year Cork reached the Munster final where Limerick provided the opposition. On that occasion Cork retained their provincial title with a remarkable 5-3 to 0-0 victory, giving Coughlan his first Munster title. The subsequent All-Ireland final pitted Cork against Kilkenny. It was the very first meeting of these two great rivals in the history of the championship. The game was fixed for Ashtown, however, upon arrival both teams refused to play there as somebody had neglected to cut the grass. After a long delay the goalposts were uprooted and both teams and their supporters headed to the Phoenix Park where the game took place after a long delay. The game itself turned into a rout as Cork score 6-8 to Kilkenny’s 0-2. It was Cork’s second All-Ireland title in-a-row and it was Coughlan’s first.
In 1894 Cork reached their third successive Munster final. Coughlan was included on the team again and played in his second Munster final where Tipperary provided the opposition. On that occasion Cork retained their provincial title for the third consecutive occasion with a remarkable 3-4 to 1-2 victory, giving Coughlan his second Munster title. The subsequent All-Ireland final pitted Cork against Dublin for the second time in three years. Cork showed their class and the game turned into another rout. A 5-20 to 2-0 score line gave victory to Cork once again. The 29 point defeat of ‘the Dubs’ marks the game as one of the most one-sided All-Ireland finals in history. It was Cork’s third All-Ireland title in-a-row and it was Coughlan’s second. Blackrock were entitled to represent Cork again in 1895 as the county chased an unprecedented four-in-a-row, however, a dispute over the 1894 football championship resulted in Cork withdrawing from the championship.