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Biography
Sir Heffernan James FitzJoseph John Considine CB MVO
  • Born 23 April 1846 Derk, Pallasgreen, Co Limerick
  • Died 12 February 1912, Frenhill Dundrum Co Dublin
  • Educated Stonyhurst College Lancashire Lincoln College, Oxford University
  • Occupation High Sheriff, Resident Magistrate, Deputy Inspector General of RIC
  • Debut 2 September 1869 v United South of England XI at Rathmines
  • Cap Number 133
  • Style Hand unknown
  • Teams Lincoln College, United South of Ireland XI, Co Limerick

Heffernan Considine, was born into a Co Limerick family, prominent both as landowners and in public service. His father, also Heffernan, the name was - and remains - a popular one in the family since a marriage united the Considine and Heffernan families in 1808, owned over 900 acres in the county besides having just over 1000 in Tipperary. He was twice married, altogether fathering 13 children, of whom the younger Heffernan was the second, as well as being the eldest son. He was one of several useful cricketers produced by the family. Thus two of his half brothers, St John and Thomas, also played for Ireland, while a third, Patrick, played for Dublin University. Three of Heffernan's sons were also fair cricketers as is described below.

Little detail of his cricket career has survived, though as he generally occupied a high position in the order it is to be assumed that he was considered a useful batsman. However he failed when, batting at No 4 for Lincoln College against Queen's College in a match at Oxford in April 1867, he was lbw without scoring. He was not alone that day in failing to impress. Queen's, who batted first were all out for 98 but Lincoln fared even worse, being reeling at 41-9 when stumps were drawn . Nevertheless, Heffernan did enough both at Oxford and back at home in Co Limerick to be chosen for the Ireland XXII which played the mighty United South of England XI at Observatory Lane in September 1869. The selection of this team was heavily criticised for including to many birds of passage, such as Army officers William Bell and future leading Westminster politician WH Walrond, at the expense of home grown, more permanent, talent. Whether Heffernan Irish born but having developed his skills across the water, was a target of such comments is unclear. Either way his contribution to the match can only be called insignificant.

Ireland began by winning the toss and batting. However the two great bowlers James Southerton and Edgar Willsher, pioneer of overarm bowling as opposed to roundarm, made short work of their hosts, dismissing them for 83, Willsher, who bowled Heffernan for 0, having the remarkable figures of 30-22-13-11. The 4 ball over was then in force. The USE, a side packed with some of the best players of the day, then totalled 142, before the XXII, doing slightly better at the second attempt, made exactly 100. Alas, Heffernan, who batted at 12 in both innings, complete his pair, with Willsher again responsible. The visitors won by 5 wickets.

Heffernan was next seen in a major match ten years later when he played for the United South of Ireland XI against Dublin University in College Park. Despite its name the USI XI was not an attempt to imitate the USE or other English Professional XIs. It was made up mostly of Cork County players with a few extras such as Heffernan, who were also geographically qualified. The match was scheduled for 3 days but heavy rain caused an abandonment after two, with the match evenly balanced, the hosts having score 49 and 142 while the visitors had replied with 125 and 19-2, Heffernan experienced a double failure against the bowling of AM Archer, formerly of Armagh Royal School, who was to captain the University the following season. Heffernan came in at 4 in the first innings but was caught by the University captain and Irish international Richard Manders off Archer for 3. He opened in the brief second innings, but was bowled straight away for a duck.

Thereafter what cricket he played seems to have been limited to Co Limerick. However he had a distinguished career in public life, being at various times High Sheriff for Limerick, Resident Magistrate for Kilkenny, where he does not appear to have resided, and Deputy Lieutenant for Co Dublin, dividing his time between his Limerick estate at Derk, Pallasgreen, and two houses in Dundrum, Co Dublin. These positions saw him created a CB and a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO), before in 1908 he was knighted. His final act in the public service came in 1910-11 when he was Deputy Inspector General of the Royal Irish Constabulary.

He married Emily Mary Talbot. They had five sons and four daughters, before she predeceased him. Three of his sons, as already mentioned, were also useful cricketers, Christopher, Frank and St John, all being in the XI at Beaumont College and taking part in the annual match with The Oratory School.

Heffernan James FitzJoseph John Considine died in 1912 aged 64. He was a wealthy man at the time of his death, the combined total of his effects in both Ireland and England realising more than 150,000. It was perhaps as well that both he and Emily died before having to suffer the agony of losing two of their sons, Christopher, and yet another Heffernan, in the carnage of the First World War, the latter having won the Military Cross.

Edward Liddle, January 2014

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