CricketEurope Irish Cricket History logo
Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Kevin Coleman Dempsey
  • Born 17 July 1915 Dublin
  • Died 7 April 1989 Dublin
  • Educated O'Connell's CBS, Dublin
  • Occupation Accountant
  • Debut 23 June 1947 v The Craven Gentlemen at Memorial Park, Mirfield, Yorkshire
  • Cap Number 431
  • Style Right-hand bat
  • Teams Pembroke, Merrion, Railway Union.

Kevin Dempsey was a sound upper order batsman with a somewhat ugly crouching stance. Known as a humourist and a good natured niggler of the opposition, he had a 29 year career in senior cricket as a consistent rather than heavy scorer. After hitting 1692 runs for Merrion at 20.38, the highest of his 11 half centuries being an undefeated 79 against Dublin University in 1934, he moved to Pembroke where, in an 18 year career, he scored 2331 runs at 23.78.

Captaining the side in the Cup Final victory over Merrion in 1944, when regular skipper Frank Miller was injured, and again, in his own right the following year when the Trophy was lost to Phoenix by 5 wickets, he hit one senior century, 111 in a Cup Semi Final defeat by Phoenix in 1949. He later made the scarcely arduous journey to Park Avenue, finishing his career by scoring a further 2688 runs for Railway Union, thus finishing his long careerwith 6711 runs at 20.10.

His one match for Ireland came - as a substitute - in 1947. That year Ireland undertook a three match tour of the north of England, playing two county sides, Yorkshire and Derbyshire, as well as a well-known amateur team, The Craven Gentlemen. Three of the originally selected team, Jack Bowden, Frank Quinn and Bill Haughton were unable to travel, as were two previously nominated replacements, Stan Bergin and Shane Jameson, the latter - who never actually played for Ireland but did play for MCC in the Lord's match of 1949 - being the son of TO Jameson of Hampshire and Ireland. Apart from Kevin, Pat Waldron and Charlie Posnett were also last minute choices, though replacing a spinner, a batsman and a batting all rounder, with three batsmen pure and simple, does seem to have been a rather strange decision unless others were also unavailable.

Kevin played only in the match against Craven Gentlemen, which, despite the presence of the great Herbert Sutcliffe in the hosts' ranks, was the only match which Ireland contested - indeed, thanks largely to the bowling of Jimmy Boucher, they had the better of a two day draw. Kevin, however, batting at No 3 was bowled by medium pacer Frank Metcalfe for 1, after an opening stand of 32 between Posnett and Stuart Pollock. Kevin Coleman Dempsey remains one of Ireland's "one cap wonders", but those who saw him play for any or all of his three clubs recall a good batsman who played with an elegance and ease of style which marked him as a player of no little ability.