8th May 2020 was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jimmy Bruen.
Jimmy, who was born in Belfast, lived at Castlemahon House, off the Castle Road, Blackrock after his marriage to Eleanor (Nell) Cremin in 1943 (he died aged just 51 on 3rd May 1972). The Bruens had six children and Nell is now 102 years old.
Jimmy Bruen was regarded as one of Ireland’s leading golfers and, was the first Irish golfing superstar. Jimmy, as a 16-year-old schoolboy in Presentation Brothers College, Cork, won the Boys Amateur Championship at Birkdale Golf Club, UK, in 1936. Ten years later, Jimmy was crowned the British Amateur Champion in 1946, and he appeared in the Walker Cup teams of 1938, 49 and 51.
His unique golf swing style is known as the Bruen Loop.
The top award for amateur inter-club golf competition in Ireland is the Jimmy Bruen Shield.
While lifting heavy stones to create a pavement at his garden in Castlemahon in early 1947, Jimmy damaged his right wrist and it hindered his golf in subsequent years.
Describing their life at Castlemahon, his son Michael Bruen stated in a recent interview with Dermot Gilleece, in the Sunday Independent,
“We had a wonderful life. Our home in Blackrock was on 16 acres where we had Jersey cows, pigs, ducks and chickens and there was about an acre of kitchen garden where we grew our own vegetables”
The present-day Sandy Lane and Sandy Lawn estates, in Blackrock were built on some of this land.
Today the house itself has been fully restored and is owned by the Redemptorist community
Jimmy Bruen’s father, also James Bruen lived at the nearby Lakeview House, sadly no longer around. The Gate Lodge estate constructed in the late 1990s occupies the 6 acres of gardens, which were attached to this great house whose ruins lay scattered in the vicinity for several decades …. nearby Lakeview Lawn, on Ferney Road is named after the great Lakeview House which was located across the road on the other side of the wall of Gate Lodge.