As we turn a new decade, the Republic of Ireland Ladies Snooker Association along with the newly formed Republic of Ireland Ladies Billiards Association will put pen to paper in listing the top 10 most successful female snooker & billiard players to date.
We hope to update this every 5 years as we make progress in our promotions. Since the 1960’s female cue sports in Ireland was slow to react to the possibility of developing the sport within the female community which participated on a leisurely basis. Right up to the mid 1980’s we only had a few events each year and while there was an attempt to further develop this to 7 or 8 events during the 1990’s to 2004 it was somewhat a success but the inevitable decline was to see female cue sports drop back considerably during this period.
Since 2014 we at RILSA have made fantastic progress developing and introducing 12 National Championships in both snooker and billiards along with 6 ranking events at Intermediate level and 5 at Amateur level in snooker while we see 6 National Billiards Ranking events and 4 Intermediate Billiard events listed on our now busy calendar of events.
When we look back to the early days of female snooker a number of names rise to the top such as Maureen Butler, Mary Raymond and Brid Maxwell all of whom won the National Ladies Snooker title on 3 occasions and were of a good standard all round.
Margaret Browne our current President was very successful during the 1980’s and 90’s with a number of ranking wins under her belt and numerous semi final places at events and was runner up to Maureen Butler in the 1978 National Championship. Margaret represented Ireland on many occasions but her International success came in 1996 when along with Paula Darby were to win the Home Internationals in Wales. While Paula in her own right had much success having held number 1 on 3 occasions and won a number of National Ranking events made her a force to reckon with on the circuit throughout the 1990’s.
Margaret however was to continue playing and to this day has been very consistent holding a top 4 and top 8 place for many years and still is very capable of winning events on the current RILSA tour.
As we list the top 10 during the weeks ahead, its important to note that those players named above while not making the top 10 on the current RILSA tour are certainly in the top 16 of all time greats of Irish female snooker and we are delighted and honoured to have them listed as such.
These players paved the way for many of our new players now on the tour and are a much needed asset to our organisation going forward into the future as they are role models for the younger generation of female snooker and billiard players coming up on the tour today.