Welcome to Dr Hickey Park!
I am privileged to have been elected as President of Greystones RFC for the 2023/2024 season and it’s an honour to follow in succession to a long line of distinguished servants to our great club. Not least of these is my immediate predecessor, Breffni O’Hagan – a sometime singer and poet and a true clubman in every sense of the word! I want to thank and congratulate Breffni for a wonderful year both as President and as successful coach, along with Billy Ngwini, of our league winning under twenties team. I also wish him luck in his new role as Rugby Director.
We are all excited to see our men’s senior squad compete in Division 2A this season following a well-deserved promotion last year. I want to wish Eoin Marmion all the best in his second year of captaincy. Eoin’s leadership and commitment on the pitch is complimented by the professionalism and energy of our Head Coach, Danny Kenny, supported by his assistant coaches Stewart Maguire, Cian O’Sullivan, Cillian Willis and a dedicated management team who leave nothing to chance. The squad is well prepared to take on the greater challenge of Division 2A and will leave nothing behind in their quest for glory. Best of luck lads, in the season ahead.
This year we will see both continuity and further progression in our women’s senior squad. We’re fortunate that Ana Iraizoz has committed to another season as captain and this year, Ana and her squad will be supported by an expanded coaching ticket with stalwarts, Paul Mahon and Rory O’Connor, being joined by new Head Coach Jason Emery and his assistant Simone Ragussi. The longer term future of the women’s game in Greystones also looks bright with a strong conveyor belt of talent coming through the youth’s section. I wish all involved a successful and enjoyable season.
I want, in particular, to acknowledge the contribution that our junior men’s coaches and teams have made to the success of our club. It’s no accident that in the two years that our senior men’s team topped Division 2B and eventually achieved promotion, Greystones RFC won a Metro title for the second year in a row, an Under 20’s double and we competed in a J1 league final. These achievements were not easily won and they reflect the talent and dedication of our players and the hard work and resourcefulness of our Head Coaches, Billy Ngwini, Liam Murphy, Ian Roche, Brian O’Sullivan, Mick Hartnett, Paul O’Connor and Junior Rugby Director David Coleman. Good luck to all teams in their respective competitions and enjoy your rugby.
Greystones RFC is a community based club and its future is underpinned by a magnificent Youths and Mini’s section which is managed and coached by an army of volunteers ably directed by Tony McGuinness. A big thanks to all of you for your service and enthusiasm and enjoy the season ahead.
An ambitious club depends on its sponsors and I’m happy to say we have a very dependable and loyal set of sponsors, without whom we couldn’t prosper. I’d like to thank our men’s first XV sponsor, Peter and Ross Doyle for their continued and generous support of the Club in addition to Bisley, Northern Trust, Maxol, Firetrade, Aircoach and of course Glen Fuels and the Keyes Family. The future success of our vital under twenties academy structure is made possible by the continued support of Dwyer Nolan and in a bold new era we have signed a multi-year deal with NFP to support the continuing evolution of our Women’s team. Our Youths section is again supported by O’Gorman Properties. I would also like to welcome Tritonlake, Dwellings, Rira and Sean Kavanagh as new sponsors for the current year. To all our other sponsors, listed in our programme and on our pitch-side hoardings, thank you.
I want to pay tribute here to both Donall Gannon and Barry Kealy as they step down from their roles on the Executive Committee as Chairman and Rugby Director respectively. To say that both men are giants of Greystones Rugby is an understatement. They’ve now passed the baton on to their protégées, Niall Savage and Breffni O’Hagan, who I’m sure will benefit from their advice as they steer the club into a new phase. Indeed, I wish the entire Executive well in the coming season. The incredible work they and previous members have done, often behind the scenes, has built the solid foundations our club stands on today.
To all our visiting teams, supporters and officials, I offer you a hearty welcome and I hope you enjoy our facilities. Thanks to the dedication of our groundsmen, Willie and Sam Byrne, our pitches are among the finest playing surfaces in the country while our genial and friendly host, Justin O’Reilly, will provide you with great hospitality, food and beverages.
To our own supporters, be loud in your support of our teams while respecting the players and officials. Book that table for a pre-match lunch, discover new friendships, renew old friendships and reminisce about all those great games you witnessed, players you admired, tackles you made and the tries you scored when you were in your prime. Greystones RFC is your club, so enjoy it.
Finally, I want to remember all those club members we lost over the past year, including my own brother Paul. Rugby has given us great memories of them all and I’m sure they’re with us still, cheering on the club from the heavenly stands.
Here’s to enjoyment and success in the season ahead.
Greystones RFC Club President 2023/24