Message from Ulster Bank

The 2014/2015 Ulster Bank League was yet another nail-biting season, full of exciting and enthralling matches with the Division 1a final being played at the Aviva Stadium for the very first time, a fitting celebration of the club game in Ireland. Now it’s the time of the year when thoughts turn to new beginnings as teams across the country prepare for a new season ahead. The 2015-2016 season will also mark the 26th anniversary of the Ulster Bank League.

It’s been another great year for Irish rugby with the national side’s successful RBS 6 Nations campaign and some fantastic achievements from the provincial sides. Local clubs are the lifeblood of the game and we continue to be impressed and inspired by the dedication and passion of players, coaches, club staff and community volunteers. Week in, week out, you give your time and talent to ensure that rugby continues to thrive at a local, provincial and national level.

This is Ulster Bank’s sixth season as Official Community Rugby Partner to the IRFU, a partnership which includes title sponsorship of the All-Ireland Club League and the Irish Club International team.

Ulster Bank is extremely proud to support grassroots rugby and this season, we will be continuing with our Ulster Bank League awards as well as shortly announcing our 2015 ‘Ulster Bank RugbyForce’ winners. Five lucky clubs will be selected for a very special makeover, one club winning €10,000 and four provincial clubs winning €5,000. Since the initiative began in 2010, over €160,000 has been awarded to 165 clubs.

For further information on Ulster Bank RugbyForce and all of Ulster Bank’s rugby initiatives, follow us on our facebook page or on Twitter @ulsterbankrugby.  

Ulster Bank is dedicated to the future of Irish rugby and we are looking forward to another outstanding season in club rugby, which no doubt will lead to a fantastic final next May. As clubs around the country get ready to kick off the new season on behalf of everyone at Ulster Bank I want to say good luck to all involved.

Maeve McMahon

Director of Customer Experience and Products

Ulster Bank

Meet the IRFU President


Martin O’Sullivan is the 128th President of the Irish Rugby Football Union and holds the highest office in Irish rugby as the first member of the amalgamated UL – Bohemians club, having played a leading role in the then unique merger in 1999 between the University of Limerick and Bohemians clubs.

The retired Bank of Ireland manager also bridges a gap of 44 years since Dom Dineen from Bohemians was IRFU President, in the 1971 – ’72 season.

Sligo-born, the well know and popular O’Sullivan, was first introduced to rugby through his father Tom’s involvement with Sligo RFC, although it was when the family moved to live in Limerick in 1966 that his rugby career took off.

The first milestone was as a member of the historic Munster schools’ junior cup winning St. Munchin’s College squad in 1970. This was followed in senior club rugby as a back row forward by distinguished playing and coaching careers at both Bohemians and also Dolphin, when his banking career saw him transferred to Cork. He spent 11 seasons with Dolphin, highlighted by a season as first XV captain and a season as first team coach. He also coached the Munster junior interprovincial team and Clanwilliam RFC and served as secretary/treasurer of the Munster Branch coaching committee for eight years.

On returning to Limerick in 1987 and re-joining Bohemians, O’Sullivan coached the first XV in 1989, ’90 and ’91 and contributed richly to the establishment of the club’s renowned Academy. It has produced numerous Irish capped players at various levels, highlighted more recently in senior ranks by Tommy O’Donnell, Dave Kilcoyne, Dave Foley and Barry Murphy. He was also instrumental in establishing the club’s first women’s section. It has won 11 All Ireland League titles and been linked with 25 internationals and five Irish captains, including Fiona Coghlan who led Ireland to Grand Slam victory in 2013 and Niamh Briggs, captain of last season’s RBS Six Nations championship winning Ireland team. He was club President in 2003/’04.

Elected as the Bohemians club delegate to the Munster Branch in 2003/’4, O’Sullivan served as Chairman of the Professional Team Management Committee for four seasons and on being elected to the IRFU Committee in 2005, he served on several high-powered committees. He has been a member of the Management Committee for the past six years and been Chairman of the Representative Game Committee and the National Team and Professional Contacting Review groups. He also played a key role in the Union’s Plan Ireland process which has resulted in the establishment of the National Professional Game Board and the employment of David Nucifora as the IRFU’s first Performance Director.

Message from Martin O’Sullivan, President, IRFU to Sligo RFC


I am especially pleased to extend my best wishes to Sligo RFC in my capacity as President of the Irish Rugby Football Union.


Born in Sligo, it was at this wonderful club that I was first introduced to the game as the son of Tom O’Sullivan, then a stalwart of the club; before our family moved to live in Limerick in 1966.


I greatly value my early association with Sligo RFC and through President Tony Heath and club Captain Conor Mitchell, I wish all players and members every enjoyment from the 2015-’16 season.


It is a special season in rugby, given the staging of the World Cup, plus Ireland’s defence of the RBS Six Nations men’s and women’s championships and the challenges by our Provincial teams in the Guinness Pro 12 and European Cup competitions.


There is also much to enthuse on the club domestic front, highlighted by the Ulster Bank League and its new look five-division format, together with the introduction of a Player Points System which is designed to incentivise youth development, to curb transfers and to encourage club loyalty.


These innovations follow extensive consultation with the clubs and it is the Union’s ambition for the Ulster Bank League to become an enhanced premier domestic competition, creating a greater platform for clubs to promote themselves within their local communities and to generate sufficient revenues to develop and be sustainable for the future.


In this regard, the Union is delighted that again this season, in addition to traditional funding, it will also put in place the popular Your Club Your Country Grand Draw, in association with Ulster Bank. Last season the programme raised €654,000 for participant clubs. This brings to €2.6 million the amount raised by clubs – at no cost to them.


I sincerely thank Ulster Bank for their continued support as the IRFU’s Community rugby partners. Its wide and varied portfolio includes sponsorship of the Ulster Bank League and Awards, plus the Irish Club international team, the Bateman All Ireland Cup and the Ulster Bank RugbyForce programme.


Meantime, best wishes to all at Hamilton Park.

Martin O’Sullivan.

President – IRFU.

Engagement Celebrations

Congratulations and best wishes from all at Sligo RFC to two of our VIP’s Trevor Sweeney and Avril Mc Manus who have just announced their engagement! We wish you all the luck in the world!

Doreen O’Driscoll RIP

The President, Chairman, Committee and Members of Sligo RFC extend deepest sympathies to Fineen O’Driscoll and Family on the passing of Fineens Mother Doreen O Driscoll. May she rest in peace.

Doreen O’Driscoll, (nee Owens) “Aisleam”, Rosses Point, Co. Sligo, peacefully at Sligo Regional Hospital. Reposing at Feehily’s Funeral Home, Cartron Cross, Sligo today from 5.00pm to 7.00pm. Mass of the resurrection at 12.00noon on Tuesday in St. Columba’s Church, Rosses Point. Burial follows in Rosses Point Cemetery. House private please

Sligo RFC AGM – Mon June 22nd

The annual general meeting of Sligo RFC will be held on Mon June 22nd at 8pm in the Clubhouse, Strandhill.

All members are encouraged to attend.

On the agenda will be;

- Welcome and opening remarks

- Apologies

- Minutes of 2014 AGM

- Secretary’s Report

- Treasurers Report and presentation of the Annual Financial Statements for the year to April 30th, 2015

- Chairman’s Reoprt

- Fixing of the annual membership subscription as proposed by the Membership Secretary

- Election of the officers and general committee

- Address by the incoming Chairman

- Address by the incoming President

- An update on the Club’s Development plans 2015/16

- Outline of Football plan 2015/16

- Any other business

- Close of meeting

There are a number of committee positions available and new volunteers are always welcome – please contact Club Chairman Michael Storey with any nominations for Officer/Committee positions.

Sligo Rugby’s Knocknarea Challenge – June 21st


On mid sunmer’s evening on Sun June 21st Sligo Rugby will hold the Knocknarea Challenge – this is a fun occasion for all the family and will consist of a walk up Knocknarea via the new Queen Maeve Trail.

Following the walk, participants are welcome to join us at Sligo Rugby Club for a BBQ and entertainment. It promises to be a fun filled evening for all the family so we hope you can join us.

More details to follow shortly on the entry procedure, the cost, etc.

Participants will meet at the car park at Sligo Rugby Club from 5pm on Sun June 21st. The walk takes up to 2 hours round trip. Make sure to put the event in your calendar.

Penisoni Fifita RIP

The President, Chairman, Committee, Players and Members of Sligo RFC extend our deepest sympathies to Mataele Fifita, Rose, Siaosi, Penisoni and Ethan on the sudden passing of Mata’s father Penisoni Fifita. Our thoughts are with them at this sad time.

Sligo RFC awarded Connacht Club of the year at the Connacht Rugby Awards

Mickey O'Hehir, Michael Storey, George Draper, Clare Story and John Davey presented by Enda Colleran 16/5/2015

The Connacht Rugby Awards were held in Galway on Saturday night. Sligo were well represented with quite a number of Club members attending the black tie event.

Sligo had nominations for a number of awards, particluarly in the Youth Player categories.

Members of the Club of the Year Sligo RFC at the awards 16/5/2015

To everyone’s delight, Sligo RFC were awarded the Connacht Club of the Year following their most successful season in the AIL in over a decade. The Seconds team achieved promotion to J1B, the women’s team won the Connacht Invitational Cup while the under-18’s won the Connacht League and Cup double. In addition, Sligo had two teams competing at the top level of Connacht Schools Rugby with Sligo Grammar and Summerhill College both heavily backed by Sligo RFC. Off the field, the club has developed significantly in recent years displaying best practice at committee level and driving excellent structures throughout the club as displayed by establishing themselves the number one club in Connacht according to the IRFU Health check.


Awards Winners

Luke Carty, Buccaneers RFC

Cillian Gallagher, Summerhill Sligo 

Cillian Gallagher and Cliona Ni Mhurchu 16/5/2015


Conan O’Donnell 

Conan OÕDonnell presented by Eamonn Molloy 16/5/2015



Rory Moloney

Emma Cleary, Galwegians RFC

Grainne Egan

Dave Purcell, CBS Roscommon

Sligo RFC

David Connolly

Padraic McGann, Monivea RFC

Dave McDonagh, Connemara RFC

Martin Cummins, Galwegians RFC

Eoghan Masterson

Denis Buckley

Matt Healy

Kieran Marmion, v Leinster, September 2014

Aly Muldowney

Robbie Henshaw

Robbie Henshaw


Annual Dinner and Awards Night

Sligo RFC Annual Dinner and Awards Night with special guest speaker Connacht Coach Pat Lam will be held on 29th May in The Glasshouse Hotel.

There will be a 7pm Drinks Reception followed by Dinner and Awards with Music and Dance. 

Tickets are keenly priced at €35 and are available from Michael Storey (086) 819 8540 George Draper (087) 245 1570, Mary O’Hehir (087) 269 7083 or Jacqui Cunningham (087) 248 3524. Booking is essential, tickets are expected to sell out fast and seating is limited so please ensure to book early to avoid disappointment.

Ronnie O’Hara RIP

The President, Chairman, players and members of Sligo RFC extend their deepest sympathies to the O’Hara family on the sad passing of our dear friend and member Ronnie O’Hara.

Ronnie was a former head of our Juvenile Section, where he played a very important role in shaping the success of many teams currently going through the Club today. We are moat grateful for his contribution to the Club and are greatly saddened at his passing.

Ronnie is pictured above and below with other members of the Club in happier times in The Millenium Stadium celebrating Ireland’s historic grand slam victory over Wales in 2009.


Ronnie passed peacefully at the North West Hospice, Sligo after a long illness, bravely bourne. Beloved husband of Eavan and loving father of Graham, Tom, Bobby and Judi. Ronnie will be very sadly missed by his loving wife and children, parents Seamus and Patsy, brother David, extended family, relatives and friends.

Reposing at Nazareth House Chapel, Church Hill, Sligo on Thursday (30th) from 4pm until 7pm. Remains arriving at St Columba’s Church, Rosses Point on Friday (1st May) for Funeral Mass at 4pm. Burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery. Family flowers only. Donations, if desired, to S.H.O.U.T or North West Hospice Sligo.


Head Coach/Player Coach opportunity at Sligo RFC

Sligo Rugby Football Club, who will play in Ulster Bank League Division 2C next season, are currently inviting applications for the position of Head Coach or Player-Coach for their senior squad.

Sligo RFC, an established club with over 120 years of rich history, are offering the opportunity for a talented and ambitious coaching professional to drive anddevelop senior rugby at the clubleading their senior squad in the Ulster Bank League for the 2015/16 season and beyond.


This is an exciting opportunity for an aspiring coach to further develop his/her coaching skills in a thriving and ambitious club. Sligo’s senior squad finished 8th in this season’s Division 2B in the Ulster Bank League, while their seconds squad gained promotion to Connacht Junior League 1B. The club has a prospering underage section with teams at various age-levels successful in provincial and all-Ireland competitions in recent years.

They are currently recruiting a head coach for the club’s senior squad, based in Sligo.


The Head Coach is responsible for: 

The overall direction and development of senior rugby across the club. 
Lead a coaching team responsible for the UBLsquad and manage the coaching team at all levels of senior rugby. 
Plan and deliver all coaching sessions for the senior squad. 
Drive the identification and recruitment of new players. 
Oversee pre-season training and liaise with S&C coach to ensure optimum preparation.
Player performance management across the entire senior squad. 
Ensure the continued strong link with seconds’ squad and maintain competitive environment at training, ensuring a committed ethos across the entire playing squad. 
Develop a strong relationship with the seconds’ team coach to ensure the fluid movement of players between squads with the aim of developing player depth across the entire senior squad. 
Continually develop and manage talent at all levels of the club.
Input into underage section with a view to identifying and fostering emerging talent. 
Liaise with executive committee on the direction of the club and future progress.

The ideal candidate will possess: 

Experience coaching or playing at first team level in the Ulster Bank League or higher, or the equivalent grade abroad.
Experience of working/playing in a professional environment highly desirable.
Excellent organisational, interpersonal, and communications skills to ensure the successful direction of senior rugby at the club. 
A firm belief in the continuous development of players across all levels of the club. 
In-depth tactical knowledge and proven ability to work with both forwards and backs, to develop a playing strategy for the senior squad. 
A drive to succeed. 



Minimum Qualification Required:

Qualified IRB Level 4 coach or in the process of attaining IRB Level 4.


Please apply by email to the Chairman of Sligo RFC, Michael Storey, at by COB, Friday, May 22nd, 2015.



Sligo RFC V’s Greystones RFC – UBL Div 2B

As the season draws to a close, Sligo welcome Greystones to Hamilton Park for the final UBL game of the season.

The day promises to be a good one with sunshine (albeit promised a little cooler than earlier in the week), 90 people sitting for the pre-match meal in the Club at 12:30pm, the game itself and a post match end of season party to include a port & cheese reception courtesy of Jacqui Cunningham and Home Care Independent Living Sligo (to whom we are most grateful for their sponsorship) and live music into the night.

Download the match programme here – Sligo RFC V Greystones RFC – April 2015 – Match Programme

Sligo RFC V Greystones RFC April 2015 - Poster 3

Minister Michael Ring’s visit to Sligo RFC

DSC_0632 - Version 2

Minister Michael Ring visited Sligo RFC today to view the ongoing development work at the Club.

As the Club continues to develop the facilities at Hamilton Park, in recent times this has been undertaken with the assistance of Sligo Leader Partnership/TUS and following the Club’s successful Sports Capital funding application last year, the minister came to see the Club’s development plans.

Incoming Club President Tony Heath with Minister Michael Ring




The minister was joined on his visit by Deputy Tony McLoughlin and Deputy John Perry, together with a number of local councillors. Also in attendance was Paul Tolan from Sligo Leader Partnership. Many Club members and friends turned out for the ministers visit.

Former Club Chairman Rory Raftery addressed the gathering, thanking the Minister for taking the time on his trip to Sligo to visit the Club. Rory showed the minister the Club’s development plans, pointing out what has been achieved to date and the Clubs plans for the future. He expressed the gratitude of the members of the Club to the minister for the award of Sport Capital funding to the Club last year. In reply the minister acknowledged all the work that volunteers do for sport across the country and he went on to thank all present for the work that they do for Sligo Rugby Club. Deputies Perry and McLoughlin also addressed the gathering by thanking the minister and again acknowledging the good work being carried out at the Club.

Our thanks to Michael and Mary O’Hehir (O’Hehir’s Bakery) for providing refreshments for the visit.



400 Club Minister Ring_edited-1
Minister Ring assisted with the drawing of the winners for this months Sligo RFC Development 400 Club draw. More details on this and on the winners to follow shortly. Pictured are Tom Nielsen (Sligo RFC 400 Club draw organiser), Deputy John Perry, Ken O’Neill (Sligo RFC 400 Club draw organiser), Minister Michael Ring, Deputy Tony McLoughlin.

Connacht Rugby Launch 2015 Summer Camps

Connacht Rugby’s popular summer camps are back for the 10th year. Taking place in a range of venues across the province, the camps will guarantee the rugby stars of the future an action packed week of training during their summer holidays.

Download the Connacht Rugby Summer Camp Application From 2015 here

The Sligo Rugby Camp will take place from June 29th to July 3rd, 2015.

Book early by completing the linked application form above to ensure your place.