Author Archives: Jean

UPDATE: Return to Rugby Roadmap

The IRFU have reviewed the Government of Ireland Phase 3 guidelines for the return of sporting activity from 29th June and have updated the Return to Rugby Roadmap for clubs.

All clubs must complete the COVID-19 Safety Planning Stage before moving to the resumption of training at any level.

Key Points:

·         Clubs in ROI that have completed the COVID19 Safety Planning Stage can advance to Non-Contact Rugby Stage from the 1st July, 2020

·         As per above conditions, Clubs can advance to Contact Rugby Stage from 20th July 2020

·         IRFU will provide further detail on Non-Contact and Contact stages of Return to Rugby by 26th June, 2020

·         Update pending on Non-Contact training element of Step 2 of the NI Coronavirus Regulations

·         Paperless Pre-Return to Rugby Personal Assessment Declaration Form available from 13th July 2020

·         Club competitions are set to commence in September 2020

·         Player welfare a key focus of the Return to Rugby Roadmap

·         IRFU to issue supplementary PPE kits to clubs w/c 29th June 2020

The full statement goes into specific detail about What Clubs can do in the Non-Contact Stage (From Wednesday 1st July, 2020). Please read the full statement here


There was exciting news from Irish Rugby last week when they launched a roadmap aimed at the graduated reopening of rugby clubs & return to rugby activities. 
The club have a lot of planning & procedures to put into place before a return to play can happen.
Our specific return to play can only be planned once all the necessary procedures/risk assessments have been completed and submitted to the IRFU.

COVID compliance officers will be appointed & trained for each team. We will keep you informed as the club work towards a safe return to rugby and directives for running rugby evolve.

Sligo RFC will issue updates as available, but for now the club & pitches remain closed. We ask everyone to respect this until further notice.


𝙒𝙖𝙡𝙠 𝙤𝙧 𝙍𝙪𝙣 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙎𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙤 𝙍𝙪𝙜𝙗𝙮 𝘾𝙡𝙪𝙗 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙖𝙢𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙨.            𝙒𝙚 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙥! 🇧🇪 

Due to COVID 19 pandemic, there has been a halt put to sporting activities and fundraising opportunities for charities and sports teams alike. Sligo Rugby Club has had to cancel all of its traditional fundraisers which are the lifeblood of the Club. Now more than ever our club needs your support.

This crisis is the biggest challenge the Sligo Samaritans has ever faced. Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. They are here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are waiting for your call. Freephone them on 116 123.

Everything we can raise for them will go towards keeping their doors and phone lines open so that they can continue to be here for us.

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗲 𝗱𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴?                          All club players from U7s to Senior, all supporters and friends of Sligo Rugby Club have decided to take matters into their own hands and set out to claim the virtual Grand Slam glory and raise some badly needed funds for both Sligo Rugby Club and The Samaritans.

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗻 “Grand Slam”?    It all started on the June Bank Holiday Monday we set off to virtually claim the Triple Crown by walking or running 2,000km from Sligo to Edinburgh Stadium, to Twickenham, to the Millennium Stadium and home.  Having reached Cardiff, in just over a week, we set our sights on the greater glory of conquering Paris and Rome and laying claim to the title of the virtual Grand Slam.

𝗖𝗮𝗻 𝘄𝗲 𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗗𝗼𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗲?      Everyone can join in – players, supporters and friends of Sligo RFC. It’s very simple – answer the call by following the steps below

1. Go out and walk or run in your club colors – respecting Social Distancing of course                            

2. When you are finished take a selfie with the thumbs up (Spread the positivity!)                                            

3. Post on your social media tagging @SligoRFC (just telling us how far you went and use the hashtags #TripleCrown #SligoRFC

4. Finally, donate to the GoFundMe campaign :

A message from Sligo RFC President Jacqui Cunningham

Club President 2019/20 Jacqui Cunningham pictured with Cork Constitution Vice President Donal Lenehan

I know, like myself, you are all disappointed at the abrupt end of our rugby season, especially due to such difficult and challenging circumstances for us all.
This Saturday, April 18th, would have been our final AIL fixture against Galwegians at home in Hamilton Park. I had certainly hoped it would not have been my final game as President.

What a season we have had as a Club coming now in to our 130th anniversary year winning both the Connacht Senior League and Cup for the first time in our history. Both definite, stand out moments for me as President for our team to have achieved such successes. Winning the Connacht Senior Cup led to an historic meeting with Cork Con, captained of course by a Sligo man Niall Kenneally and represented, as Vice President, by the one and only Donal Lenihan. It certainly was a fantastic and proud day for our Club and team, led by co-captains Ryan Feehily and Shane O’Hehir, both on and off the pitch.

It has been a roller coaster season with some amazing and exciting rugby played by us and some heartbreak moments from last minute scores against us.
As you all know by now our Senior Coaching & Management Team of Paddy, Jason, John and John are finishing after two fantastic seasons at the helm. I cannot express enough our gratitude to them all for their commitment and professionalism at the helm. They have given us two fantastic seasons that none of us will forget. Thank you all so much, you will certainly be a hard act to follow. We look forward to you joining the crew on the magic bus in the future as it will help to bring down the age profile!

I would like to congratulate the U15s on their Connacht League title and The Gulls, who will forever have the accolade of being the only team to finish the 2019/20 season.  Thanks to the Development Squad for their continued commitment on and off the pitch.
I would like to thank everyone involved in our great Club; all of our players from the 21 teams, all of our Coaching & Management teams, all Committee members, all volunteers, all of our Club members from near and far and of course a special thanks to all the parents, partners and family members of our players/coaches for your support in enabling the commitment that they give to the Club.
A special thank you to our supporters who honestly are the best and the most-travelled of all the Clubs that we meet in the AIL.
I would personally like to thank the following ladies for all their help throughout the season, it was very much appreciated : Jean McConnell (P.R.O.) for her outstanding dedication and commitment to Sligo RFC, Mary O’Hehir and her Catering Team for all the amazing pre-match lunches and ongoing commitment to the Club, Martha Cosgrove (Secretary) for her organisational skills in a very demanding role.  Many thanks to all of the Committee Members (too many to mention) for all their hard work and tiredness commitment to the Club – again much appreciated.

It has been an honour and a privilege to have represented Sligo RFC as President this season. I would personally like to thank all who have supported me during this time, this support was very much appreciated.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the role of President and wish every success to in-coming President Niall Gray.
Finally, I look forward to the eventual start of rugby again for Sligo and all around our great country. We have all missed it, but  have especially missed the camaraderie that comes from it. I look forward to meeting you all again when we get through this. Keep safe and well.
Jacqui Cunningham
Sligo Rugby Club President 2019/20

Recruitment Campaign for Professional Director of Rugby

Position: Director of Rugby

Responsibilities: The Director of Rugby is responsible for the playing structure of the club (for Senior rugby in the club) and will coach our 1st and 2nd teams. The post-holder’s primary responsibility is for the recruitment, development and management of all players (senior players) and coaches in the club.

The Director of Rugby will be responsible for the vision, strategic direction and management of rugby in the club, thereby maintaining the continuous development of the club and its players

This role includes:

  • Lead the Elite Rugby (AIL 2B and Connacht Junior 1A) agenda within the Club. Working in conjunction with the Rugby Chairman/Committee, team management and coaches to create processes, training plans and an environment that will enable players to succeed on and off the field.
  • Develop and Implement a coordinated coaching programme for all teams (senior teams). Develop and implement a coordinated coaching programme throughout all sections of the Club.
  • Co-ordinating the implementation of the Club’s agreed playing philosophy throughout all sections of the Club (senior teams).
  • Co-ordinate with the Rugby Committee on the recruitment and retention of players, coaches and management and developing and maintaining links with local schools, IT Sligo and Connacht Rugby.
  • Oversee the implementation of the IRFU Long Term Player Development programme throughout the Club.
  • Report to the Executive Committee on rugby matters and make recommendations on improvements/ initiatives that need to be implemented.
  • Provide succession planning to ensure that qualified coaches are appointed to all teams and receive the appropriate training required by attending designated coaching courses.
  • Set behavioural standard policies for all teams (senior teams) at that start of the season.
  • Liaise with the Club coaches, players committee and team captains on matters such as playing facilities, equipment, playing gear etc.
  • Be aware of all administrative procedures regarding player registration and eligibility.

Applicants will need to have experience at a senior level (IRFU Stage 4 or equivalent) and be able to demonstrate the ability to implement change along with an outstanding commitment to the further development of rugby in the club. They will be committed to providing quality opportunities and experiences for all players, developing skills and excellence.

The qualifications and attributes of the successful applicant can be outlined as follows:

  • Relevant coaching experience with a successful track record at a high level within rugby.
  • A comprehensive understanding of the running of an AIL rugby club and its associated teams as well as being responsible for a large number of the operational aspects of the club.
  • The ability to build, lead and manage a team of coaches and support staff (across adult and youth) forming strong relationships based on mutual respect and trust, reinforced with excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • An in-depth knowledge and experience of rugby at the higher levels with a view to player recruitment and development.

Hours and financial package are for discussion at interview stage.

Applications for this opportunity should be sent by email only to:

The closing date for applications is Friday, May 1st, 2020.

Thank you to Senior Coaches & Management

Having made the play-offs last year, this season will always be known as the season of what might have been.  Chasing another top 4 playoff spot and lying in 6th place, a single point behind Greystones (5th), the last four games of the season would have been epic. However, this was not to be and the rugby season was cut short with one foul swoop, Sligo Gulls will have the accolade of being the only one of the 21 Sligo teams to finish the 2019/20 season.

It goes without saying that all of the hard work on the pitch could not have been achieved without the work behind the scenes and the fervent support from the side-lines. Success at this level requires a concerted effort by a large number of people, each focused on playing their part in the ongoing story of our wonderful club: The management and coaching staff are at the core of this venture. 

Curtailed Rugby Season marks the End for Senior Coaches & Management

Sligo R.F.C. would like to recognise these achievements as being earned, on merit, by a special group of people.  Senior head coach Paddy Pearson, Assistant coach Jason East and the senior management team of John Kane and John Keegan, who will all be stepping down from their roles after two years at the helm.  We would like to sincerely thank them for their tireless commitment to the club.  It is difficult to put into words the amazing job they did this year, showing skill, ambition, and a relentless desire to pursue excellence, which they did by creating a strong, team environment and securing the Connacht League and Cup double for the first time in the history of the club.  You have left very big boots to fill. 

IRFU and Provinces Suspend All Rugby Activity

The Irish Rugby Football Union, together with Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster Rugby have announced the suspension of all Domestic Rugby activity from 6pm this evening 12th March until the 29th March (inclusive), in response to the latest Government advice on the Coronavirus (Covid – 19) pandemic. 

Future Domestic Rugby activity will be reviewed in line with government advice.

Training and Playing:

All Rugby activities across Clubs and Schools , from minis to adult rugby, must now cease. 

Clubhouse Operations:

While Rugby Clubs may wish to continue to operate facilities such as bars and function-rooms they must observe government restrictions in relation to the number of people that may attend indoor (no more than 100 people) and outdoor (no more than 500 people) events.

Impact on fixtures of note:

We will work with clubs and schools to rearrange fixtures, such as the Schools Cup finals.

Professional Game:

Updates, when available, in relation to the professional game will come from tournament organizers.

Happy New Year

we would like to thank you, our members, sponsors, supporters and friends for all your help and support in 2019 and wish you the very best of health and happiness in 2020

The Development of Sligo RFC – the story so far
Sligo Rugby Club will be 130 years old in 2020 and the club continues to grow with its 22 teams and almost 700 members.  Along with this growth, comes the development of many aspects of the club to meet the needs of its members.

In 2016, a four-phase plan was put into action to improve the facilities at Hamilton Park and since then, Sligo RFC has invested circa €525,000 in the Club’s facilities; securing the grounds, Clubhouse facelift and repairs, new all-weather training pitch, re-developed grass pitch, lighting, dugouts and car park.

2017 Development Plans become reality

In 2017 the Government unveiled details of its €56 million Capital Sports Grants Programme. Sporting clubs in the North West will receive over €1million in government funding, with €825,000 being allocated to twenty-nine sporting clubs in Co. Sligo. Sligo RFC are the biggest beneficiaries in the county, with a grant of €78,000 for the redevelopment of the clubhouse.

Under the 2017 application, the original plan was to refurbish the existing dressing rooms on the town side of the building and involved a circa €200k project. The success with the grant and the subsequent success with Club fundraising events encouraged the membership to push on with the development plans and we have since applied for, and have recently been granted, planning permission to build new dressing rooms on the Strandhill side of the Clubhouse building. The overall project is now circa €470k. We hope to achieve this in two phases – Phase 1 will be the new build dressing rooms at circa €270k and Phase 2 will be the refurbishment of the old dressing rooms at circa €200k.

The tender process is well under way for Phase 1 and our architect and our QS is working hard with the tender firms to bring the cost in-line with our budget.

The club hopes to begin construction on the 1st April 2020 with a completion date by the end of summer 2020.

Starting in early 2020 the Club General Committee will be asking the entire Club to get behind our BIG spring development fundraiser “The OsKars” taking place in March 2020. All funds raised in this essential fundraiser will go towards the cost of providing the Club with Phase 1 of the build.
2020 will also see the re-introduction of Investor Development Packages – keep an eye on local press and website for details.

The Club are deeply indebted to the members and friends of Sligo RFC, sponsors and the local business community who continue to support the development of this great club.

The Late Phil Murray

The President, Club Officers and Members of Sligo RFC wish to extend their sincere condolences to the family of Dr Philip Murray, Ballincar and formerly Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, who passed away peacefully at the North West Hospice, Sligo, surrounded by his loving family. Sadly missed by his loving wife, Vivien, his children Emily, Joe and Jenny, his beloved grandsons Daniel, Peter, Sean-Johnny and Oisín, son in law Johnny, daughter in law Aoife, extended family and many, many friends.

Dr Philip (Phil) Murray was a versatile sportsman who played hurling and rugby to a very high level. He captained UCD to a Fitzgibon Cup win and UCG to a Connacht Senior Cup win in rugby in 1970. The UCG team at that time included International players such as Seamus Dennison and Mick Molloy. He moved to Sligo in the mid 1970s and helped Sligo Rugby Club through the transition from Junior to Senior rugby. 

In his time, Phil was known as a new breed of front row forwards, who brought the position to new levels of technique.Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.Mass of the Resurrection took place in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo at 12 midday on Tuesday, 26th November. Burial followed in Rathcormac Cemetery.  Sit tibi terra levis