As President of the IRFU Ulster Branch, it is a pleasure to be asked to contribute to the City of Armagh RFC handbook for the 2018-19 season. Having played briefly for the club while a student in the late 1970s I am familiar with the history of the club and it’s members.
It is not that long ago when you were competing with my own club Cooke, for promotion to the All Ireland League. The ambitions of your members and players were evident then and you have gone from strength to strength since being promoted. Your facilities are the envy of many and I know from speaking to your club officers in recent years that you have plans for further development and expansion.
It will be difficult for you to match the outstanding achievements of last season but I am sure you are up for the challenge. I congratulate you on your award of Club of the Year which was richly deserved. The success of your teams was unprecedented with your 1st XV achieving promotion to Division 1B of the AIL and doing the league and cup double in Ulster. You clearly have strength in depth with your 2nd XV winning Conference 1 and the 2nd XV league. Not to be outdone the 3rd and 4th XVs also won their leagues. With your U18s winning the Nutty Crust tournament and reaching the Edgar Bowman Cup final and with thriving youth, mini and girls sections, your future on the playing field is in good hands.
None of the success which the club has achieved would have been possible without foresight, planning and the commitment of many volunteers and in that respect you are very fortunate. Ulster needs strong clubs and you are a model and an example for others.
I extend my best wishes and those of the Ulster Branch to City of Armagh RFC and it’s members for continued success and for an enjoyable 2018-19 season. I look forward to watching your teams either at Kingspan Stadium or at the Palace Grounds.
President, IRFU (Ulster Branch)