Rynal Coen, A Tribute
As a young lad I was impressed by a regular advertisement in the Connacht Tribune that read ‘Coens of Gort have everything’.
And in his own way, so too had Rynal Coen, dignified, decent, generous and affable.
Rynal Coen was a sweet rugby player, he learned the game in Blackrock College and excelled as a centre and often played as a wing three-quarter.
He was a constant in that well decorated and well documented Galwegian team that won 5 in a row Connacht Senior Cup and Leagues 1955 to 1960. He played in all 5 finals and was captain in 1959.
He played for Connacht from 1954 to 1959 and was part of the great wins over Ulster in Ravenhill in 54 and 56 and in the Sportsground in 55. And he shared in the win over Munster in 1956 at Musgrave Park.
He never played for Ireland. It would have been difficult with Dickie Roche on his right and Johnny Dooley on his left – the Irish selectors could never have countenanced three west of Ireland three-quarters from the one club!
But he may well have been good enough with all the attributes including the crash tackle – de rigueur of that era – anywhere from the knee down – a la Dickie Roche and Billy Glynn.
He captained Wegians in the very first Glynn Cup in 1959 winning 17/6 over Corinthians in a 4 try thriller. He served as President of the club in 1975/76.
Between business and sport Rynal Coen led a busy, useful and successful life and yet he was generous and good enough to serve as chairman of the Galway Hospice in his time.
He was well liked, rest in peace Rynal Coen.