Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

Category: Notices (Page 1 of 3)

Don Crowley – RIP

Don Crowley
Don Crowley

It is with huge regret that we announce the passing of our former club President and one of our seven past Presidents of the IRFU, Don Crowley, on August 16th peacefully in the loving care of his family.

A Galway City native educated at The Bish, Don was a distinguished open-side flanker during his playing career. He won a Connacht Schools Senior Cup medal and captained Connacht Schools XV, before studying engineering where he won a Connacht Schools Senior Cup medal with UCG. However at club level he would go on to have a life-long association with Galwegians, with whom he also won a Connacht Junior League medal.

After hanging up his boots, Don retained his involvement with Wegians where he became a club legend and one of our greatest ambassadors. He had the honour of being President of Galwegians during the famous club tour of Canada in 1977. After serving as club President, he then went on to serve his province in a lengthy and distinguished career. His administrative talents saw him serve as Hon. Secretary of the Connacht Branch from 1981 to 1989, before being elected Branch President for the 1993/1994 season.

At national level his abilities were soon spotted, and he was first elected as a delegate to the IRFU Committee in 1987/88. He would sit on a range of various sub-committees, notably the Charitable Trust for 11 years. In 2002/03 he achieved a personal ambition when he was elected to the highest office in Irish Rugby by becoming President of the IRFU. Quoted at the time, he said: ““I am very proud on a personal level and also for my club Galwegians and the Connacht Branch. After my very enjoyable playing career, I was very happy to serve the game at club, provincial and National level.” 

That year his club Galwegians held a celebratory dinner in his honour where over 300 friends and club colleagues attended a memorable event in the then Galway Radisson Hotel. It would also prove to be a momentous season, as the fate of Connacht rugby and its funding was under serious threat from the IRFU at the time. However under Don’s Presidency and stewardship, and with strong public backing from the grassroots rugby community, the province’s professional status was preserved.

A hugely popular man, Don’s efficiency and personality made him perfect for the role of liaison officer to major touring teams coming into Ireland down the years, including the All Blacks, Australians, South Africa, the Barbarians, Italy, Canada and Fiji. Tributes have been pouring in for Don since news of his passing, best summarised by Galwegians President Frank Kinneen who described him thus: “Don Crowley ..our incredible statesman, life-long member of Galwegians and an absolute gentleman. May he rest in peace.”

Don is survived by his loving wife Vicky and children, so to them and his extended family we extend our heartfelt sympathies.

AGM Wed June 15th 7pm

The Galwegians RFC AGM will be held on Wed June 15th at 7pm in Crowley Park.

We thought it opportune to remind or inform members of the purpose of the AGM.

Fundamentally, it is a formal review of the previous year, which leads into the election of club officers and Board of Management.

The current Board would like to encourage the active participation of members in the AGM and would welcome interest in some of the key officer roles for next season.

Our Club Constitution is accessible on the club website

AGM Ushers In Our Centenary Season

Our 99th AGM was held online on Wednesday evening.

Outgoing President Erc Dunne handed over the reins to Carl Blake, who becomes our first 3rd generation President. We believe this is a first for Irish club rugby.

Senior Vice President is Frank Kinneen, with Erc stepping back in as Junior Vice President.

PresidentCarl Blake
Senior Vice PresidentFrank Kinneen
Junior Vice PresidentErc Dunne
ChairmanFrank Kinneen
Director of AdministrationNoel Lowndes
Director of FinanceGerry Gallagher
Director of Women’s RugbyDiane Wright
Director of RugbyJames Heaslip
Director of Youth AcademyMickey Sherlock
Director of House & GroundsMacDara Hosty
Director of DevelopmentNiall Beatty
PROCarl Blake
Connacht Branch Rep 1Michael Tarpey
Connacht Branch Rep 2Pat Surlis
Galwegians Office Holders for 2021-22 Season

See the full Club Committee with contact details on our Club Contacts page

Annual General Meeting Sep 1st

Before the AGM

Q. When and how will the AGM happen?

It will be held online on the ZOOM platform at 7.30pm Wednesday September 1st 2020.

Q. How do members register and what is the deadline?

As this event is virtual, pre-registration is required using the following form:

The registration deadline is 6pm, Monday August 30th. Entry to the virtual room on the night will strictly be limited to Members who have pre-registered.

Q. Why is the AGM virtual?

In recent weeks the committee has been closely monitoring the Govt. COVID-19 public health guidelines, with a view to exploring all options and holding a live AGM if possible. Based on the latest guidelines and in consultation with our COVD Officer, it has been decided that holding a live event on September 1st at this point in time would be both high risk and a logistical challenge. The health & safety of our members remains at all times the number one priority, hence the decision to run a virtual event as was the case in 2020.

Q. Who Is eligible to attend?

All Life Members and paid up Ordinary or Playing members are eligible and encouraged to attend the AGM. 

Q. Can I nominate an individual for Office

A. Any Member wishing to contest election for a seat on the Board shall inform the Director of Administration by emailing  not less than seven clear days prior to the Annual General Meeting of his or her intention to stand for election and the Board position sought. The Member shall obtain from the Director of Administration the prescribed Nomination Form and return it to him by email, including a proposer and seconder together with a signed commitment to contest the election not later than two clear days prior to the Annual General Meeting. Only Members in good standing will be eligible to stand for election and/or propose and/or second a candidate for such an election. A Member may propose himself or herself.

How Will The Meeting Be Run

The objective is to simulate a live event in so far as possible through the appropriate use of technology.

Q. How can a member access the virtual meeting?

The AGM will be held on the ZOOM virtual platform. A private link to access the meeting will be emailed to all registrants within 24 hours of the AGM.

Q. What is the Quorum?

The quorum for an Annual General Meeting is 20. If a quorum has not assembled in the virtual meeting room within 30 minutes of the start time of 7.30pm, the Director of Administration may in his discretion declare the AGM abandoned.

Q. Is there a maximum attendance limit online?

No, there is no max. attendance. The ZOOM platform will be able to accommodate as many eligible Members as possible. However please note the registration deadline above.

Q. What will the duration be?

While it is hard to predict an actual duration, the expectation is that the AGM should be complete within ca. 90 minutes. To facilitate this, papers will be made available in advance to those registered where possible i.e. agenda, minutes from last year, Directors’ Reports.

Q. How will input from attendees be possible at an online AGM?

At the start of the meeting, everyone will be asked to observe online etiquette, mute their microphones and switch off their cameras so that the only person visible and audible will be the person speaking. After the Directors’ reports have been delivered, attendees will be invited by the Chair to indicate whether they want to ask a question or make a comment by switching on their camera and clicking the ‘Raise hand’ function. Attendees will then be invited to speak in the order in which the cameras were switched on. After an attendee has finished their input, they will be asked to mute their microphone and switch off their camera again.

Q. What happens if the same question is asked twice?

In the interests of time-keeping and efficiency, we would ask that attendees would try where possible not to repeat questions that have already been asked and answered.

Q. Can online voting be held?

Yes. If there is a contest for any position or vote to be held, we can conduct an online vote which is limited to the registered participants. This is the same process as was successfully applied at our recent SGM in May 2021.

Q. Can I vote by proxy?

No, voting will be limited to those in attendance.

What if I have further questions on the AGM?

Please email  and we will endeavour to answer any queries as best we can. 

Many thanks for your co-operation and we look forward to having a healthy attendance at the AGM.

Call to Youth Academy Coaches, Managers and Volunteers

Joe Healy

Firstly, thank you all for your efforts over the past year. Whilst it has been a frustrating time for us all over these past months it has been heartening for everybody in the club to see the great work you are doing to develop our future Senior players.

Your role in ensuring that the young boys and girls in our care enjoy their rugby experience while improving and developing their skill sets is vital to our viability as a rugby club with the ambition to be competitive at the highest level.

It is, after all, only a few seasons since we gained promotion to Division 1 and there is no reason why the players currently in our Youth Academy shouldn’t be the young men to help bring us back there again in the coming seasons.   

We are in the process of finalising our plans for next season so for those of you who have an interest in coaching and/or management with a Youth Academy team for the coming season can you please respond to my recent email before the end of May with thanks to those who have already responded.

Please also get in touch if you haven’t already been involved with a team but would like to participate as a volunteer in any capacity.

Joe Healy, Director of Youth Academy ()

Seeking Women’s Head Coach

Who are we?

Galwegians Women’s Rugby is one of Connacht and Ireland’s most dominant and consistent Women’s teams. The Women’s Senior Squad competes in the All- Ireland League against the best teams in the country. The team also competes in the All-Ireland Cup and won the title in 2016, 2014 and 2012.

Recent seasons have seen Galwegians Women field a Second Team competing in Provincial competitions and allows players a stepping stone to All Ireland League standard.

Galwegian’s Women’s Rugby can boast within its ranks current and past Irish Internationals and are the back bone of Connacht’s Interprovincal Womens side. Connacht pro players Bundee Aki and George Naoupu have previously held coaching roles with the Women’s Team.

The Women’s section is a crucial component of Clubs social activities with a social calendar to rival our fixtures list during both the Winter and Summer months.

All of these components allow us to attract a good mix of committed athletes, rugby enthusiasts and novices to the game. We are looking for a vibrant, creative and ambitious Head Coach to bring their enthusiasm to this team

Who are we looking for?

  • Proven planning and organisational ability
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Understanding of a high performance environment
  • Minimum of three years coaching experience at a competitive grade.

Supported by the team manager, assistant coach, seconds team coach, team captain and director of women’s rugby, you will provide our women’s teams with the tools to achieve success in their individual competitions.

Your core duties will be:

• Plan the coaching program for pre-and-in- season training to support the development of player skills at all levels of experience and which will provide for challenging, active and effective coaching sessions for the entire player base;
• Execute the coaching program along with assistant coaches at training sessions;
• Evaluate match performances and training sessions with the coaching team and players and evolve the coaching program as necessary;
• Build and embed a process to identify and develop playing talent in both squads and regularly provide clear, honest feedback to individual players on how they can improve;
• Attend our Tuesday and Thursday coaching sessions and matches with the senior squad.

An IRFU Performance Coach Award (formerly Stage 4) or international equivalent is desirable but not essential (if you can demonstrate the capacity to progress and work towards this accreditation).

How can I apply?

If you are energetic and ambitious coach with a love of Rugby and are looking for a friendly squad with an ethos of success we want to hear from you.

Please contact our Director of Women’s Rugby, Ruth O’Reilly with your coaching
experience by email

Deadline for Expressions of Interst is Monday 8th of June.

Galwegians 2025 Panel Discussion on Jan 22nd

Galwegians are inviting our Boys and Girls youth players from U14 to U18.5 to an exciting panel discussion evening in the Connacht Hotel on Wednesday January 22nd at 8pm.

The panel will be made up of former players who have experienced success playing for Galwegians, and other clubs. Some have gone to success with provincial and Irish teams, and in other areas of life beyond rugby.

The discussion will center their playing experiences, their preparation and managing their emotions in those “Championship Minutes” in the cauldron of competitive rugby, and other life challenges.

As a background to this event, Galwegians Rugby Football Club are setting out an exciting new strategy called Galwegians 2025. The objective and vision for the strategy is to build a solid pathway for our youth team players to become core to our senior rugby teams in the coming years.

With the exciting development proposed at Oranswell in the planning stage, which will put playing infrastructure in place to meet our ambitions as a club, the Galwegians 2025 strategy will put the pathway and support mechanism in place to help players transition from youths rugby to our senior men’s and women’s teams.

The strategy, among other things, will leverage the unique “Rugby DNA” in the Galwegians club that has led to our success in the past. With a clear vision for the future of the club, this strategy will bring together some of the best coaching and playing standards to achieve this goal by 2025, and create a framework for the future.

Over the past three years under the guidance of Joe Healy, Director of Galwegians Youth Academy, some best practices around coaching and rugby standards have been put in place in our youth teams, including coaches who are current and former Galwegians senior players.

The objective of that plan was to coach the “Galwegians Way”, to instill a sense of belonging to the club and its ethos, and to build a work-ethic commensurate with our vision to help payers become better footballers and people. The recent success of our U20’s U18.5’s, U17 and U16 teams is testament to the success of that work.

The next phase of the evolution of the great work done in our Youth Academy is the Galwegians 2025 strategy. The key component of this strategy are our youth players. We want to share with them our vision and goals for the future, and put structures in place to help those players achieve the objective of playing senior rugby with Galwegians.

To kick this off, the panel discussion will provide valuable insights into playing, preparation and dealing with pressures of rugby at a higher level. Hosted by compere James Heaslip, Director of Rugby and himself a former member of successful Galwegians senior sides. The panel members are:

  • Ruth O’Reilly Galwegians Ladies captain, Connacht & Ireland
  • Mary Healy Galwegians, Connacht & Ireland
  • John Casserly Galwegians club Captain, currently coaching Galwegians U14s
  • Mervyn Murphy, Galwegians, Connacht, Ireland and Irish Rugby Performance Analyst.
  • Jack Clarke, Dolphin RFC, Munster and all levels for Ireland, International Javelin athlete, current Coach to Galwegians U16 Girls and U17s Boys
  • Andrew Browne, Galwegians, Connacht & Ireland, current Galwegians senior head coach
  • Damian Browne, Galwegians, Connacht, Ireland, Northampton, Brive, Leinster, Heineken Cup winner, Oyonnax, Adventurer, and current Galwegians U18.5 head coach

Andrew Browne Q&A

Q. Age you started playing rugby?

A. I started with Galwegians’ U8’s, but i didn’t keep it up and stopped playing at the end of the season. I only went back playing rugby when I was in 6thyear in the Bish.

Q. First Year in Wegians Seniors?

A. My first year with the Wegians Seniors was the 2005/06 season, where I played a couple of games towards the end of the season. 

Q. Connacht Career start & end?

A. Played my first game in a pre-season friendly at the start of the 2006/07 season. I finished with Connacht at the end of the 2017/18 season. 

Q. No. of caps?

A. 156

Q. Career Highlights?

A. Definitely winning the Pro12 in 2016! Everything else is a distant second. 

Q. Best Coach Ever Played Under?

A. I played under a number of excellent coaches during my time, including Michael Bradley, Eric Elwood, Dan McFarland and Pat Lam. However, I found Jimmy Duffy (Connacht Forwards Coach) to be the best. 

Q. Best Teammate?

A. Again, I’ve played with a huge amount of excellent players. For sheer presence, toughness and work ethic, it has to be John Muldoon. 

Q. Toughest opponent?

Leone Nakarawa

Q. Greatest Influence on Your Career?

A. My older brother Damian. Not just for my rugby career, but also for the high standards which he sets in general day to day life

Q. Coaching Career to Date …

A. Connacht: Position specific workshops with underage teams. U17 Academy (short term). Galwegians defence coach 2018/19. Galwegians Head coach 2019/20.

Q. Ambitions for Wegians Seniors this Year?

A. Ambitions are to consolidate our position for the year. Having had 4 bad years, it’s about stopping the slide. I think it’s important to be realistic about this. We also need to work with the other teams throughout the club to create a positive and encouraging environment, where people are excited to come in to. 

Q. Personal Career? 

A. Outside of rugby I’m going back to NUIG to do a Masters in Education. Having completed my degree in Economics and Geography a few years ago, I believe this is the right direction for me at this time. Teaching and coaching also compliment each other very well so it will only help develop each aspect. Long term I would like to see myself pursuing coaching at a higher level. Staying involved in the game with Wegians during my time in college will be hugely beneficial.

Update on Oranswell Development

Last Wednesday 24th July we had a very encouraging steady flow of people attending our Information Evening at Glenlo Abbey Hotel to see first-hand the detail in our planning application.

For those of you who were unable to attend last week, the drawings of our Site Plan and new Clubhouse layout are available to view in the “TV” Room at Crowley Park.

The Planning & Development Committee urge all members to take the time to view these plans, and particularly on a Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7pm to 8:15pm, where our senior players continue their pre-season training.

Please see a letter from the Planning & Development Committee and an overview site plan attached below.

New Oranswell facility Information Evening, Wed July 24th

Dear Members

We are at an advanced stage in our planning preparation for our proposed new facility at Oranswell in Galway.

On the 24th July, from 4pm to 7pm at Glenlo Abbey Hotel, we have arranged an Information Evening to give all members the opportunity to view our plans and engage with the professionals appointed to prepare our planning application.

Last evening, 9th July, we visited the residents, door to door, in Oranswell introducing ourselves and listening to any concerns they may have had with our proposed facility.

We used this opportunity to invite them, if they so wished, to also come along to our Information Evening in order to get a better understanding of this project. (see letter below).

The Galwegians Board of Directors would encourage as many of our members as possible to attend this event.

Kind Regards,
Niall Beatty
Director of Development

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