Buccaneers RFC  AGM Report 2014-15

Club Secretary Mark O’Reilly’s report opened proceedings at a particularly well attended and run Annual General Meeting of Buccaneers Rugby Football Club which was held at The Bounty in Dubarry Park.


The club faced similar challenges as before but commitment of members and volunteers rose to the task. Huge numbers now play at youths and minis grades and girls rugby has commenced. Two teams were fielded at both U-14 and U-15 levels while the club continues to develop players for Connacht and Ireland. The hosting of the Ireland v France U-20 international was an outstanding success. Significant progress had been made in collecting membership subscriptions while the fund-raising endeavours led by Yvonne O’Shea were lauded. The continued generosity of all our sponsors, particularly AUDI ATHLONE and DUBARRY of IRELAND, was gratefully noted. He concluded his report by acknowledging the ladies committee, referees and parents for special mention with our Administrator Geraldine Kenny earning due praise for her efforts.

Diarmuid Morrissey presented the Financial Report on behalf of Treasurer Gerard McLaughlin (who was unavoidably absent). The club had a very modest surplus due to continued generous sponsorship and increased membership revenue, allayed to careful monitoring of resources. Some areas of expenditure such as rates and insurance increased while considerable funds continue to be spent on pitch upgrading and maintenance. On-going fund-raising and new ideas in this area need continued focus as will management of costs.

Minis Secretary Brian Tallon commenced the Football Reports. This sector of the club is stronger than ever with 238 active players including girls. 29 coaches have completed IRFU courses. The U-8 and U-9 squads provided team mascots for all home AIL fixtures and the U-10 side participated in the recent National Blitz at the Aviva Stadium. Brian was proud that Buccaneers again won the sports club award at Athlone’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and the annual Underage Awards event held at The Bounty was a highlight of the season. He thanked the coaches and parents for their support and he paid particular credit to Child Welfare Officer Paul Fogarty Jnr and Underage PRO Tom O’Neill for their key input.

Youths Secretary Paul Brosnan’s report covered teams from U-14 to U-18. Here the club could be justifiably proud that two competitive teams were fielded at U-14 and U-15. All had decent Cup runs with the Connacht U-15 League title being won. Underage rugby is now competitive in Connacht and Buccs are well placed to challenge for honours. Paul noted the contributions to Youths by Charlie Couper, Diarmuid Sloane and Tom O’Neill and he extended a big “Thank you” to the referees.

Football Chairperson Claire Wyper reported on adult rugby in the club. The flagship Senior side had a disappointing campaign, finishing seventh in Division 1B of the Ulster Bank League, as early promise that included a fine Connacht Senior Cup triumph faded. The U-20s made good progress through the two pools of the Donal Walsh Cup to reach the last eight nationally. They were defeated in the Connacht Cup final. The Seconds proved a real success story with consistent performances being rewarded by winning Division 1B of the Connacht Junior League, resulting in promotion. Under coach Owen O’Reilly, they turned around recent fortunes and also gave a good account of themselves in Cup matches, reaching the Plate final. The Thirds struggled this season, not helped by a disruptive league fixtures schedule, but they regrouped to put in a decent Cup run. Meanwhile, the Womens team returned to action in Connacht this season which was rewarded with greater numbers back playing and improved results, as they contested both the League and Cup finals. Finally, Claire proudly acknowledged the Buccaneers players who represented Ireland and Connacht during the season.

Prior to the election of Officers, outgoing President Ray Fagan commenced reflections on an enjoyable year “of highs and lows” in office by “thanking all in football” where “the appointment of a lady chairperson of football was a refreshing first for the club”. This may have been eclipsed by the “nearly bare calendar, an extraordinary work led by Yvonne O’Shea”. He commended the efforts of the Womens squad in growing their “7s in the City” event. On the playing fields, “the Senior Cup was a highlight as was the Seconds Junior League triumph” while the recent trip to Portugal was a memorable one! The Youths and Minis Awards event in The Bounty was a great success. He attributed the growth in rugby in the club to the input of so many volunteers. Ray thanked all the club’s sponsors particularly title sponsors AUDI ATHLONE and ground sponsors DUBARRY OF IRELAND. He believed that the tremendous exposure through the exploits of Robbie Henshaw and Jack Carty has really promoted the club. He complimented the Ladies committee, the ground staff around the club, the U-20 internationals crew and all aboard The Bounty for their input and thanked Lorna Stuart-Trainor for successfully synchronising the Awards Night. He lavished praise on another lady, Geraldine Kenny, “without whom the club would be a pale shadow” and he presented a well-deserved bouquet of flowers to our Administrator in recognition of “the vast amount of work she puts in”.  In conclusion, he thanked the Executive Committee “who served the club so well”.

The following officers of Buccaneers R.F.C. were elected for 2014/15:-


President                                                              Joseph Browne

Senior Vice-President                                       Eddie Walshe

Junior Vice-President                                       Mark O’Reilly

Secretary                                                              Padraig Ryan

Assistant Secretary                                            Anthony Henshaw

Treasurer                                                             Gerard McLaughlin

Assistant Treasurer                                           Claire Wyper

Media Officer                                                     Michael Silke

Football Chairperson                                       Claire Wyper 

Youths Representative                                      Patrick Kenny

Minis Representative                                        Brian Tallon

Commercial & Marketing Chairperson      Yvonne O’Shea

Facilities Chairperson                                      Patrick Hynes

Membership Registrar                                     John Doyle

Senior Representative to the

Connacht Branch IRFU                                    Ted Carty


Incoming President Joe Browne was “genuinely very honoured” and he thanked the outgoing committee and his proposer and seconder. He believed that “a strong AGM was a healthy sign of a vibrant club”. Like many others, he joined when his sons began playing rugby and he became involved around the turn of the millennium. “Success on the field of play from Minis to Firsts was a goal” and he wished Director of Rugby Jude Lennon and Head Coach Brett Wilkinson the very best. “Off pitch was also key”, he added, and “Minis and Youths can galvanise through the schools”. “Fund-raising and sustainability need to be in gear” and he announced a ‘Facilities Development Programme 2015/2020’. This would be chaired by Patrick Cooney to drive upgrade of facilities including pitches and dressing-rooms and, hopefully, additional pitches needed to cater for continued player growth as well as maintaining our facilities as the best among AIL clubs. In conclusion, Joe “promised to work hard” and he urged all to support the club’s efforts and ambitions.

Mount Temple native Joe is married to Rosaleen and they have four children, a daughter Kerrie and three sons Ryan, Patrick and Darren who all play for Buccaneers. A technology general manager, Joe has served the club for over a decade. 




Good luck to Ireland U-20s, who include Buccaneers trio Stephen McVeigh, Rory Moloney and Cian Romaine, as they kick off their Junior World Cup bid in Italy. Ireland play Argentina on Tuesday, June 2nd, Scotland on Saturday 6th, and New Zealand on Wednesday week 10th. All Ireland matches can be viewed live on TG4. Best wishes too to Shane Layden (who has been named in the Ireland Wolfhounds Sevens squad that competes in the GB7s Tour commencing in Edinburgh) and to David Heffernan and Tiernan O’Halloran who are included in the Emerging Ireland side that participates in the Tbilisi Cup in Georgia. Ireland play Emerging Italy on June 13th, Uruguay on 17th and Georgia on 21st.     



Congratulations to Robbie Henshaw on winning further awards when being named Player of the Year at the Connacht Rugby Awards and Fans Player of the year also. Well done too to David Connolly (Referee of the year), Rory Moloney (U-20 Player of the year) and Luke Carty (U-18 Club player of the year). Congratulations also to Karl Turley on his marriage to Elaine Seery.



Buccaneers Annual Golf Classic takes place this year at Glasson Golf Club on Friday, July 17th. Please make a note of that date in your diaries. Further details shortly.


The second “7s in the City” all female sevens tournament takes place in Dubarry Park on this coming Saturday, June 6th. Entries have doubled this year with additional competitions for U-12 and U-15 girls. Smith’s Supervalu again sponsor the Open competition. There will also be Social and U-18 competitions. Athlone Towncentre shopping centre is sponsoring the free Family Day section and all are welcome to come along. (See separate article re “7s in the City”).


The annual TAG RUGBY SUMMER LEAGUE is up and running at Dubarry Park on Thursday nights. Some 20 teams are participating this year in Competitive and Social leagues. (Full feature next week).



U18 Girls team named to face Ulster