IRFU Boosted by Increased Guinness Series Ticket Sales & Prize Money

Long-term forecast improved but challenges remain

The Irish Rugby Football Union presented its 2013/14 Annual Report and Accounts on Friday, reporting a €7.3 million surplus due to improved Guinness Series ticket sales and increased prize-monies thanks to a better than ‘budgeted’ finish in the RBS 6 Nations championship and another year of strong Provincial performances.

This success resulted in a smaller than expected cash deficit of €1 million (vs €4.5million in 2012/13) after non-cash items, such as depreciation and amortised income*, were accounted for.

The strong financial performance will allow for increased provincial and domestic game funding and an additional €1million investment in the Union’s club loan scheme.

However, Honorary Treasurer Tom Grace urged caution based on the fragility of the wider economic recovery and the potential impact of changes to ‘free-to-air’ broadcasting rules and possible limitations to sports sponsorships agreements.

Presenting the accounts, Tom Grace, said.

“As the economy slowly finds its feet the Irish people continue to get behind their team, and we were very pleased with the increased ticket sales for the 2013 Guinness Series.  Success off the pitch was matched by big performances on it and the RBS 6 Nations prize money, in particular, has provided a welcome boost.

The 2013/14 season demonstrated once again that supporting the national team at the Aviva enables the IRFU to continue to make significant funds available to the professional and domestic games.”

Louis Magee elected 127th President

Louis Magee of Bective Rangers FC richly embellishes a long and distinguished family involvement at the highest levels in Irish sport, by his election as the 127th President of the Irish Rugby Football Union.

He is a grandson of the famous Louis Magee, who captained Ireland to win the Triple Crown in 1899 and whose brothers also scaled the sporting heights: – Jim, who accompanied him on the Lions tour of South Africa in 1896 but who never played for Ireland at rugby but was capped as an international cricketer; and Joe, who was twice capped for Ireland at rugby, but who was more associated with athletics and who, as one of two Irish delegates, attended the first meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Paris in 1896, under the chairmanship of Baron de Coubertin, father of the modern Olympic Games.

In assuming the highest office in Irish rugby, at the IRFU’s Annual Council meeting in the Aviva Stadium today, July 18th, Louis Magee also enriches a proud Bective Rangers club distinction of having previously provided Union Presidents — John Hamilton O’Conor (1911-’12), William G. Fallon (1949-’50), Michael Cuddy (1993-’94) and John Lyons (2008-’09).

A measure of the extent to which the Magee family is synonymous with “The Rangers” is that when Louis joined in 1968 he became the third generation of the family to wear the club’s distinctive red, green and white hooped colours.  Currently the fifth generation of the family plays in the under-age minis!

An outstanding second row forward, who was capped 17 times for Leinster between 1973 and ’79 and who was chosen for a Final Irish Trial in 1979; Louis was a first team club player from 1968 to 1986.  He was elected club captain on three occasions, highlighted by the club’s Centenary Year of 1981-’82. Following retirement in 1987, he coached at various levels at the club, becoming Director of Rugby from 1991 until 1994, and being elected President in 1997-’98.

Joining the Leinster Branch Executive in 1996, he became Branch President in 2003-’04, the same season he was elected to the IRFU.  Since then he has held a variety of key roles in the Union, highlighted by his appointment as Chairman of the Performance Committee from 2009 to the present day; as a member of the Domestic Game Committee from 2004 to ’13 and as the IRFU representative to the Exiles Committee from 2008 to 2014.

Educated at Marian College, Ballsbridge, which he attended from 1958 to ’68; the new IRFU President qualified from UCD with a BSc degree followed by H. Dip.Ed in 1971, before returning  to Marian College as a teacher, where he remained for 36 years before retirement in 2007.

Married to Susan, daughter of late Golfing Union of Ireland General Secretary Bill Menton, he has four children: -Peter, David, Louis and Clara and five grandchildren – Alison, Erica, Eva, Louis and James.

The 2013/14 IRFU Annual Report is available on

*Amortised income comprises 10-year ticket and five year box sales and naming rights income, which funded the building of the stadium (instead of bank loans). This ‘income’ must be accounted for over the period to which it relates and is reflected in the annual accounts despite the fact it was not actually received in the year, and has already been spent.



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