Connacht Rugby partners, Clubforce, are hosting a Webinar on Wednesday 10th June on the topic of ‘Fundraising in a Virtual World’, something that has become very relevant over the last few months.
Clubforce would like to share their wealth of experience and support in this area with all Connacht Clubs. We encourage a member of your club to attend online to gain some invaluable knowledge for future fundraising.
Clubforce: Fundraising in a Virtual World Webinar
Date: Wednesday 10th June
Time: 7 PM
Registration link:
“While some clubs have frozen their fundraising activity and are waiting for “things to return to normal”, more and more clubs are recognising that we will have to adjust to a new normal and are accelerating their online fundraising efforts in anticipation of a return to sports participation in the near future. The old reliable ways of fundraising through in-person, cash-based fundraisers have become a thing of the past”.
“Clubforce offers clubs the flexibility to handle virtually any fundraising effort with ease online. We provide a range of alternative ways of generating revenue for your club from members and supporters at home and abroad. All fundraising activity is made easier with the Clubforce app, designed to make it easier to raise funds and manage member data from one complete club management system”.
In this webinar, Clubforce will look at
– Examples of current Club fundraisers on our system
– Communicating with your members with new fundraisers
– How to utilise the Clubforce App to promote sales

Following yesterday’s statement from the IRFU, Connacht Rugby wishes to reaffirm that the decision to conclude the 2019/20 season applies immediately to all domestic rugby within Connacht Rugby.
As is the case with the Men’s and Women’s Energia All-Ireland Leagues, there will be no promotion or relegation in the respective Connacht Rugby Leagues for 2019/20. All teams will remain in the leagues they are currently in for 2020/21.
In the respective Cup competitions where the two finalists are known, the cups will be shared with the two teams who have reached the final. In particular, this applies to the Connacht Junior Cup.
This also applies to the respective Connacht Schools competitions as there were a number of cups & leagues outstanding.
In total 69 leagues and cups were held across Adult, Schools and Youth Rugby. Of those competitions:
25 competitions have been completed with one winner.
15 competitions have ended with shared winners, based on the criteria set out by the IRFU Rugby Committee.
25 competitions have been declared incomplete.
4 competitions are listed as non-competitive.
The final status of each competition is listed below. While Connacht Rugby shares in the deep disappointment of the Club & Schools rugby community that the season was unable to conclude, we are fully supportive of the decision by the IRFU to put the physical welfare of our rugby community above all else.
We would encourage every member of our Clubs & Schools to continue to adhere to the advice of the HSE and the Irish Government in relation to the current COVID-19 outbreak, particularly with regards to social distancing at all ages.
Never before has the sense of community been more important to all of us. Please continue to look out for the vulnerable people within your localities and above, stay safe.

Women’s League – Westport RFC
Women’s Invitational Plate – Westport RFC 2nd XV
Women’s Invitational Bowl – Ballinasloe RFC
Women’s Cup – Incomplete

Senior League – Sligo RFC
Senior Cup – Sligo RFC
Cawley Cup – Creggs RFC
Curley Cup – Ballinasloe RFC & Corrib RFC shared
Ard na Cregg Cup – Incomplete
Junior Cup – Connemara RFC & Castlebar RFC shared
Junior Plate – Tuam RFC & Westport RFC shared
J1A League – Incomplete (Won by Connemara RFC prior to conclusion)
J1B League – Incomplete
J1C League – Incomplete
J2 League – Portumna RFC & Westport RFC 2nd XV shared

Girls Junior 10s League – Incomplete
Girls Senior 10s League – Incomplete

U14 A League – Incomplete
U14 B League – Athlone CC
U14 C League – Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin
Junior A League – CBS Roscommon
Junior B League – Athlone CC
Junior C League – Gort CS
Senior A League – Sligo Grammar
Senior B League – St. Muredach’s College
Senior C League – Gallen CS

Junior A Cup – CBS Roscommon
Junior B Cup – Athlone CC & Coláiste Éinde shared
Junior C Cup – Enniscrone & Sancta Maria shared
Senior A Cup – Garbally College
Senior B Cup – St. Muredach’s College
Senior C Cup – St. Joseph’s Foxford & Gallen CS shared

U14 Girls Div. 1 – Non-competitive
U14 Girls Div. 2 – Non-competitive
U16 Girls Div. 1 – Claremorris RFC
U16 Girls Div. 2 – Corinthians RFC & Westport RFC shared
U18 Girls Div. 1 – Ballinasloe RFC & Connemara RFC shared
U18 Girls Div. 2 – Corinthians RFC & Portumna RFC shared

U13 Boys Div. 1 – Non-competitive
U13 Boys Div. 2 – Non-competitive
U14 Boys Div. 1 – Buccaneers RFC (Black team)
U14 Boys Div. 2 – Ballinasloe RFC
U14 Boys Div. 3 – Gort RFC & NUIG RFC shared
U15 Boys Div. 1 – Sligo RFC
U15 Boys Div. 2 – Ballinasloe RFC
U16 Boys Div. 1 – Creggs RFC & Corinthians RFC shared
U16 Boys Div. 2 – Incomplete
U17 Boys Div. 1 – Ballina RFC
U17 Boys Div. 2 – Corrib RFC
U18.5 Boys Div. 1 – Ballinasloe RFC
U18.5 Boys Div. 2 – Corrib RFC & Westport RFC shared

U14 Girls Cup – Ballinasloe RFC & Creggs RFC shared
U14 Girls Plate – Incomplete
U16 Girls Cup – Ballina RFC & Claremorris RFC shared
U16 Girls Plate – Incomplete
U18 Girls Cup – Incomplete
U18 Girls Plate – Incomplete

U13 Boys Cup – Incomplete
U13 Boys Plate – Incomplete
U14 Boys Cup – Incomplete
U14 Boys Plate – Incomplete
U15 Boys Cup – Incomplete
U15 Boys Plate – Incomplete
U16 Boys Cup – Incomplete
U16 Boys Plate – Incomplete
U17 Boys Cup – Incomplete
U17 Boys Plate – Incomplete
U18.5 Boys Cup – Incomplete
U18.5 Boys Plate – Incomplete

Irish Rugby’s 2019/20 domestic season is to conclude with immediate effect due to ongoing concerns over coronavirus.
Government action in combatting the virus looks set to continue beyond March 29th. Irish Rugby wants to play its part while giving clubs the chance to put plans in place for the 2020/21 season.
The directive applies to all incomplete national and provincial competitions. It was ratified by the IRFU Rugby Committee on Thursday March 19th 2020.
Cups will be shared by finalists, where cup competitions have reached the final fixture.
There will be no promotion or relegation in any of the five divisions of the Energia Men’s All-Ireland League.
The planned expansion of the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League for the 2020/21 season remains in place.
There will be no league or cup winners in any competition organised at a national level including the Energia All-Ireland Leagues, Energia Women’s All-Ireland Cup and the Energia Bateman Cup.
The Fraser McMullen U20 Cup, the Junior Interprovincial Championships and the round-robin qualifiers for the Energia All-Ireland League will not take place.
Speaking about the announcement, IRFU Director of Rugby Development Colin McEntee said:
“The decision to end the domestic rugby season for 2019/2020 season has not been made lightly. All options were discussed and the IRFU is satisfied it has arrived at the only equitable solution.
These are challenging times for us all and we know clubs will be impacted by this directive, but we will look back at this season as one where we put the physical welfare of our rugby community above all else.
Clubs are now in a position to make plans for the 2020/21 season. We look forward to marking the 30th anniversary of the All-Ireland League.”

The Irish Rugby Football Union, together with Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster Rugby have announced the suspension of all Domestic Rugby activity from 6pm this evening 12th March until the 29th March (inclusive), in response to the latest Government advice on the Coronavirus (Covid – 19) pandemic.
Future Domestic Rugby activity will be reviewed in line with government advice.
Training and Playing
All Rugby activities across Clubs and Schools , from minis to adult rugby, must now cease.
Clubhouse Operations:
While Rugby Clubs may wish to continue to operate facilities such as bars and function-rooms they must observe government restrictions in relation to the number of people that may attend indoor (no more than 100 people) and outdoor (no more than 500 people) events.
Impact on fixtures of note:
We will work with clubs and schools to rearrange fixtures.
Professional Game:
Updates, when available, in relation to the professional game will come from tournament organizers.

The Association of Referees, Connacht Branch, in conjunction with Connacht Rugby and the IRFU recently held two courses for new referees.
The course gives participants an insight in to what is involved in becoming a referee with Connacht Rugby, outlines the benefits of being a member of the ARCB and gives an introduction to the key elements of successful refereeing.
Over the course of the weekend of the 6th & 7th of September fourteen prospective new referees attended the courses in Claremorris and Galway.
Led by IRFU Referee Development Manager Peter Fitzgibbon, supported by various members of the ARCB, those attending were given an opportunity to learn about the process of qualifying as a referee, player safety and welfare, planning & preparation, communication skills and on-field referee positioning.
Technical elements covered on the course include refereeing the scrum and the role of the touch judge.
Thanks to ARCB members Jason Craughwell (President), Paul Cronin, Paul Gannon, Joe O’Donnell, Jason Cairns, John Martin (Secretary), Claire Toolan, Katie Kilbane and Mossy Moran for their contribution to the weekend. Connacht Rugby wishes those that attended the very best in their refereeing careers.
For further information on how to become a referee in Connacht go to or contact Referee Development Manager, Peter Fitzgibbon (086-8322987 or [email protected]).

Two courses will take place in the next few weeks for those who wish to become qualified affiliate referees for the next four seasons.
The courses will take place on Creggs National School on Wednesday 18th September, and The Sportsground on Wednesday 9th October, with both courses starting at 7pm.
It is essential for those wishing to attend to register in advance here.
Here’s all you need to know about becoming an affiliate referee…
What are affiliate referees?
Club & school affiliate referees are not branch referees. Club and school affiliate referees are defined as adult persons (Aged 18 to 59). They are club or school members who are qualified to referee matches involving their own club or school where no Branch referee is available or has not been appointed.

They usually referee underage games and provide an important function in servicing the game at this level in their club or school.
Who appoints Club & School Affiliate Referees?
The responsibility for their appointment lies solely with their club or school.
Are they members of a Branch Referees Society or Association?
No, they are entirely separate. Club and school affiliate referees are a refereeing resource within their own club or school and have no involvement with their branch referee association / society.
Can affiliate referees affiliate to more than one club or school?
No, affiliate referees can only affiliate to one club and one school.
What games can they referee?
They are appointed by their club or school. They can only referee games involving their own club or school, home or away.

Last Saturday NUIG student Mikey Kerin was named an honorary member of the Association of Referees Connacht Branch (ARCB), in recognition of his growing ability as a rugby referee.
Mikey is a regular visitor to the inclusion rugby mornings in Corinthians RFC every Saturday. While he is a keen player himself, in the past few years he has turned his attention to becoming the man in the middle.
To the surprise of Mikey, he received a visit from the ARCB Vice President Jason Craughwell who announced to the attendees of Mikey’s membership to the ARCB in light of his good work.
There Mikey was presented with his official ARCB referee jersey, his own book with red and yellow cards, and the all-important whistle. He was then able to put it to good use when he refereed the tag rugby game amongst the inclusion rugby players that morning.
Congratulations on your membership Mikey, we look forward to seeing you run the rule on some games in the future!


Fancy becoming a referee?

The Association of Referees Connacht Branch are holding a one day course tomorrow for people who want to get involved.

Several hours training will cover key areas of the modern game and participants may apply on completion for membership with Connacht’s Referee Association (ARCB).

ARCB are particularly keen to see more women looking to become referees through the Women’s Rugby Pathway Programme.

Tailored to encourage former players wishing to return to the women’s rugby fold, the programme seeks to streamline female referee development and progress through women’s rugby channels. 

Eager officials could learn, practice and develop free from any obligation to officiate boys or mens rugby, but avail every opportunity to ply their skills across the board if they wish.

“This new pathway programme lets women contribute to the growth of women’s rugby from within that women’s rugby comfort zone,” says Katie Kilbane of the ARCB.

“Often it’s a perceived lack of experience which prevents many of provincial Ireland’s greatest players from contributing further upon retirement.”

The course for both male and female applicants takes place on Saturday, September 8th from 09:30 to 16:00 at The Connacht Hotel, Galway (Old Dublin Road).

Further information available by email: [email protected] or [email protected].

When: Saturday 8th September, 9.30am – 4pm
Where: The Connacht Hotel, Old Dublin Road, Galway
RSVP and Further Info: [email protected]



Connacht Rugby, the ARCB and the IRFU’s Referee Department are delighted to announce two upcoming events, a New Recruits Workshop for anyone who wishes to take up refereeing and an Affiliate Referees Course for coaches who may be asked to referee matches not covered by official ARCB referees.



  • 10:00 – 16:00
  • Sunday 07/01/2018
  • The Sportsground, Galway


Why become an ARCB referee?

  1. Stay Involved – keeps you involved with the game as an alternative to playing
  2. Social – the social aspect of rugby is renowned, it’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends
  3. Fitness – it is a fantastic way to keep fit. The IRFU have the highest level of expertise in this area
  4. Travel – the higher level you reach, the more involvement you will have in Europe, PRO14 and the UBL
  5. The Club – referees are ‘a club within a club’ who meet regularly for meetings. There’s a great team spirit
  6. Ambition – could you referee an international match? There is huge room for growth
  7. Tickets – referees are allowed to apply for international and provincial match tickets

World Rugby Law Exam Module – click here.
World Rugby Concussion Management for General Public Module – click here.

Both these components require online registration with the World Rugby Training Passport portal. On completion you should print your certificate. This is important, as you will need to provide the printed certificate to attend the New Recruits Workshop.




  • 19:00 – 21:00
  • Thursday 11/01/2018
  • Castlebar RFC, Mayo

Why become an Affiliate Referee?

It is IRFU Policy that all matches from U13 upwards are refereed by either Branch Referees (ARCB) or Club & School Affiliate Referees. Club & school affiliate referees are not ARCB referees, they are club or school members who are qualified to referee matches involving their own club or school where no ARCB referee is available or has not been appointed.

Affiliate Referees usually referee underage games and provide an important function in servicing the game at this level in their club or school.

World Rugby Law Exam Module – click here.
World Rugby Concussion Management for General Public Module – click here.

Both these components require online registration with the World Rugby Training Passport portal. On completion you should print your certificate. This is important, as you will need to provide the printed certificate to attend the Affiliate Referees workshop.



If you are interested in attending either event please contact Luke Murphy at [email protected] or +353 87 902 3890 before 12:00 Tuesday 2nd January.

The IRFU are pleased to confirm that seven referees have taken up professional contracts, including Connacht Rugby Referee Development Officer Sean Gallagher and former player Frank Murphy

The seven contracted referees are; Andrew Brace, George Clancy, Gallagher, John Lacey, Murphy, Joy Neville and David Wilkinson.

The referees will receive dedicated coaching, analysis and support for their strength and condition support and nutritional needs.

IRFU Professional Referees

Andrew Brace
Andrew Brace is a member of Old Crescent RFC and having played rugby internationally with Belgium, took up refereeing in 2013 after finishing his playing career. He rose quickly through the refereeing ranks and took charge of British and Irish Cup games in 2014 and then continued on to referee in the Guinness Pro12 in 2015 and made his European debut during the 2015/16 season. He officiated at the Junior World Championships in 2016 and took charge of his first full international in 2017 (England v Barbarians) and his first test fixture later in the year (Canada v Georgia).

 George Clancy
George Clancy is a member of Bruff RFC and began refereeing with the Munster Association of Referees in 2000. He was appointed to the Irish National Panel in 2003 and refereed his first professional game, Borders v Dragons, in October 2004. Quickly moving through the ranks, he made his debut in the European Cup in January 2005 (Bourgoin v Bath) and after appearing at the 2005 & 2006 Junior World Cups, made his International debut with a World Cup qualifier game in Montevideo between Uruguay and USA. He has since gone on to referee in the Six Nations, the Rugby Championship and at the Rugby World Cup in 2011 and 2015.

Sean Gallagher
Sean Gallagher is a member of Navan RFC and took up refereeing in 2005. Having spent a number of years teaching in Leinster, Sean joined the IRFU in 2015 as a referee development officer in Connacht. He picked up the IRFU Young Referee of the Year Award in 2009 and has continued to progress steadily up the ranks, officiating in the British and Irish Cup, the Guinness Pro 14, the European Rugby Challenge Cup and this year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup.

John Lacey
John Lacey is a member of Clanwilliam RFC in his native Tipperary and also played with both Shannon RFC & Sundays Well RFC. He played professionally for Munster as a wing/full-back and took up refereeing after his retirement from playing. His first fixture was in the Munster Schools Junior Cup, where he officiated St.Munchin’s versus CBC Cork. Since then Lacey has gone on to referee across all major competitions including the European Champions Cup, the Six Nations, The Rugby Championship and the World Cup in England 2015.

Frank Murphy
Frank Murphy played rugby professionally as a scrum-half for over 10 years, playing with teams in Ireland and the UK, he also won caps for Ireland A. During his time with Leicester Frank won with Premiership and played in the Heineken Cup final in season 06-07. He refereed his first professional game in 2016 when he took charge of the Dragons versus Edinburgh in the Pro12, and soon after that officiated his first international game between Germany and Portugal. Frank participated at JWC 2017 in Georgia.

Joy Neville
Joy Neville played at Number 8 for both Munster and Ireland, winning 70 caps for her country and was part of the Grand Slam winning team in 2013. After retiring from the game she decided to try her hand at refereeing and has risen steadily through the ranks. She moved up the league in the Ulster Bank League over the past number of seasons, and more recently has been named as an assistant referee in the Guinness Pro14 and European Rugby Challenge Cup games. She refereed on the 2016/17 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series and also took charge of the Women’s Rugby World Cup Final in Belfast between New Zealand and England. She will officiate the Rugby Europe international between Norway versus Denmark on October 25th.

David Wilkinson
David Wilkinson followed in his father’s footsteps when, at the age of 19 he picked up the referee’s whistle. A native of Enniskillen in Co. Fermanagh, he refereed across domestic competitions in Ulster before moving to the Ulster Bank League and then made his PRO12 debut in the Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets match in April 2008.  He made his International debut when Georgia hosted Romania in the Nations Cup in 2011 and has refereed in both Champions Cup & Challenge Cup.


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