*Ken Butler, Ethan Coughlan, Nigel Moloney and Tony Butler. Photograph: Natasha Barton
DETAILS of a packed programme of events to mark the centenary of Ennis Rugby Club were revealed at the launch of Ennis RFC 100 which took place in the Council Chamber at Clare County Council this Wednesday afternoon.
Congratulating the club on reaching 100 years, Clare County Council CEO, Pat Dowling welcomed club officials past and present to the official launch.
He said “it’s great to be talking about rugby in the Council Chamber of Clare County Council as there is many a battle in this room. It’s great to be celebrating 100 years, it’s a fantastic achievement. The boys in green are flying high right now and we are all looking forward to a Grand Slam”.
Mayor of the Ennis Municipal District, Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) and Cllr Ann Norton (IND) both extended their congratulations to the club.
Congratulations were also extended to the club by Munster rugby president, Ger McNamara. “Rugby is not all about winning”, he told the gathering. “It’s like a small parish where community is important”.
The Munster official went on to say, “you have a good youth structure and your underage section is outstanding”.
Former club President Brian Considine recalled some of the highlights of the club’s development and he paid particular tribute to the work of the founders.
Recalling a quotation, he had heard some years previous which was “if you always do what you always did you will always get what you always got”, he said.
“Back in 1923 a group of young men came together and decided to do something different and as a result of that we are now celebrating one hundred years”, the life-long member said.
“Hurling was the thing when I was growing up in Francis Street and I had never heard of rugby until I visited the Queens Hotel which was the unofficial clubhouse of Ennis RFC. I was hooked,” he said.
He went on to pay tribute to “the people who have led the various developments over the years” and he paid particular tribute to Aidan Deegan for starting the underage section.
He also paid tribute to the people responsible for the purchase and development of the club grounds and he recalled the various fundraising events such as the rugby celebrity golf classic and the fashion shows which were organised to raise the necessary funds.
Continuing the long time club official said, “the club wasn’t just an Ennis club. It was always open to people from around the county”, and he expressed confidence that the club’s history, which will be published later this year, will reflect the great progress made by the club over the years.
The club will lead the upcoming St Patrick’s Day parade and they are confident that they will have a big turnout of all age groups from minis to adults.
An end of season party and BBQ will take place in April/May and the club will hold a golf classic on May 27/28 at Ennis Golf Club.
The club history book will be launched in the summer when there will be a memorabilia exhibition at the Clare Museum.
A Munster inter pro game is planned for the Autumn while many charity events are also been planned.