Firstly, I hope that all our members are keeping well and safe during these difficult times. We are aware that some of our members are working tirelessly on the front line tackling the COVID-19 virus and on behalf of the Club, I wish to express our deep gratitude for all that you are doing to protect the community. The Club responded to Blanchardstown Hospital’s request for communication equipment by providing the hospital with our equipment while making the H.S.E. aware that our Club was available as a testing centre should the H.S.E. deem the site suitable for that purpose.
The IRFU decided that the rugby season, 2019/2020, would cease on the 19th March. This decision was applicable to all senior and junior clubs across the four provinces. In abiding to this and Government guidelines, the Club ceased all rugby activity with the clubhouse and our facilities being placed in lockdown. Despite this, the Club’s Executive and Sub Committees have continued to work in the background, planning ahead for next season. I would like to provide you with an update on this and a recap of what happened over the course of our curtailed 2019/2020 season.
Senior Rugby Coolmine RFC 1sts had a great season finishing second in a very competitive Leinster League Division 2A which was won by Mullingar RFC, who are now promoted to Leinster League Division 1B. Unfortunately, the curtailment of rugby resulted in the first team being denied the opportunity of competing in a promotional play off. The battle for promotion to Leinster League Division 1B now awaits restart of next season.
Coolmine RFC 2nds played some fantastic rugby over the course of the season and were well deserved winners of their league. The fact that they won the league having gone unbeaten all season is a rare claim to fame.
Coolmine RFC 3rds competed in Division 6 of the Metro League, finishing in third spot closely behind Terenure RFC with Tallaght RFC winning the league. Coolmine 3rds had also played themselves into the final of the Dr. Kieran Foley Cup Competition which did not take place, again due to the curtailment of the rugby season.
Coolmine RFC 4ths competed in Division 11 of the Metro League and were mid-table when the competition stopped.
Coolmine RFC U20’s competed in the JP Fanagan (U20) Premier League 3 finishing closely in second place behind winners De La Salle Palmerston. Given that the U20’s rugby development programme was only relaunched last season, this was a remarkable achievement.
Coolmine Wildebeests (over 35’s) This amazing institution kept turning out in all kinds of weather thereby putting paid to the observation that you get wiser as you get older! Great to see this team turning out again and again over the course of the 2019/2020 season.
Coolmine Pumas Our Inclusion Tag Rugby team is a special aspect of Coolmine RFC as we fulfil our role as a community based rugby club. I would like to especially thank Jennifer Lee (also our Club PRO) for single handily keeping this going. We are now at a critical juncture as Jennifer needs more support both in terms of player numbers and assistance in getting players to and from training and games. Let’s support this as I would hate to see this great initiative lapse from a lack of support.
I wish to thank the Club’s Rugby Committee, players, coaches, team managers, physio and “chauffeurs” in making the 2019/2020 season a very positive one. I am delighted to say that the senior coaching team of Dermot Dunne (Head Coach) and Mike Walls (Player Coach) along with Brian Blaney (Head Coach U20s) and Mick McDonagh (Coach U20s) have been reappointed for the 2020/2021 season. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their efforts over the course of last season and wish them and the playing squads the very best of luck for next season.
Mini’s Once again, we had super participation in the Metro leagues from U7 to U12. All teams report that they had very successful seasons. Coolmine hosted multiple matches for U7-U12 age groups.
Mini Girls Girls Rugby, the girls continue to build numbers!
The “Give it a Try” was a big hit last summer, this is an 8-week programme developed by the IRFU and implemented by the Club, we had over 50, 8 to 14-year-old Girls on the first night. The programme ran for 8 weeks and encouraged as many girls as possible to come down to the club and “Give it a Try”. This was so successful Coolmine were chosen to host the “Give it a Try” again this year, we are still unsure how and when this may be able to go ahead.
We fielded mini girl’s teams during the season at U8s, U10s and U12s. We field a Youth Girls Team at U14 as Coolmine/DLSP/Seapoint combined. This was a great success!
Thanks to Shauna Peters, and all the Girls Rugby Coaches who continue to develop Girls Rugby within the Club. The Club will sign up to the 20x20 Charter as soon as we can all sit down together to sign up to it.
Mini Boys The Under 12s (2008s) were invited to play the half-time match v Carlow during the Leinster v Glasgow Pro 14 Match at the RDS. Although this was restricted to 20 players, this was a brilliant day for the full squad, due to the large support from the club membership (over 400 tickets purchased) we were also chosen as the flag bearers for the day, which meant the full squad was included in the event.
The COVID restrictions prevented the Club Tie presentation to the U12s who are moving up to Youth Rugby next season but is planned that we will do this before we kick off next season. All the Teams from Under 12s down to Under 6s participated in Rugby though out the season with the Club hosting many matches in Ashbrook and in Educate Together on Beech Park Avenue.
Youths Section Under 13’s – 2007s fielded three teams in the league and the cup. They were graded in Division A, C & D. All teams competed well in their division. The A Team had qualified at the top of their group and were awaiting a home semi-final before we finished up.
Under 14’s – 2006s fielded one team in league and cup. They were graded in Division B and were on track to qualify for the Semi Final of the League.
Under 15’s – 2005s fielded one team in the league and cup. They were graded in the Premier Division in the League; the League was only half completed this year.
Under 16’s – 2004s fielded one team in the league and cup. They were graded in Division 1A and finished top of their division. A League Semi Final was the next match before we finished up.
Under 17’s – 2003s fielded one team in league and cup. They were graded in the Premier Division, a good number of games left to play.
Under 18.5’s – 2001/2002 fielded one team in league and cup. They were graded in the Premier Division and were sitting nicely in 4th position with the final two rounds left to play.
Thanks to all the Coaches, Managers and Helpers for keeping the Youths and Minis section alive.
Thanks to Karen Carolan and Etain Delaney for all the work of the CWO team, including the Garda vetting, Declarations of Intent and for the new requirement this season of the Safe Guarding Course. In particular with the new requirement for parent travelling on tours to be vetted.
Special Thanks to ETNS Castleknock on Beechpark Avenue who have given us the use of their playing pitches. This was a big boost to the minis, especially the u13s and u10s, u11s and u12s who made great use of the grass on offer.
A special thanks for Sean Lee for organising the fixtures of all the teams across the Club while also contributing as 1st team manager and keeping all our caffeine levels topped up.
Club Activities of note:
The “One Provence” Ticketing system to get Leinster Tickets was used 3 times
We had a well-attended Santa visit to the Club in December 19. This year we got to meet the “South Pole Santa”
Clubhouse and Grounds:
The Clubhouse and our facilities remain closed for the moment in line with Government and IRFU restrictions. I will be in contact with you as soon as we know when the clubhouse is allowed to reopen along with any restrictions, such as social distancing, that we may be required to deploy. I would like to thank Peter Steers for stepping in to take on the role of Clubhouse Manager, along with the clubhouse committee and we wish George Caffrey nothing but the very best on his recovery to the fullness of health. I wish to thank Peter Taaffe and Gordon Wood for maintaining the grounds in Ashbrook and providing us pitches in great condition to play on all season.
Finances and Fundraising:
COVID-19 restrictions resulted in the cancellation of a number of key fund raising events including the Presidents Dinner, Senior Players Night, 40th Anniversary Ball and the annual Golf Classic. We will not be able to reschedule the Presidents Dinner and Annual Ball in 2020 but I look forward to you supporting these events in 2021 when we will retrospectively celebrate the Club’s 40th anniversary. We will have a Seniors Players night before the rugby season starts and we may be able to reschedule the Golf Classic to September (guidelines permitting). We will assess the feasibility of having a Club day in September given that last years was a great success raising significant funds while having a lot of fun. The annual business lunch is scheduled for 20th November, 2020.
Cash flow is extremely important to any organisation and the cancellation of the previously mentioned fund raising events has necessitated the Finance Committee to meet on a more regular basis in order to manage club finances.
Non essential expenditure has been put on hold
Suppliers were contacted and agreed to bar stock being returned with full refund In support of the Finance Committee, no commitment to incur any costs can be entered into unless pre- approved by the Finance Committee.
The fact that the we have well maintained and managed our pitches over the previous seasons enables us to make a much smaller investment in their maintenance this summer. To that end, pitches have just been reseeded and will be in top condition for the start of next season.
Back to Playing Rugby:
The Government recent announcement “Easing the COVID-19 restrictions on 10th August (Phase 5)” gives tentative clearance for the sport of rugby to resume on the 10th August. This assumes that the previous four phases are not delayed. The Club awaits further details from the IRFU and Leinster Branch on their protocols for a return to rugby and their requirements for the safe resumption of amateur competitive rugby.
Supporting Coolmine RFC “Family Businesses”:
If you wish to advertise your business across the network of Coolmine RFC’s membership, please get in contact with either myself or Jennifer Lee (Club PRO).
Gerry O’Farrell, whose sons play with the U12s and U20’s, is doing online BBQ food sales with both a collections or delivery service available. Their BBQ boxes are highly recommended. Please see further online food offerings on their website. https://www.smokinbones.ie/
Justin Leonard, Club Vice President and Rugby Committee member is doing home deliveries. Contact details are on the below flyer.
Need help going online with your business or currently have a business that is struggling online? Contact Ken Condon who has set up #eComTaskForce. It is free and you will get support from the best mentors in the business. www.ecai.ie/taskforce
The Club’s AGM is normally held during the month of May each year. Given the COVID-19 restrictions, it has not been permissible to convene this meeting. The current Executive, in agreement with the Club’s trustees, will continue in their roles until such time as COVID-19 guidelines permit an AGM to be held, at which point a new Executive can be elected.
I would like to thank the Club’s Executive Committee and its Sub-Committees for all their hard work over the last season and their continuing efforts in preparing for next season.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any queries you may have in relation to this club’s members update. Also, please do not hesitate to contact me if you are interested in getting involved in any aspect of the Club’s activities in the coming season.
Michael Bermingham President – Coolmine RFC