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Message from Martin O’Sullivan, President, IRFU to Skerries RFC

24 August 2015

I am delighted to add my congratulations to Skerries RFC as you prepare to celebrate the club’s 90th anniversary.

You certainly have done your pioneering members full justice, as there is no question but that today Skerries RFC stands proudly as a bastion of rugby, not only in the North East and Fingal areas of Leinster, but in the wider sphere of Irish rugby.

In my capacity as President of the Irish Rugby Football Union I extend my best wishes to club President Robert McAuley and to all members and I hope this season that you derive every enjoyment from your club’s many activities across all the team grades.

There is a real sense of anticipation about your challenge in the Ulster Bank League which this season commands additional appeal as it takes on a new look with a remodeled five division format and the introduction of a Player Points System which is designed to incentivise youth development, to curb transfers and to encourage club loyalty.

These innovations follow extensive consultation with the clubs and it is the Union’s ambition for the Ulster Bank League to become an enhanced premier domestic competition, creating a greater platform for clubs to promote themselves within their local communities and to generate sufficient revenues to develop and be sustainable for the future.

In this regard, the Union is delighted that again this season, in addition to traditional funding, it will also put in place the popular Your Club Your Country Grand Draw, in association with Ulster Bank. Last season the programme raised Euro €654,000 for participant clubs. This brings to Euro €2.6 million the amount raised by clubs – at no cost to them.

I sincerely thank Ulster Bank for their continued support as the IRFU’s Community rugby partners. Its wide and varied portfolio includes sponsorship of the Ulster Bank League and Awards, plus the Irish Club international team, the Bateman All Ireland Cup and the Ulster Bank RugbyForce programme.

Meantime, best wishes to all at Holmpatrick.

Martin O’Sullivan.

President – IRFU.