It was the 1983-84 season when I darkened the door of Barnhall Rugby club. Having spent six years in Clontarf RFC I had come to love and respect rugby for all of its charm and social outlets.  This little club with a big shed for a dressing room was more than a bit of a shock to the system.  The first nights training is as fresh in my mind today as if it was only yesterday. The craic, the slagging, the energy and effort put into training was an intoxicating mix which quickly convinced me this little club would not stay little for very long.

Many of the lads I was training with did all the work around the club and the ethos was very much a “can do” and an  “all hands on deck” approach.  The club was all about players, finding new players growing the number of teams and improving our standards.  28 years later nothing has changed in the energy, enthusiasm and efforts to continue the pursuit of excellence and growth. Many of the original team that were making the club work in 1983 are still making the club work today and the mission is still the same. Let’s grow the no of rugby teams and give as many players of all ages and skills as much access as possible to pitches and excellent facilities.

The club is run by a committee dedicated to rugby and the club is run completely for our members and their families.  I am genuinely honoured to be asked to take on the role of president this year. My biggest challenge is to follow, if at all possible the example set by Kevin Loftus in his year as president of the new NUIM Barnhall RFC. I can’t promise the same levels of success for our teams on the pitch but we will try. My own personal mission this year is to encourage greater participation of members and past members in the operational side of the club in coaching, refereeing, administrative activities and most importantly in having fun with friends at every level in the club.

You can’t have a family oriented club with all the closeness and deep relationships that develop without the sadness and misery that comes when one of our members and friends passes away. Sadly this happens each year as we have reached a size and age that such events are to be expected. We will always remember our friends and look to celebrate their lives and their exploits in the Blue shirts as players and supporters for many years to come. This year in remembering our community I would like to think that we can extend our welcome to the wider community and further establish our credentials as a community based club in the north of Co.Kildare.

I welcome all of our visitors that come to play and enjoy our particular rugby ethos and our hospitality. I truly hope when you visit us you get a sense of the deep passion we have for the game of rugby and for the fun all can enjoy in participating in our sport.

Yours in fun and sport.

Noel Dillon
NUIM Barnhall RFC
President 2011-12