Message From John Hussey, President IRFU
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As President of the Irish Rugby Football Union, I am delighted to express my best wishes to Garryowen FC.
I wish club President, Eoghan Prendergast, club Captain, Conan Doyle and all members of the club every enjoyment and success from this special season in domestic rugby.
I would also like to acknowledge the work of Pat Whelan at IRFU and IRB levels.
The introduction of a restructured Ulster Bank League comprising a record 52 clubs has resulted following a consultation process with the provincial Branches, all clubs and the All Ireland Senior Rugby Clubs Association.
I believe the new format will prove to be a big success with players and supporters and that greater activity and interest will be created in the clubs on match days.
This would be in line with the wishes of the IRFU, whose policy is to maintain a vibrant club scene throughout Irish rugby.
In this regard, I outline my appreciation of the role played by our volunteers. They make an invaluable contribution to the success of the game. In the current economic circumstances their role is even more important.
Finally, I would like to sincerely thank Ulster Bank, the official Community Partner to the IRFU, for their sponsorship of the Ulster Bank League, the Irish Club international team and the Ulster Bank Rugby Force initiative.
* Dublin businessman John Hussey created a piece of sporting history when he becomes the first member from St. Mary’s College RFC (founded 111 years ago) to be enrolled as President of the Irish Rugby Football Union, at the Union’s annual Council Meeting in the Aviva Stadium, on July 22nd.
He assumed the highest office in Irish rugby following a life-long association with St. Mary’s College. As a wing threequarters he was a member of the schools’ junior and senior cup teams but on joining the club and being capped for the Leinster junior interprovincial team in 1966, he had his career cut short by a succession of injuries. He was elected President of the club in 1988 – ’89.
A well know chartered accountant, Hussey’s high profile business life includes a 12 years stint as Managing Partner of Arthur Young & Company, after which he spent a number of years as a director of two companies involved in structured financing. He was also a consultant to a number of organisations in the areas of governance and strategic planning. He has held directorships in a number of other companies, including New Stadium Ltd which has been responsible for the development of the Aviva Stadium.
President of the Leinster Branch in 1998-’99, he was first elected to the IRFU in 1996, since when he has made a major contribution to Irish rugby. He was Chairman of the Strategic Review Committee which produced the first IRFU Strategic Plan (2003 – ’07). As part of this process the Union made changes to its laws to create a new Management Committee. Hussey became its first Chairman and served the maximum two three year terms (2003 – ’09) in that capacity. He also chaired a number of other committees including the IRFU Academy and the IRFU Charitable Trust, of which he remains a Trustee.
He was also Chairman of the Magners League (now RaboDirect PRO 12) for a seven years period noted for the tournament’s consolidation and growth in stature and popularity in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and led the negotiations which brought recently the admission of two teams from Italy.
The 124th President of the IRFU is married to Patricia and has two sons, John Paul and David.