18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
He was a member of the Belvedere side beaten in the 1954 Leinster Schools Senior Cup final by Blackrock College in what was an epic final.
After leaving school, he joined Old Belvedere and rendered outstanding service to the club and played a major role in the club's victory in the Leinster Senior Cup final in 1968.
He won his first Leinster cap in 1964 and made 15 appearances for the province.
He played in several Irish trials and he was extremely unlucky not to gain the ultimate honour, an international cap, and his appearances as an Ireland replacement ran into double figures.
He was, however, a member of the Ireland team that toured Argentina in 1970. He also played for the Barbarians.
After he retired as a player, he served on the Old Belvedere executive and then became the club's representative on the Leinster Branch.
He was president of the Branch in 1976/77 and was a member of the Leinster selection committee including a term as chairman of that committee.
He was an Ireland selector from 1978 to 1981 and was chairman of the selection committee in 1980/81. He was manager of the Ireland squad that toured South Africa in 1981.
He was a member of the IRFU Executive Committee for well over a decade and was President of the Union in 1987/88 and was the first Chairman of the IRFU Sponsorship Committee, was a member of the Union's Commercial Committee and of the IRFU Charitable Trust.
The President, Committee and staff of the Irish Rugby Football Union would like to offer their sincere condolences to his family.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS: Removal on Thursday evening at 4pm, from Fanagans Funeral Home, Lwr. Main St., Dundrum, to The Church of the Miraculous Medal, Bird Avenue, Clonskeagh, arriving at 5pm. Funeral on Friday, after 11am mass, to Shanganagh Cemetery. Family flowers only please; donations, in lieu, to the IRFU Charitable Trust.
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