19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
A former noted open side wing forward, Don is synonymous with the Galwegians club, being President in 1976-7. He also played senior rugby with UCG and London-Irish. A former captain of the Connacht junior interprovincial team, he also played regularly against many touring teams for the Galway club selection, City of the Tribes.
Born in Galway City and educated at St. Joseph's ?The Bish?, Galway, with whom he won a Connacht schools senior cup medal in 1952; Don later captained his school team and also the Connacht schools provincial XV. He won a Connacht senior league medal with UCG and a Connacht Junior league medal with Galwegians.,p>His distinguished administrative career began as assistant hon. secretary to the Connacht Branch from 1977 to '79; he was hon. secretary of the Connacht Branch from 1981 to '89 and was President of the Connacht Branch in 1993-4. Elected as a delegate to the IRFU Committee in 1987-88, he has since served and chaired many sub Committees, notably the Charitable Trust for 11 years, as well as the amateur status; games development; ethics; youth and schools; club awards; appeals; anti-doping, finance; the domestic and international game, and the grounds and property committees.
A personable and popular personality, Don's efficiency was also to the fore as a liaison officer to major touring teams coming into Ireland, in which role he acted down the years for the All Blacks, Australians, South Africa, the Barbarians, Italy, Canada and Fiji.
Of his elevation to the most esteemed office in Irish rugby, the President says: "I am very proud on a personal level and also for my club Galwegians and the Connacht Branch. After my very enjoyable playing career, I was very happy to serve the game at club, provincial and National level. I believe the game of rugby is in a very healthy state in Ireland and that the IRFU is seen to be very capable custodians. A strong club, provincial and national structure has been put in place and evidence is already to hand of our growing success and increasing stature in the game."