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.
The 2010/11 season proved to be another hugely successful campaign for the UL Bohemians Women, culminating in a fantastic AIL success on Saturday, April 23.
Following on from their Munster Cup and All-Ireland Cup victories earlier in the year, the ladies in red once again brought home the league title.
This year's wins were particularly poignant as the 2010/11 season marked 10 years since the inception of the Women's club in UL Bohemians, and the success that has ensued in that time is possibly unrivalled by any team at any grade or level in the country.
With nine AIL titles over the past 10 years and a treble of victories in the Munster Cup, All-Ireland Cup and All-Ireland League over the past three years, the praise amassed by these girls is well justified.
This year's successes were once again hard-fought battles, both in the Munster Cup against Highfield and the All-Ireland Cup against Cooke and the improving standards of the top teams in the country ensure top quality opposition.
However, credit is due to the Bohs ladies for constantly raising their game when silverware is on hand. Without the services of seven international players for the cup campaigns, one would be justified in thinking that success would be a tall order for any club.
However, once again and year after year, unfaltering and redoubtable players such as Fiona Hayes, Patrique Kelly and the ever-present Jen O'Leary step up their game and lead from the front.
Combined with this, youngsters such as speedster Aisling Hutchings, Claire Keohane, Claire Lewis and new signing Olivia Stapleton, who has been a huge addition to the club, ensure that the stream of talent continues to be harnessed.
Whilst each and every player is deserving of praise, special mention is reserved for Louise Beamish, Fiona Coghlan and Caroline Mahon, who have played every season and been a part of every success since the club's establishment.
Dedication, commitment and a huge resource of resolve, especially considering both Caroline and Fiona make the trip from Naas and Dublin respectively every week for training and matches, and all for the love of the game!
Success cannot be achieved without a supportive framework and the foundation behind the ladies' success lies within the UL Bohemians committee.
The support and encouragement given by committee members throughout the years is paramount and the ensuing success by the ladies is testament to this support. In conjunction with this, the UL Bohemian ladies have been gifted to have one of the best coaches in the country in Ian Costello.
Involved from the commencement, Ian has been a stalwart behind every success and ensured that all players receive top coaching and reach full potential.
Colman Finn, Anthony Hartigan, Jason Enright, Elaine Collins, Ed Torrie and Gary Walsh, amongst others, have provided top class coaching throughout the ten-year span of the club and their expertise, knowledge of the game and overall enthusiasm have ensured that the Bohs ladies are constantly striving to improve.
Away from all this success, the UL Bohemians ladies recently undertook an excursion to the Kinsale Sevens under the name Tommy Bohs.
Wearing some fantastic Tommy Bowe-inspired gear, the girls competed against top teams and reached the final on both days of the competition, eventually defeated by the Wooden Spoons - a combination of Welsh, Irish, Scottish and Canadian internationals.
The girls also give of their time freely in support of a number of causes and recently Joy Neville and a number of the team featured in the Irish Examiner supporting a Down Syndrome centre initiative donating a dress each to the charity.
The UL Bohemians ladies will continue their off-season with a planned trip to the Stockholm 10s at the end of July, providing perfect preparation for another hard fought season in 2011/12.
The fun and enjoyment these girls take from the game is there for all to see and with or without success, their absolute love of the game should inspire others.
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