John Lyons assumes the office as 120th President of the Irish Rugby Football Union at the annual Council Meeting at the Ballsbridge Court Hotel in Dublin this evening.
In being nominated to the highest office in Irish rugby, the well-known Dublin accountant, from Sandycove, County Dublin, enhances the proud record of the Bective Rangers club, who also provided IRFU Presidents John Hamilton O’Conor (1911/12), William G. Fallon (1949/50) and Michael Cuddy in the 1993/94 season.
John Lyons, who is married to Bernadette, was Honorary Treasurer of the IRFU between 1996 and 2007, so he was the first treasurer in the professional era faced with a challenge never previously encountered by his predecessors.
He was educated at CBC Monkstown and is a member of the Bective Rangers club since 1956 – effectively 52 years – and is a former Hon. Treasurer of the club, as well as being President in 1990.
He won medals in minor and junior ranks before establishing himself on the Bective senior team in 1958.
He won a Leinster Senior Cup medal as an up-and-coming wing forward in 1962 during a ‘golden era’ for the club, when he played alongside such well-known internationals as Paddy O’Donoghue, Maurice Mortell, Fergus Keogh, Gerry Hardy, Paddy Costello and Bill Mulcahy, as well as Mick Cuddy, Frank O’Rourke and others.
A serious knee injury in 1963 ended a promising career, following which he commenced an administrative career at his club, the Leinster Branch and the IRFU.
He was elected to the Leinster Branch in 1991 and to the IRFU Committee in 1996. Since then he has served on numerous committees, most notably Finance, Commercial & Marketing and the Management Committee.
Commenting on his new role as IRFU President, Lyons said: “I am very honoured to assume the office as President of the IRFU, not alone for myself and my family, but also for my club Bective Rangers.
“This is a very challenging period in the history of the Union as we enter a season with a new senior coach and management team and many excellent up-and-coming young players blending with the more experienced ones.
“The year ahead also offers further great challenges to our professional provincial teams, including the defence of the Heineken European Cup by Munster and the Magners League title by Leinster.
“All the while, of course, the Union remains steadfast in its determination to ensure the development and welfare of the game at grassroots level and to the objective of advancing the status of our clubs, I am fully committed.”