Mayo club Ballyhaunis held the official opening of their new clubhouse on Saturday. IRFU President John Lyons was on hand to officiate proceedings and so were the Triple Crown and RBS 6 Nations trophies.
The opening of Ballyhaunis RFC’s new facilities coincided with the Junior Interprovincial match between Connacht and Ulster which Connacht went on to win on an 18-17 scoreline.
Commenting on the day, IRFU President John Lyons said: “I am delighted to be here and it is an honour and a privilege to open this new club and playing fields.
“It is a great credit to junior rugby that Ballyhaunis has such excellent facilities and that their work will be the envy of many senior clubs.”
He expressed his delight with the Irish rugby season so far, with so much success for the Ireland squad and having two teams making the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup.
“I was thrilled to bring both the RBS 6 Nations and the Triple Crown trophies with me to the grounds for this auspicious occasion and the prelude to the Connacht v Ulster game.”
Also present was Connacht President Michael Grealish. He said: “I am a huge supporter of junior rugby being from Our Ladies Boys Club, and I am pleased as President to be here today to celebrate with Ballyhaunis RFC on the opening of their club and pitches.
“Ballyhaunis RFC have worked incredibly hard to ensure that their facilities and I wish them well in the seasons ahead.”
Martin Gallagher, Provincial Domestic Game Manager in Connacht, added: “It was a terrific day at Ballyhaunis Rugby Football Club, where the club was formally opened by John Lyons, the President of the IRFU, and was blessed by the Reverend Canon Joseph Cooney.
“The club hosted the Junior Interpro match between Connacht and Ulster, which saw Connacht win 18-17, and to add to the sense of occasion both the RBS 6 Nations and Triple Crown trophies were at the grounds for several hours prior to kick-off.”
“We had an exceptional day, everything went extremely well and we wish to thank the Connacht Branch for allowing us host the match,” said Ned Curley, a Ballyhaunis committee member.