As President of the Irish Rugby Football Union, I am delighted to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a safe and peaceful New Year.
It is, of course, a Christmas we could never have imagined given the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on all our lives.
Yet we are reassured by the knowledge that vaccines are on the way and this provides us all with positive hope that better times are in sight.
Let’s hope therefore that it will not be too long before restrictions are eased and finally lifted so that our game can then resume in all its glory.
I want to congratulate the many members of our clubs of Ireland – male and female – who may have been involved in assisting the HSE and front line emergency services in battling this pandemic.
While we were all delighted to have had international rugby back at the Aviva Stadium we would love to have had supporters in attendance. I have no doubt the players missed the presence of their faithful fans. We look forward to a return to normality, a return to the Aviva Roar.
All of those involved in the domestic game can be assured that while the spotlight in our game focuses on our National and Provincial teams, the IRFU maintains as a policy the strongest commitment to the welfare of the club and grassroots men’s and women’s and boys and girls game.
All told therefore I look to 2021 with renewed heart as I extend my best Christmas wishes to everyone in the Irish rugby family and beyond.
I especially offer my Seasonal greetings to my colleagues in the IRFU and Provincial Branches; to all sponsors of Irish rugby, and to all volunteers across the clubs, schools, third – level, referees and women’s game, whose contributions, in association with our professional staffs, serves Irish rugby so admirably.
Best wishes and keep safe,
President of the IRFU