As we enter the final days of season 2021/22, it is great to see so much activity in the club, from the dark days of covid, to a full club house busy with both members and outside functions. It is truly great to see!
We have a lot to be grateful for in Lansdowne FC, but our most precious resource has always been, and will continue to be, you our members. There is no Lansdowne FC without the goodwill and support of our members. From our eldest Honorary Life Member or treasured international or Lions player to our newest mini and youth member, you are all valued members of this great club, and it cannot and will not survive without your continued support. As President and on behalf of Lansdowne FC, I want to thank each and every member for sticking with us and allowing the club to not only survive but flourish and expand as new members join and old members realised how much they missed the place. Long may it continue.
We have had great success on the pitch again this season again, not by accident, but through hard work and great commitment from our coaches and players at all levels. The seniors retained the Bateman Cup and Senior League, the 20s retained the JP Fanagan League and the Junior teams are back to being very competitive at all levels and unlucky not to retain the O’Connell Cup after again reaching the final. There is great work going on by all in the Senior section of the club and we have great people on and off the field making sure we are a relevant force on all fronts, both provincially and nationally, we continue to produce quality players for the professional game but, more importantly, quality young men who make lifelong friends and play for the pure enjoyment as well as possibly enjoying a few post-match lemonades with friends. The effort from our coaches, Directors and Chairman of Rugby is huge. The time they put in away from the pitch preparing, recruiting, solving and fixing problems is immense we are lucky to have them all.
The mini and youth section continues to grow year on year and as such we are at almost peak capacity in Lansdowne Road, but we continue to look for extra space for our expanding club and are thankful to Dublin City Council and Gonzaga College for accommodating us with overflow this season. We will work through the summer looking to secure at least the same amount of pitch space in the area for next season and will keep you all up to date before the start of next season on any new or existing locations we will use.
It was great to see finals day last Sunday, where, firstly, our 18s completed the League and Cup double against a tough DLSP team and then later that afternoon, our amalgamated 16s Barbarian team got past a very tough and competitive Cill Dara team to win the Division 1 League title. We joined with Old Belvedere and DLSP as none of the clubs had enough players to field their own team. This has been a great success and many thanks to Belvo and DLSP for facilitating and encouraging the lads. Special mention to the coaches who on all teams played a huge part in keeping these lads playing great rugby. The minis continue their great work and great to see so many ex and current players coaching and encouraging the players. The future is very bright. Well done all!
As mentioned last month, we excelled in our charity donations with over €20,000 raised for Motor Neurone Research through our Climb for Ingo day, huge congrats to Colin Murtagh, Mark Forrest, John Lombard and Katie Boylan for their great work and making it a huge success. This followed our business lunch where we raised a fraction under €10,000 which was divided between Goal Ukraine and Ringsend District Response to Drugs.
To top it all off and to bring our charitable contributions in excess of €42,000! – Our ladies lunch raised another €12,000 last Friday for St. Anne’s School in The Curragh, Co. Kildare. A school that looks after children with additional needs and where one of my god children, Robyn, attends. It is a very special place that looks after children with severe problems but keeps them engaged through their magical methods and caring, It is great to see that our ladies generosity will almost pay for 2 interactive white boards which make a huge difference to the children’s education. I am delighted to say Lansdowne FC has made a positive impact to those children and to the school. Well done ladies and to especially my wife Liz along with her hard working committee. The ladies seemed to have a great day and deservedly partied well into the night. A huge thank you to all of the days sponsors who donated great raffle prizes allowing us to raise so many funds.
As we get ready for our 150th year and all the celebrations that will go with that, we wish to remember those members, friends and relatives we have lost during the past year. Unfortunately, it is too many to mention but they will be remembered by us all in different ways and for their valued contribution to Lansdowne FC.
Thank you to all for your support of me as President for the last 2 years and to those who have guided and helped me over the last number of years in my various roles. A special thank you to Elayne & Michael in the office for their loyal support and hard work in difficult circumstances over the last 2 years. Their work has been invaluable to keep the club running so well.
We hold our AGM next Wednesday May 11th and the club can be in no safer hands than that of the incoming President Mick Dawson and his Vice President Stephen Rooney, supported by a distinguished Board of Trustees and a focused and hardworking executive, the club will continue in safe hands as it has always been for the last 150th. I wish Mick and all the very best for season 2022/23 and beyond and hope to see you all on the side-lines supporting our teams in the very near future
Keep safe, stay well!
Club President 2020/22