Wednesday 28 September 2016

Preaching the rugby gospel across three counties

Published 04/03/2016 | 02:30

The Ballyhaunis first XV
The Ballyhaunis first XV
Ballyhaunis minis action
Ballyhaunis crest

Ballyhaunis rugby club was founded in 1977.

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The club colours were chosen with the intention of amalgamating the colours of Mayo, Galway and Roscommon, given the town's location close to the borders of the two neighbouring counties, resulting in the distinctive purple and yellow worn by the club.

In the late '80s Ballyhaunis purchased a site on Doctors Road just outside the town to accommodate the growing interest it was having in the region.

A major fundraising drive then followed and the funds accumulated from the fundraising assisted in the development of two pitches and a car park.

Recreational

The grounds were further developed in the mid-90s to build a clubhouse which includes four dressing-rooms, a referees' room and an upstairs recreational area which can accommodate an array of things.

The grounds were officially opened in 2009 by then IRFU president John Lyons - he also brought along the Six Nations and Triple Crown trophies which the Ireland team had won that year.

Ballyhaunis currently operate teams from mini level all the way up to U-17.

The club's Junior team operate in division J1B of the Connacht League - they train on Wednesday and Friday nights.

Robert Duffy (former player) is coach of the promising U-15 team and hopes that some of these players can progress on to wear the green jerseys of Connacht and Ireland.

Ballyhaunis host a tag rugby festival every August, featuring teams from all the province.

Following the tag rugby tournament that night is a barn dance which in the past few years has seen acts such as Mundy and Bagatelle perform.

They also host bingo every Thursday night in 'Julian's of midfield' which is a great fundraiser for the club.

Irish Independent

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