Joy as Billy Glynn takes over at helm of IRFU
Outgoing IRFU president John Hussey, left, presents the new IRFU president Billy Glynn with his pin of office after the IRFU annual council meeting.
By Declan Varley
The election of Galwayman Billy Glynn as the 125th president of the Irish Rugby Football Union has been welcomed in the west where he has had a distinguished career as a rugby player and administrator.
He is synonymous with the game in Connacht where he has been a leading and popular personality in the affairs of the game during all his adult life.
Galwegians president Colm O’Donnellan congratulated Mr Glynn and told The Advertiser last evening that the honour was well deserved.
"On behalf of all Galwegians I wish Billy every success with the Presidency, which is richly deserved after his tremendous contribution and service over the years to both Connacht and Irish rugby.
"Galwegians RFC are extremely proud that Billy Glynn has become the seventh club member to hold this prestigious office, more than any other club in the country".
In assuming the highest office in Irish rugby, Glynn follows in the footsteps of fellow Galwegians RFC members Henry Anderson (1945-46), Johnny Glynn (1958-59), Chris Crowley (1968-69), John Moore (1981 – 82), Bobby Deacy (1996-97) and Don Crowley (2002 – 03).
A retired solicitor and Revenue Sheriff living in Galway City, the new IRFU President first came to sporting prominence while a schoolboy at Garbally Park College where he showed early promise in athletics and rugby. He played for the Galwegians RFC winning Connacht Senior Cup team in 1960 while still attending school.
While studying law in Dublin between 1961 and ’64, he played for UCD’s winning Leinster Senior Cup team in 1963-64. He was also capped for the Irish Universities against the touring Springboks in April 1965 when the Irish students recorded an historic first ever victory by a team from Ireland over South Africa¸ winning 12-10 at Thomond Park.
On returning to Galway, he played as a speedy wing three quarter for Galwegians RFC and the Connacht senior interprovincial team for a number of years. He was also selected for a Final Irish Trial in 1965 and was chosen on an Ireland under 23 XV. But in 1966 at the age of 24 his career was curtailed due to a serious neck injury.
The injury also ended a successful career in athletics during which he was crowned Irish National champion in both track and field. In 1960 he represented Ireland in the European Student Games in San Sebastian and in 1962 at the age of 20 he was elected to the Central Council of the National Athletics and Cycling Association (NACA) on the platform of advancing unity in Irish athletics.
In his rugby administrative career, Glynn was Chairman of the Connacht senior team selection committee (1988-06), Manager of the Connacht team between 1996 and 2000, President of the Connacht Branch in 2000-2001 and from 2000 he has been a member of the IRFU Committee, notably holding the positions as Chairman of the Medical Committee, Chairman of the Disciplinary Appeals Committee and as a member of the Representative Game Committee.
Residing in Galway and married to Margaret, he has two sons, Barry and Richard.