Ulster Rugby vs Munster


In particular I am pleased to welcome Munster President Gerry O’Shea and the Munster team and officials. Tonight’s opponents, Munster, have been through a traumatic time following the tragic death of Anthony Foley in Paris two weeks ago. A lot has been written about Axel since – suffice to say that Munster and Ireland have lost a legend at far too young an age. Axel achieved much in his playing and coaching career and he, more than any, epitomised the spirit and passion that is Munster Rugby. He will be sorely missed, particularly by his wife Olive, sons Tony and Dan and the family circle. The thoughts and prayers of all in Ulster Rugby are with them and our colleagues and friends from Munster. I had the privilege to attend Anthony’s funeral service in Killaloe last week and anyone who heard the heartfelt eulogy by Olive in a church, where the atmosphere was one of raw emotion, could not help but be moved. To give such a eulogy when in such grief was a brave and courageous decision but, as one would expect from a Foley, it was superbly delivered. It was also a very brave decision by Munster to agree to play their European Champions Cup match against Glasgow last week, one week after Axel’s death. There will be no better tribute to Anthony Foley’s memory than the superb performance and victory that the Munster team delivered over Glasgow. It is also fitting that we also have as our guests tonight a team from St. Munchin’s College, Limerick, which is Anthony Foley’s old school. Their players and coaches are very welcome. Ulster, as a mark of respect, are erecting a plaque commemorating Anthony Foley in the away dressing room in Kingspan Stadium. This is a reciprocal gesture as Munster erected a plaque in the away dressing room in Thomond Park four years ago to commemorate Nevin Spence. That said, sentiment and sympathies will be set aside once the game starts – it is an inter-pro after all - and I have no doubt that it will be a full blooded battle from start to finish. Finally, I hope everyone enjoys the game tonight as well as the facilities at Kingspan Stadium and remember - “Stand Up For The Ulstermen”. John McKibbin President IRFU (Ulster Branch) It gives me great pleasure as President of the IRFU Ulster Branch to welcome everyone to Kingspan Stadium for this evening’s Round 7 match in the Guinness PRO12 Championship. PRESIDENT’S WELCOME

IRFU ULSTER BRANCH 2016/17 OFFICERS John McKibbin President Graffin Parke Senior Vice President Stephen Elliott Junior Vice President Denis Gardiner Honorary Secretary Michael Boyd Honorary Treasurer Greg Irwin Competitions Secretary EXECUTIVE TEAM Shane Logan Chief Executive Chris Webster Domestic Rugby Manager Audrey Robinson Financial Controller Fiona Hampton Head of Sales & Marketing Les Kiss Director of Rugby

Kingspan Stadium, 134 Mount Merrion Avenue Belfast, BT6 0FT T +44 (0)28 9049 3222 ulsterrugby.com



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