In 2011-12, Hugh Hogan resumed as captain of the club and under the coaching team of Peter Smyth, Ciaran Potts, James Norton and Steven Hennessy (advisory), they had a magnificent campaign and won through to the title on the last day of the campaign defeating great rivals Young Munster in a knee trembling match. (For details, see reports and club yearbook 2012-13) It was fitting that, President John Gilsenan, son of club legend and leader Matt Gilsenan, received the trophy on behalf of the club, The season saw the introduction of young players, Ryan O’Loughlin, Stevie Toal-Lennon, Christopher Lilly, Marcus O’Driscoll, Christopher Lilly, Gerry Sexton and Tom O’Reilly pushing up and challenging for places and many other support players and junior players making up an impressive player matrix. These players have brought many trophies and honour to the club over the decade (see Records).
Then in 2012-13, with Ciaran and Peter stepping down, Hugh Hogan stepped up and took over the role as senior coach, in addition to an outstanding playing career, he had previously successfully coached the club Under 21 team. During his first season as senior coach, he was fortunate to have Richard Sweeny (son of club legend JB Sweeney) as club captain. Another notable office holder of season 2012-13, the charismatic president, Michael Fanagan, is a member of the great St Marys’ Fanagan family, being a nephew of the great Joe Fanagan. The season saw the addition to the trophy cabinet of another LSLC, gained in a memorable final V Lansdowne FC (see report HERE).
To support and help develop players the infrastructure has also been enhanced, especially over the first decade of the 2000s, with a high performance gym and television grade floodlights added under the guidance of Tony Hickie and Frank Kennedy,( who had a remarkable playing career in the sixties, seventies and eighties with the most medals of all denominations of any player in the club), with strong backroom support from Brian (Spike) Fanning, John Pyne, Tom O’Brien, Liam Byrne and all the very active presidents of the decade and the executive committee. In spring 2010, Brian Fanning (then House and Grounds Manager), with the astute help of Liam Byrne (Hon Treasurer) and David Ross (Leinster Branch) who arranged re-designation of Sports Council grants, managed, with typical inventiveness and tenacity, to have the main pitch and training area (Cabbage Patch) restructured and drained to highest quality, ensuring for the future, a high quality surface under most conditions. This has been maintained to the highest standard by Grounds man Frank Doyle, under the tutelage of John Carvill.
Mention must be made of our first ever, IRFU president, John Hussey in 2011-12. He was Chairman of the IRFU management committee for eight years and previously was President of the Leinster Branch, having been our IRFU/LB representative for over ten years. He has served the club, LB and IRFU exceptionally well and helped bring Irish Rugby through changing and challenging times. As Chairman of the Celtic League (now Pro 12), he has been prescient in planning its development to its current status. With his involvement in Leinster Branch and IRFU, John followed such luminaries as Vincent Mc Govern, Paddy Bolger, Joe Fanagan, DP Smyth, Gerry Boyd and Ernest Farrell, all of whom had made superb contributions to Irish rugby and to St Marys. John Doddy, who followed John Hussey as the St Mary’s College RFC representative to the Leinster Branch sadly died in July 2009 and is greatly missed by all at the club, he had the sharpest of brains was a tireless worker and was most popular, admired and respected both at the club and within the wider rugby community. He was followed as our IRFU/LB representative by D O’Brien and in 2012-13 Niall Rynne, who had been working hard as the junior representative, took over and is keeping up the fine tradition of his predecessors. Since the start of the 2000s, there were also some other notable losses of leading members, including John O’Donoghue, Brian Whelan, Tom Holmes, James Maguire, Paddy Branagan, Nicky Corrigan, Paddy Jennings, Jack Cullen, Paddy Fearon and Chris Maguire.
St Marys proudly boasts ten Lions, 29 full internationals, 4 club internationals, over 120 inter provincial players stretching back to 1911, several A inter provincial, A international, Underage international and Colleges international players. St Mary’s College RFC has won over a 120 LB/IRFU trophies.
So, the club is healthy and well, with a full range of sides including a successful women’s section, now boasting two full Irish Internationals, Gillian Nolan and Paula Fitzpatrick, also mini and youth sections, happy social activity and good community interaction. We welcome all levels of players and non-playing persons to become members and enjoy the especially egalitarian atmosphere.