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Meet the President of the IRFU Munster Branch

13th June 2005 By Munster Rugby

Meet the President of the IRFU Munster Branch

Old Crescent’s finest, Ken Lyons, is looking forward to his year as President of the Munster Branch. Find out more about this human dynamo and the challenges that lie ahead.

Mr. Ken Lyons
President of the IRFU Munster Branch 2005-6

I can t sit still chimed new President of the IRFU Munster Branch, Ken Lyons, when asked about balancing the running of a business with the Presidency and his varied interests. This human dynamo has excelled both on the rugby pitch and in his professional life, continuously setting new goals for himself and confronting challenges head on. With a reputation as a man of action, Ken will be channelling his energies into his new role and is looking forward to the season ahead with enthusiasm.

Held very much in esteem by his club, Old Crescent, Ken was approached by them in 2003 to go forward as their nomination for the Munster Branch Presidency, a role which Ken was deeply honoured to accept. Learning the ropes in his role as Vice-President in the season just past under the Presidency of Bandon s Niall O Driscoll, Ken assumed the Presidency at the Munster Branch AGM at the beginning of this month.

Included in his agenda is to encourage clubs to use the entire Branch for their own benefit which in turn will help to the development of the game. He is particularly supportive of the newly founded Munster Rugby Board, a seven strong group which will look after the interests of the professional game and who will indirectly be aiming to create a direct financial spin off to the amateur game in the province. Also on the agenda is to continue to work of the previous Presidency with regards to the plans for the redevelopment of the grounds at Musgrave Park and Thomond Park. There are also plans afoot to develop standby facilities in each city.

Born in Limerick in 1950, he started playing rugby at the age of seven in Crescent College Comprehensive. At 16 he joined Old Crescent RFC, and two years later earned his place on their Senior team, becoming a consistent team member until his retirement in 1984. At 19 he represented Limerick in the intercity competitions, and went on to captain Old Crescent for two consecutive years. Certainly one of the highlights of his career was his inclusion in the Munster squad in the milestone year of 1978. Although not getting an opportunity to play against the All Blacks, he did get to share in the success when he played in the final of the Championship that year, coming onto the team as a replacement for the injured Moss Finn. His retirement as a player coincided with the setting up his own Ford dealership, Lyons of Limerick , having worked in the industry since leaving school. Four years ago, he moved the business to a state of the art premises on a four acre site in Ballysimon. Despite retiring as a player in 1984, he returned to Old Crescent as Senior coach after an 18 month hiatus, and continued to be involved with the team as Coach, Director of Rugby or Selector over the next ten years. Winning the AIL Division Two title in 1996 was a highpoint of his involvement, and he continues to remain close to the first team set up to this day.

Not content with a successful rugby playing and coaching career, Ken is also a keen rally enthusiast, taking second place on two occasions in the National Rally Championships. Married to Renza, the couple have four children, all of whom have followed their father s footsteps and excelled in the sporting arena. Son Keith followed his father into rugby, and represented his province at Munster Schools and U21 level. Not to be outdone by the male members of the family, Ken s daughters are also heavily involved in sport. Eldest daughter Jennifer is a sailing enthusiast, with Nikki, who captained Dublin hockey side Loreto for two seasons in Europe and also represented Munster in the sport. His third daughter Karen was a member of the Limerick based team that won the All Ireland tag rugby title in Dublin last year.

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