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Diarmuid Kelly RIP

29th November 2023 By The Editor

RIP Diarmuid Kelly.

RIP Diarmuid Kelly. Inpho

It is with great sadness that Munster Rugby have learned of the passing of former Honorary Secretary Diarmuid Kelly.

Diarmuid made an extraordinary contribution to Munster Rugby for over 30 years and served as Honorary Secretary of the Munster Branch for 22 years, from 1983 until 2005, revolutionising the administrative structures within the Munster Branch.

He was born and reared in Fermoy and played underage rugby at Mallow RFC before lining out at senior level for Sunday’s Well and Cork Constitution.

In 1970, he and some like minded individuals founded Fermoy RFC to cater for the town and surrounding areas.

Involvement in the club in its infancy provided invaluable administrative experience, and after holding various positions within the club, he became Cork County Committee Secretary. This led in 1977 to his appointment as Munster Junior Committee Secretary which he held for 6 years. On the retirement of Munster Branch Honorary Secretary Bill O Brien in 1983, it was a natural progression for Diarmuid to step into the role.

Diarmuid certainly wasted no time in bringing new dimensions to the role, setting up a number of initiatives designed to improve and develop communications within an ever-expanding organisation in the province.

Diarmuid introduced the famous Red Book , an annual publication which gives details of byelaws, fixtures and club contacts.

Similarly, Diarmuid also introduced the all encompassing Annual Report, recording and detailing all players who play representative rugby for the province and internationally.

Rugby in Munster enjoyed an explosion in the late 70s and 80s, with a large number of Junior clubs founded during the period, and Diarmuid was heavily involved in helping these clubs to develop and thrive.

He was a key figure in the introduction of a FAS Rugby Coaching Scheme with bases in Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Kerry, the scheme was hugely successful in bringing the sport to non-rugby playing schools, particularly at primary school level with neighbouring clubs benefiting significantly from this initiative.

Read more about his life and incredible contribution to Munster Rugby here.

Diarmuid was the beloved husband of Margaret, loving father of Rory, Órla and Elaine, adored grandad of Paul, Tom, Mark, Eoghan and Finbar, dearly beloved son of the late Tom and Nellie, dear brother of Eamon, Ann, Jacqueline and the late Margaret and Brenda.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.

See details of the arrangements here.


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