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Rugby Management Team

This team is responsible for all rugby-related matters at the club.  It is chaired by the Director of Rugby.

Responsibilities include the recruitment, development and management of players and coaches at the club, setting the club playing philosophy, preparing season plans, planning utilisation of club coaches across all teams, and ensuring the achievement of the playing goals of the club.  Whilst coaches and managers have game day responsibility with their respective teams, Railway operates as a 'coaching team', utilising the expertise of all coaches across all teams in the club.

 

John Cronin - Director Of Rugby

John CroninJohn has been Director of Rugby since August 2011 and has overall responsibility for all rugby-related matters at Railway Union RFC, including the club vision, strategic planning and direction, rugby operations, and the recruitment, development and management of players and coaches at the club.   In that time, he has led the growth of rugby at Railway from one team to seven senior sides, the installation of match-standard floodlights, the development of age-grade, the capture of sixteen trophies in two seasons, the achievement of AIL Division 1 status for Railway Women's team in just two seasons, and the development of Railway members to become Irish internationals and Leinster interprovincials.  

John joined Railway Union in 1997 and was 1st XV captain for a number of years.  A Limerick man, John’s former clubs include Thomond RFC, Sligo RFC and the University of Limerick RFC.  

Outside of Railway, John works with PricewaterhouseCoopers, is interested in politics, business and reading, and enjoys tag rugby, skiing and surfing, sits on the board of the World Sports Team, a global sports charitable organisation.

 

COACHES 

 

Simon Dodd - Men's Head Coach 

Simon is Head Coach at Railway, with primary responsibility for forwards.  Simon is an IRFU/IRB Level 2 qualified rugby coach and also coaches at CUS, where he has been Head Coach of the SCT for the past two seasons.  Simon has previously been player/coach at Stillorgan and also coaches Griffith College. 

New Zealander Simon is also Head of Strength and Conditioning at CUS and has a wealth of experience in dealing with athletes of all ages, abilities and gender.  He has worked with performance athletes in Ireland for over seven years, specialising in rugby and functional training. 

Andrew Adams - Men’s Head Coach

Andy applies his trade as a teacher in Newpark Comprehensive School in Blackrock where has been the rugby gamesmaster for the past 12 years.  He has coached the school game at all levels during this time including at representative level where he has been Head coach of the Leinster ‘A’ schools for the past three years.  An IRFU/IRB Level 2 coach, Andy’s previously coached Old Wesley U21s and their inaugural Women's team.

As a player, Andy represented Leinster ‘A’ Schools, Irish Exiles under 21’s, Irish students and Great Britain student’s rugby league sides and the Irish Amateur side amongst others. He has also coached Ireland side during a Four Nations in 2000 and the Ireland Student rugby league team during the 1996 World Cup.

Outside rugby, Andy enjoys spending time with the family, playing the odd game of golf, reading and being a coach potato to any and every type of sport on the box.

Mere Baker - Women's Head Coach 

Mere BakerMere is one of the most decorated female players in the game and has played representative rugby for New Zealand at 15s, 7s, is a world cup winner with New Zealand at rugby league, as well as winner of six Hong Kong 7s titles.  

Mere is head coach of Railway’s Women’s sides, coaching the teams to Leinster League, The Paul Cusack Leinster Cup, and the Leinster Shield in 2012/13.  Mere also coached the DCU Devils in 2012/13, winning coach of the year in DCU, and heads Railways Women’s and Girls’ 7s Academy.  

An IRFU/IRB Level 2 coach, Mere has previously coached Sydenham (Christchurch) to national 15s and 7s titles, KUSA 7s to international 7s titles and was a member of the Canterbury coaching staff for the New Zealand women’s ‘Going For Gold’ 7s programme.

Robbie O'Flynn - Men’s U20s Coach

Robbie is currently a teacher in St Michael's College. He played his rugby here between 1991-97 but had to give up due to injury. While in College at UCD he trained Junior 3rds in St Michael's College. This is also when he joined the ARLB and became a branch referee. He has been refereeing for the past 16 years and has been on IPAS three times during that period. He is an Sub Referee for AIL Div 1&2.

After qualifying as a teacher in 2004/5, he became Director of Rugby in St Michaels College in 2006 and fore-filled this role for 5 years. In this time, St Michael's won their first SCT title 2007 and were in a further 2 SCT Finals, they also were in every JCT during this period. Robbie was involved in coaching both the JCT (2006-09) and SCT (2010-11) during this period.

In recent years, he has coached the St Michael's Senior Barbarians to two finals and one title of the East Coast League. Today, he is involved in coaching 2nd Year rugby in the college with Kelvin Leahy.

John Handley - Men’s U20s Coach

John 'Bosco' Handley is a long-serving Railway player, who has thrown his boots over the hedge at least five times in retirement and is now in a coaching role.  John most recently played for the DB Pirates RFC in Hong Kong, where he was also Head of Youth Rugby and where he assisted with the coaching of the youth U10s, U14s and U16s colts teams.  

John is an IRB/HKRFU Kevel 1 Coach and was a formidable forward in his day.  He works with Andy with our U20s, taking responsibilities for the forwards (as well as the craic after).  
 

Cian Greally - Men’s 2nds Coach

Cian GreallyCian is coach of the Railway Men’s 2nd XV and has played for Railway since 2003, captaining multiple teams, winning 2nds player of the year in 2009, and coaching the Men's 3rds to league and cup wins in 2013/14. 

Cian learned his rugby in CBC Monkstown playing two years on the senior cup team there. He then went to National College of Ireland setting up the rugby club, which went on to win the Irish Colleges Cup Division 2 inside three years of existence despite playing against much larger colleges and is a former student union president there.

Outside of Railway, Cian works with Telecity Group Ireland, and is interested in politics, current affairs, boxing, Leinster, boot camps and enjoys tag rugby.

Garry Dean - Men’s 2nds Coach

Garry Dean is a former Railway and Shannon player, who began his coaching career after retirement from playing.  Having completed his IRFU/IRB Level 1 course, Garry enjoyed a hugely successful first season when he coached the Railway Men’s 2nd XV to a Leinster league title in 2012/13.

Outside of rugby, Garry works in IT, loves guitars and is enjoying being both being newly married and first-time fatherhood. 

 

Conor Lequerica - Women's 2nds Coach

Conor went to school in St. Michaels's College where he first took up rugby, winning a now infamous J3rds winner medal in an undefeated season at the top of the Leinster Junior 3rds league.  Conor plays has played rugby for Railway from U17s to U20s to Adult, as well as playing tennis and cricket with Railway.  Conor has represented Leinster in cricket and Ireland in Duatholon in the European Championships.

Conor is a qualified coach in a number of sports, including rugby and soccer.  He coached the first ever Sion HIll Girls 7s team in the Schools 7s in 2013, coaches in Willow Park, and coached the Women's 2nds to the Paul Cusack Plate in 2013/14.  

Outside of rugby, Conor likes playing music, hanging out with Josh, Fish, and Lava and is studying an Applied Psychology degree in IADT Dun Laoighre with the aim of going on to a Sports Psychology masters.

 

Paul Handley - Men’s 3rds Coach

Paul is a former Railway player, who also played at Bective in an illustrious playing career.  Well-known in Dublin rugby circles, Paul took up coaching upon retirement and is an IRB/IRFU Level 1 coach.  Paul has coached Railway Men’s 3rd XV since 2012/13.

 

MANAGERS

Pat Noonan - Men’s 1sts Manager

Pat is manager of the Railway Men’s 1st XV. Pat joined Railway in 2012/13 and played on all four men's sides at various stages of the playing calendar, rather dubiously becoming a Railway Legend without even a full season under his belt.

Pat previously played in the front row with Clonakilty RFC in the All Ireland League and also coached their successful Ladies and Under 19 sides. Pat recently completed his IRFU/IRB Level 1 coaching course.

Outside of rugby Pat's interests include reading, shooting, music & burlesque. 

 

Joe Kiely - Men's U20s Manager

A Limerick man, Joe has been an All Ireland League representative for Thomond RFC, a club founded by his father and uncle (with, in a quirk of faith, Railway Director of Rugby John Cronin’s gran-uncle).

When moving to Dublin, Joe became a member of DLSP where he coached at underage level from 2000-2010 and became Chairman of Youths and Minis from 2007-2010. During this time, Joe led the increase in playing numbers from 150 to 350 and led tours of underage teams to England, Scotland, Italy & USA.

 

Jonathan Forde  - Women's 1sts Manager

Jonny Forde is the Women's 1st XV team manager and has responsibility for all aspects of player management at training and during matches.

 

Michael-Eoin O'Gruagain - Men's 2nds Manager

Michael is the Men's 2nds team manager and has responsibility for all aspects of player management at training and during matches. Michael joined Railway in 2004 having previously played with Ashbourne RFC as a youth. Whilst attending college in National College of Ireland, he set up the college Rugby club with fellow Railway member Cian Greally. A fluent Irish speaker, Michael-Eoin managed to fulfil the life goal of many a 90’s kid and was actually the voice of the Black Power Ranger on the dubbed Irish version of the TV Show that was shown on TG4. 

He still has the costume and he wears it on ‘special occasions’.

   

Cathrina O'Donoghue - Women's  2nds Manager

Kats is the Women's 2nd XV Manager and sees this as her ideal job as she has loved rugby since the age of four, when her grandmother took her first Rugby match in Cork Con.  Originally from Dingle in Kerry, Kats has since played for Tralee IT, UCC, Tralee RFC, Highfield RFC & St Mary’s College RFC, where she also served as Manager of their Women’s AIL Div 1 team.  She has also been a member of numerous Leinster and IRFU committees over the years but now enjoys, what she claims is, 'the relaxed competitive nature of Railway'.

Outside of Railway, Kats is well-known as the Operations Manager for Irelands largest outdoor sports events company, Aliveoutside, who run 'Hell and Back' and the Irish Tag Rugby Association. 

 

Olivia Dalton - Men's 3rds Manager

Olivia is the manager of the Men's 3rd XV in Railway, where she puts her Neuromuscular Therapy training to good use.  Olivia started her Railway career when she fulfilled a medical role for the Men’s 3rds who, though she'll never admit it, are her favourite side in Railway.  Since then, she has fulfilled many roles, including team manager for various men’s and women’s sides, as well as Honorary Fixtures Secretary, a position where she claims she is the youngest in Leinster. 

As a Munster girl, rugby began as a Sunday morning love affair on the sideline in UL Bohemians and can be blamed solely on her father Joe, himself a former President of UL Bohemians.  Olivia managed to maintain this love when she moved to Dublin and joined Railway. 

When not supporting Railway's various teams, she can be found playing tag rugby and at various music venues around the city.