Coolmine steeped in continuing success
Coolmine RFC is founded in 1980 and while it might be young compared with other clubs, its progress in the 28 years has been outstanding.
The club has grown from playing initially on a Dublin County Council pitch in Clonsilla to having one of the finest sporting facilities in the city, a facility that is now widely considered to be the barometer for other clubs when they are considering capital development.
Their eight-acre home in Ashbrook, Castleknock, which was bought in 1985, now consists of two floodlit pitches, synthetic all-weather training pitches, large car park and modern two-storey clubhouse.
The clubhouse was officially opened by then President of Ireland Mary Robinson in 1993 and was significantly upgraded in 2006, including the provision of a lift for wheelchair accessibility.
Catering for a Youths and Minis section that numbers close to 500 kids, the club has excellent ties with the local community, particularly with the local schools.
The new facilities have proved immensely popular with the school-going population and it is hoped that the success at this level, as evidenced by the many pennants and trophies adorning the bar area, will consequently continue to prosper.
Coolmine currently fields four adult teams that include a veterans XV, 'The Wildebeests', as well as an Under-20 side.
Ireland and Leinster hooker Bernard Jackman is in his second season as club coach and he appears to have a future in coaching when he stops playing, as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd XVs are all unbeaten in their various leagues.
The first team, under the captaincy of Harley Murray, currently lead the Leinster League Division 2 -- their only failure to win coming in an admirable draw away to New Ross.
There are four games remaining in the league and on Sunday Coolmine host Longford, but it is their final home game next month against second-placed Kilkenny that could decide the title.
The 1st XV also reached the Spencer Cup Final when disposing of Division 1 side Monkstown the week before Christmas.
The second string lead the Provincial Seconds League Division 2 by five points in their effort to win back-to-back crowns, while the thirds have an eight-point lead in their pool that should qualify them for the J4 League playoffs.
While being competitive is most important, the club has not neglected the social aspect and along with trips to the other home nations, tours have also taken place to Italy and France as well as such far flung destinations as the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong.
Many people have helped over the years to get the club to the enviable position it has now attained both in the local community and wider rugby circles and without this incalculable work, lovingly provided by the many volunteers, Coolmine would not exist.
The current committee, under the Presidency of George Caffrey, is carrying on the good work of the clubs' founding fathers and the future is certainly bright for Coolmine.