Athletic Union Council

Established in 1909/10 the Athletic Union Council, is the governing body for UCD sports clubs, functioning as a funding, regulatory, arbitration and Colours awarding body.


Established in 1909/10 the Athletic Union Council, is the governing body for UCD sports clubs, functioning as a funding, regulatory, arbitration and Colours awarding body. It consists of two representatives from all affiliated clubs, one graduate and one student.

Current President of the Athletic Union Council (known popularly as the ‘AUC’) is Prof. Pat Guiry, Vice-President is Ms. Emma Jane Dunne.   The Hon. Treasurer is Mr. Colm Condon and the Hon. Secretary is Prof. Catherine Blake.  The Student Vice President is Ms. Shauna Fitzsimons (Men's Boat)).  The election of the five officers takes place at the AUC AGM at the end of September/early October. 

These officers are joined by 11 elected representatives of the UCD sports clubs, the Executive Secretary, Ms. Suzanne Bailey, the Director of Sport (Ex-Officio) and the Director of Student Services, Mr. Dominic O'Keeffe on the Executive Committee.

The 2022/23 Sports Clubs representatives elected at the AUC General Meeting on the 19th October 2022 were:


Correspondence for the attention of the AUC Hon. Secretary can be sent to


The mission of the AUC is to: "Act as a representative and support body in assisting UCD clubs to ensure the highest quality sporting opportunities for all students to engage in sport and physical activity at the level to which they aspire while enabling them to achieve their full potential"

The main functions of the AUC are:

  • Promote and develop club sport within UCD.

  • Allocate finance received annually from the University to UCD clubs.

  • Provide a support function to clubs committees, in terms of management training, advice on organizational matters, event management, sponsorship, finance, safety etc.

  • Manage and organise promotional / recruitment activities and events for UCD clubs e.g. publications, website, Sports Expo, Refreshers Day, Sports Awards etc.

  • Provide  a point of contact for all interested parties.

  • Award Colours according to specified standards laid down.

  • Ensure an arbitration and disciplinary service is available to all UCD clubs when required.

  • Act as a lobby group on behalf of clubs to maximisie available resources.


In addition, the AUC acts as a regulatory body ensuring that all clubs operate in accordance with the policies and procedures of the AUC, the University, National Governing Bodies of sport and the statutory agencies. Full details ofthe AUC's policies and procedures are provided in the AUC's Club Operations Manual.

The vision of the AUC is that: "All UCD sports clubs, by being sustainable, accessible and excellent, will meet the changing needs and expectations of the student population in UCD"


The AUC recently produced its UCD AUC Strategic Plan . The year 2020 marks five years since the formulation of the last Strategic Plan and significant progress has been made across the core pillars at the heart of the plan since 2015.


Following consultation with sports clubs, the AUC will focus on 6 key strategic pillars for the duration of the plan. Namely, Representation, Participation, Volunteerism & Support Services, Governance,  Management Elite Athlete Development and Communications.


Full details of the actions under these strategic areas are detailed in the plan which is available from this website.

The Athletic Union Council joins the Students Union and the Societies Council to make up the Student Activities Committee, which is chaired by Prof. Jason Last. This is the "umbrella body" which oversees the allocation of capitation funds to the various areas of student activities, including sport and it also provides an opportunity for clubs and societies, as well as the Students Union to air their views on matters relevant to student life. 

The Bank of Ireland AUC Sports Awards ceremony is held every summer to honour the sportsmen and women who bring honour and prestige to the University by their achievements on the sporting fields and arenas of Ireland and abroad. Teams or individuals winning nationally recognised titles or intervarsity trophies are honoured at the function as well as students who receive national or representative honours. This year more than three hundred students will be honoured at the Bank of Ireland AUC Sports Awards Ceremony in May. 

The official UCD playing colours are St. Patrick's Blue and Saffron (commonly interpreted as 'light' or 'Dublin' blue and amber). These colours were first adopted by the AUC in 1910, and replaced the brown, green and yellow of the Catholic University. Strangely in the early years, the Soccer Club continued to wear black and white. The Hurling Club wore saffron and green while only the Rugby Club complied with the new colours sporting blue and saffron hoops. Nowadays, modern sportswear design incorporates the St. Patrick's Blue and Saffron with more fashionable effect. A number of clubs prefer to choose their own distinctive colour combinations, together with the official UCD logo, rather than stick to the traditional colours.

All clubs affiliated to the AUC have public liability cover.  The AUC also has in place personal accident cover for sports club members engaged in sporting activities with their UCD clubs. Club members should be aware that this policy is designed to provide a basic limited cover for medical expenses in the event that they are injured whilst engaged in sporting activities with their UCD club and an excess applies. It is not a health insurance programme and it does not cover any loss of earnings or surgery costs that may be incurred following any injury. Students are strongly advised to consult the terms and conditions of the cover to ensure that it is adequate for their needs.  Details of the insurance cover and claim forms are available from the Executive Secretary. UCD Rugby players should note that they are covered under a separate policy arranged by the UCD Rugby Club.