Former Leinster, Ireland and Lions lock Malcolm O’Kelly will become the 11th player to be inducted into the the Bord Gáis Energy IRUPA Hall of Fame at the IRUPA Awards in Dublin on Wednesday, May 4.
In doing so, Malcolm O’Kelly will be joining other greats such as fellow ex-Ireland internationals Girvan Dempsey, Anthony Foley, David Humphreys and Keith Wood.
Educated at Templeogue College, ‘Big Mal’ won his first Ireland senior cap in 1997 against New Zealand at Lansdowne Road and went on to win 92 caps during his international career.
Still Ireland’s most-capped second row, he won five Triple Crowns and was part of the 2009 Grand Slam winning squad. He played in three Rugby World Cups and is a two time British & Irish Lion.
O’Kelly made his debut for Leinster in 1995 whilst studying at Trinity College and went on to play for Leinster on 188 occasions. He had a three-year sojourn with London Irish from 1996 to 1999 before coming back home to Leinster.
His achievements with Leinster include the inaugural Celtic League title in 2001, a Magners League crown in 2008 and a memorable Heineken Cup success in 2009.
On hearing of his induction, he said: “I’m delighted to be accepting this award and joining the other players already inducted into the Bord Gáis Energy IRUPA Hall of Fame.
“It means a huge amount as it comes from the players I played with and against during my career.”
John Mullins, the CEO of Bord Gáis, commented: “Malcolm O’Kelly has been a wonderful ambassador for the game of rugby over the years and his induction into the Bord Gáis Energy IRUPA Hall of Fame is a more than fitting tribute to such a decorated and well respected player.
“I know that anyone with even the smallest interest in the sport will realise the towering impact Malcolm has had on Irish rugby at every level.”
The Bord Gáis Energy IRUPA Awards will take place at Dublin’s Burlington Hotel on Wednesday, May 4.
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