This year’s IRFU Charitable Trust O2 Rugby Ball was held in the Burlington Hotel on the eve of the Ireland v Scotland Six Nations match last weekend.
Over 620 guests attended the ball and helped to raise funds for the IRFU Charitable Trust which supports seriously injured players. It was a star-studded evening with some legendary Irish players on hand.
The evening started with a drinks reception sponsored by Diageo, where the O2 Angels served drinks and guided the gathering crowd to their tables, whilst a magician wowed the crowds with his impressive magic tricks.
Brian O’Driscoll and Jack Kyle were presented with awards for their contributions to Irish rugby and many other prominent rugby figures were also in attendance including Ronnie Dawson, Ollie Campbell, Mick Galwey, Paul Wallace, Shane Horgan and Leo Cullen.
Leinster’s Joe Schmidt and Isa Nacewa were also in attendance as was rugby pundit Brent Pope.
The night’s MC, Risteard Cooper, was on fire, providing an evening of outright entertainment through his satirical takes on current events, impersonating the usual characters, Masters Hook and Pope to the fore, not forgetting his hilarious interview with Brian O’Driscoll which brought the house down.
He concluded his repertoire with some very witty operatic singing which the crowd merrily joined in on the chorus.
The main fundraising was sourced through an auction, silent auction and raffle. Auction lots included 10 pairs of 02 concert tickets, a kicking session with Jonathan Sexton and a Gordon D’Arcy skills session for 12 children paired with Lifestyle sports vouchers, a 2011 New Zealand jersey and a framed 18 hole flag from the 2011 US Open signed by Rory Mcllroy.
There were plenty of silent auction and raffle prizes including signed sporting jerseys, weekends in some of the best hotels and restaurants in Ireland, Hugo Boss his and hers watches and many, many more.
Just under €;100,000 was raised on the night and this will go a long way in assisting the 33 seriously injured rugby players who greatly rely on this funding.
The guests also hit the dance floor to the superb band, ‘the Bogus Brothers’, one of Europe’s best known party bands who came over especially from the UK to play at the event.
It was both a memorable and enjoyable evening for a worthy cause and people are already looking forward to next year’s O2 Rugby Ball.
The evening was organised by Mick Quinn supported by his committee, Keith Mangan, Michael Whelan, Michael McLoughlin, Gavin Lee, Shane Whelan, Donal Quinn, Johnny Lynch, Orla Stafford, Peter Murray, Linda Black and Sharon Coffey.
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