The Ireland Funds Rugby Lunch 2023 – 10 February 2023
Over 330 guests returned to the magnificent surrounds of The Shelbourne Hotel for The Ireland Funds Rugby Lunch, honouring Ireland and Ulster Rugby star, Rory Best. In its 14th year, The Ireland Funds Rugby Lunch is an annual event that honours the careers of outstanding rugby players, both on and off the pitch.
RTÉ Rugby Commentator, Michael Corcoran, opened proceedings by welcoming guests and thanked the Premium Table Sponsors AIB, William Fry, Eversheds Sutherland, Brandes and Flutter, for their support of the event. He then introduced Chair of The Ireland Funds, Alan Foy, who acknowledged The Ireland Funds Corporate Partners, AIB, Eversheds Sutherland and Ardagh Group, as well as the Board of Directors, whose continued support is greatly appreciated. Alan then introduced Executive Director of The Ireland Funds, Siobhán Gallagher, who thanked donors for their generosity and spoke about the crucial role of The Ireland Funds and the impact of funding on deserving causes across the island of Ireland. She then introduced a short video that highlighted how The Ireland Funds is there for a diverse range of non-profit organisations addressing societal issues.
Former Chair of The Ireland Funds, Hugo MacNeill, invited Rory Best to the stage and presented him with his award. Following this, Michael Corcoran conducted a lively fireside chat covering highlights from Rory’s impressive career which includes representing Ulster a total of 200 times, noting that he has 124 international caps for Ireland. Rory is one of only eight Irish players to be part of the ‘Centurion Club’, meaning they have 100 or more caps for Ireland. He has been part of many successful Irish and Provincial squads with wins in the Pro12, four Six Nations Championships, two Grand Slams, four triple crowns and appearances at the Rugby World Cup as well as two tours with the British and Irish Lions squad.
The Ireland Funds Board of Directors was represented by Alan Foy, Colin Hunt, Gary McGann, Brendan McDonagh, Angela Moore, Dr Peter Rooney, Gerard Ryan, and Andrew Trimble.
Special thanks to all our lunch Partners: AIB, William Fry, Eversheds Sutherland, Brandes and Flutter for their wonderful support.