27th September 2013
By TheCork.ie Reporter
RONAN O’GARA’s testimonial dinner in Cork next month is the hottest
ticket in town – and that’s official.
The glittering October 24th soiree at City Hall for one of Cork’s
favourite sporting sons has sold over 600 seats without promotion.
“The demand for tickets underlines the remarkably high esteem in which
Munster, Ireland and Lions legend O’Gara is held, says organising
committee chair,” Michael O’Flynn.
“This emphatic statement of support for Ronan speaks for itself. It is
truly reflective of the dedication and loyalty he has shown to Munster
and Irish rugby throughout his career. The fact that the event has
sold-out before the execution of a promotional campaign left the
organising committee with a problem – if a welcome one,” said Mr
The organisers have confirmed that due to ongoing demand from the
public, it has been decided to increase capacity for the night at City
Hall in Cork to 840 by using the Millennium Hall which is adjacent to
the main hall.
The concept of hosting events using both halls is not new as The Cork
Chamber of Commerce annual dinner uses the venue in this format with
great success. The Millennium Hall, with video linkage, will
accommodate a further 20 tables at a reduced ticket rate.
Two worthy causes will benefit from the Testimonial dinner for the
Paris-based star. Paediatric research in both Cork and Dublin will be
supported through the Cork University Hospital (CUH) charity and the
Crumlin Medical and Research Foundation while a portion of the
proceeds will also go to Donal Walsh’s LiveLife Foundation. O’Gara and
his former Munster rugby colleagues developed a tight bond with the
young Tralee man before his untimely death earlier this year.
The CUH Charity was established early in 2012 with the aim of
fundraising to provide a wide range of life changing and life-saving
equipment and services for patients attending Cork University
Hospital; in this instance funds will be focussed towards a research
centre at the new paediatric unit in CUH. The Crumlin Medical and
Research Foundation’s mission is simple – helping children and helping
The LiveLife Foundation was set up by Donal’s family earlier this
year. LiveLife will bring forward his causes of providing
age-appropriate teenage facilities in hospital and hospice centres as
well as promoting his anti-suicide message.
One of the social highlights of the year will host an array of leading
personalities from the world of sport, business and entertainment –
including his former international colleagues, Brian O’Driscoll and
Paul O’Connell. Mario Rosenstock of “Gift Grub” fame will be one of
the guest artists on the night.
A key element to the success of the testimonial – and to the charities
that will benefit from the bidding – is a breathtaking selection of
once-off auction items on the evening. Organisers have amassed a
treasure trove of special attractions for auction, but the remaining
seven weeks will see it escalate efforts to bring in the ultimate
auction prize. All public efforts to help the auction drive for
charity are welcomed and gratefully received. You can contact the
special email firstname.lastname@example.org in relation to this. Also, the
public can participate in the online auction in advance of the night
once it goes live.
Ronan will also host a London testimonial dinner on Thursday February
20th 2014, two days before England host Ireland in the Six Nations
Championship at Twickenham.