24th October 2013, Tuesday
By Bryan T. Smyth
840 people will break bread with Ronan O’Gara tonight in Cork City Hall.
The rugby legend is holding a testimonial dinner
“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.
The organisers have said 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.
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.
An array of personalities from the world of sport, business and entertainment –
including Rodge’s former international colleagues, Brian O’Driscoll and
Paul O’Connell. Mario Rosenstock of “Gift Grub” fame will be one of
the guest artists tonight.
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 also writes weekly for the Irish Examiner and pictures from tonights
dinner will appear in Saturdays paper.
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.