18 May, 00:08
Munster have announced that Ronan O'Gara has retired from playing professional rugby. It's understood that the 36 year old will take up a coaching role abroad at the start of the 2013/14 season.
The money was raised through a number of different channels with Munster Rugby pledging €1 from every ticket sold for the game, the Munster players contributed their match fee, a bucket collection was held outside Thomond Park, the Munster Rugby Supporters Club held a raffle, and sponsors made individual donations.
Garrett Fitzgerald, Munster Rugby CEO, stated “We were very pleased with our first Charity Match last Saturday and I would like to thank the squad, staff and the volunteers from the charities who gave their time to support this initiative.
Specific thanks should go to the supporters who donated generously before and after the match, the Munster Rugby Supporters Club who raised over €650 from a raffle held on the day with prizes donated from Aer Arann, Ballygowan and Timberland, and Magners (C&C) who donated €500 to the event.
We are very pleased and proud to be donating over €9,000 to each of our nominated charities as a result of the game.”
Julianne Savage, UNICEF Ireland added "Where UNICEF works, 1 Euro can save a child's life - so just imagine the difference every Euro raised through the Munster charity match will make. We are very grateful to everyone at Munster Rugby and all the supporters for their support this season. Your generosity will change the lives of thousands of children in Swaziland.”
Suicide Aware's Pat Behan commented "The Munster Charity Match gave us a fantastic platform in which to get our message of awareness out there and to raise much needed funds. We are very thankful for this opportunity and our association with Munster Rugby and look forward to our continued relationship for the rest of the season."
Eoin Kirby of TLC4CF said "We would like to thank Munster Rugby for their support and help in promoting the awareness of cystic fibrosis. The financial benefit is always welcome and will go towards a required piece of equipment to help those suffering from CF, and a two storey developement at Mid-Western Regional Hospital."
The Charity Match is just one initiative organised by Munster Rugby to help support the three nominated charities for the season.
Throughout the season, Munster have committed to assisting each charity to help raise the profile of a number of their key initiatives. This included the launch of UNICEF’s “Believe in Zero” campaign at the Benetton Treviso match in October, a Breakfast with Munster and Australia on 17th November that helped raise funds for TLC4CF and supporting Suicide Aware at an awareness evening in Cork in November.
To date, each charity has had the use of a corporate box at a Magners League match in Thomond Park and a selection of signed merchandise to assist them in their fundraising activity.
Munster Rugby’s Nominated Charities for the 2010/11 Season:
Suicide Aware: www.suicideaware.ie
TLC4CF: www.tlc4cf.com Futher details about the Mid-Western Regional Hospital development will be announced on Monday the 10th at 11am in the hospital.
Suicide Aware representatives pictured with Mick O'Driscoll
TLC4CF representatives pictured with Billy Holland, Damien Varley, Scott Deasy, Niall Ronan and Alan Quinlan
UNICEF representatives pictured with David Wallace, Billy Holland, Niall Ronan, Scott Deasy and Damien Varley