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O’Connell Honoured By Haven

16th March 2017 By The Editor


O'Connell taking to the field at Thomond Park. (c) INPHO

Haven, international charity partner of Munster Rugby, today hosted its eighth annual Six Nations Rugby Lunch in Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel.  At the event, hosted by Alan Quinlan, former Munster and Ireland captain and Haven ambassador, Paul O’Connell, was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Rugby Award 2017.

All funds raised at the annual event will go directly to Haven’s long-term, sustainable programmes on the ground in Haiti.  Haven’s projects open access to clean water and sanitation, promote sustainable social enterprise, strengthen skills and education, and empower families in Haiti to break free from poverty.

As international charity partners, this season sees Munster Rugby provide Haven with active support on specific projects while also working with them to raise awareness and funds through matchday activities, player appearances and more.

Speaking about the partnership, Munster Rugby Head of Commercial and Marketing, Enda Lynch, said, “Munster Rugby is delighted to have chosen Haven as our international charity. Haven makes an incredible contribution on the ground in Haiti, and we hope this partnership will make a great difference to the people of this remarkable country.”

Widely celebrated as one of the greatest second rows in rugby history, and a committed Haven ambassador since 2012, award recipient Paul O’Connell spoke following today’s presentation.  “I am deeply honoured to accept this award today, and, taking pride in my role as Ambassador for Haven since 2012, it holds a particularly special meaning.  Rugby plays an incredibly important part in my life, so it was a real privilege to line out for Munster, Ireland and the Lions. I was immensely proud and humbled to stand as captain of these teams, and to share some fantastic achievements with them.  I’d like to thank Haven for this award and all who came together at the Rugby Lunch today to make an impact for the people of Haiti.”

Haven Founder and Chairman, Leslie Buckley, added, “It is an honour to pay tribute to the great Paul O’Connell at today’s Rugby Lunch; he truly deserves this award.  Paul stands tall among the most iconic figures ever to emerge from Irish rugby.  As well as being an inspirational player and captain for Munster, Ireland and the Lions, we are very proud of Paul’s role as an ambassador for Haven.  The Irish rugby community has been extremely supportive to Haven since our launch in 2008, sharing a very strong connection with the people of Haiti.  This has been reinforced today by our international charity partnership with Munster Rugby, and we are immensely grateful for this opportunity.”

For more information, please visit the Haven website at www.havenpartnership.com, call +353 1 681 5442, or email info@havenpartnership.com.

Darren Sweetnam, Dave Foley and Tyler Bleyendaal lend their support to Haven.

Darren Sweetnam, Dave Foley and Tyler Bleyendaal lend their support to Haven. © Brian Gavin


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