Business Lunch 2014

The 13th Annual Union Business lunch took place on Friday the 11th of April. (See some images below). Once again the event was staged in the magnificent ballroom of the Shelbourne Hotel.

Almost 300 guests attended the lunch, which for the second year running, was in support of the “Rugby 2020” initiative for rugby in the school.

There was a nice mix of past pupils, current parents of pupils and a number of the current staff in attendance.

It was also great to see former internationals there including, Johnny Moloney, Terry Kennedy, Paul Dean, Tony Ward, Vincent Cunningham, Kevin Knowlan, Conor McGuinness, Denis Hickie, John McWeeney

Following a brief Welcoming Reception, President Halpin opened the formalities as he welcomed everyone attending and thanked, in particular Peter Cosgrove, Denis Hickie and David Mullen for their work in putting the whole afternoon in place.

Following the meal we heard from Denis Hickie who spoke about the “Rugby 2020” initiative. He stressed that the emphasis was on benefiting the whole school, from 2nd class to 6th year and that the development of players of all standards was key to its success.

Following the appointment last year of Gabriel Fulcher to the position of Director of Rugby, the school had seen a significant uplift in playing numbers and that in turn had led to a rise in the standard of play in general.

Denis also pointed out the need for the school to have the right facilities in place and that it will only happen with the financial support of the parents, friends and past pupils of St. Mary’s.   He acknowledged the generous support received to date and asked for the continued support to ensure that pupils of all standards in St. Mary’s would benefit from excellent coaching and great facilities and would enjoy their rugby while at school.

Denis passed on the microphone as a former international to a current one, as he welcomed Ireland international Sean O’Brien to the stage. Sean was joined by the popular RTE Rugby commentator (and St. Mary’s parent) Michael Corcoran.

There followed a very insightful Q&A with Sean where he spoke passionately about playing for the Lions and Ireland, winning Heineken Cups with Leinster and buying a tractor with his first pay packet! Michael Corcoran did his very best to embarrass Sean but it appears the Tullow Tank is as quick witted as he is off the back of a scrum.

Denis wrapped up proceedings by once again thanking everyone for their continued support and looked forward to seeing them again next year.

Daragh Coleman  

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