€12,500 raised for Irish Rugby Charity
BALLYMENA Rugby Football Club raised €12,500 for the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) Charitable Trust following an Ulster Lions Legends Gala Dinner in Belfast City Hall earlier this year.
The dinner in February saw many of Ulster and Irish rugby’s greatest ever players gathered together at Belfast City Hall to celebrate the proud heritage of Ulster players past and present who have been selected to play for one of the most famous touring sides of all time – The British and Irish Lions.
Ballymena RFC President and veteran of six Lions tours, Dr Syd Millar, said; “We at Ballymena Rugby Club thought it was important to mark the proud involvement of Ulster rugby players down the years who have gone on to represent the British and Irish Lions. This also gave us an opportunity to raise monies for the Irish Rugby Football Union Charitable Trust and for the Ballymena RFC youth development programme.
“We are absolutely delighted to be able to give €12,500 to the IRFU Charitable Trust. The money will in some small way make a difference to the 33 seriously injured players who are currently registered with the Trust most of whom are wheelchair bound and have some form of permanent paralysis.
“Many of us have had numerous injuries over the years and for Ballymena RFC to be able to contribute to our colleagues who are less fortunate because of their injuries – we are only too grateful that we can do this!”
Chairman of the IRFU Charitable Trust, John Callaghan said, “I would like to thank Ballymena RFC for this outstanding donation. This Club has consistently raised monies for the charity. Without local clubs helping and making an extra effort to raise monies then we would not have a charitable trust, nor would we be able to support those most in need.”
The Trust takes many forms and includes financial assistance for medical, nursing and caring expenses, home alterations, education and training costs, provision of wheelchairs and specialised equipment together with motor vehicles and vehicle conversion costs.
Dr Millar concluded that the whole event had been a great success; “The Gala Dinner was a fantastic opportunity to meet old friends and share stories in addition to celebrating the Ulster Lions Legends proud heritage. But to be able to give this amount to the charitable trust is the icing on the cake.”