IT WAS a star-studded event but for Ronan O'Gara it was "emotional" to be honoured by his former team-mates in his home city.
Munster's most capped player of all time was toasted at a testimonial dinner in Cork's City Hall last night, accompanied by his wife Jessica and 850 guests that included some of the most recognised faces in Irish sport.
Fellow Corkonian Roy Keane was among the guests who came out to pay tribute to the man heralded as the saviour of Munster, the club O'Gara revealed he would one day love to coach.
Keane declined to speak to reporters, even to pay tribute to 'ROG'.
"I have the best of memories," O'Gara said. "When I started playing for Munster there were 400 people watching us and now there are 80,000, so it's a great story," he told the Irish Independent.
"I've had every emotion from crushing disappointment to the best of days and great nights after games."
Jessica said she was enjoying living in France since Ronan took up a coaching job with Paris club Racing Metro 92.
Former Munster and Ireland player Peter Clohessy said Munster rugby would not be what it is today were it not for O'Gara. John Hayes described his close friend as one of the greatest players of the game: "He was determined, driven and never took a backward step. But he also had a razor-sharp tongue and you would not want to be on the wrong end of that."
Other guests included former Cork manager Billy Morgan, Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald, George Hook, Ruby Walsh, Mario Rosenstock, Ian Dempsey, Finance Minister Michael Noonan, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, FF leader Micheal Martin, Bishop John Buckley and CoI Bishop Paul Colton.
Charities that benefited from last night's black-tie event included Cork University Hospital and Crumlin Medical Research Foundation.
A contribution was also made to the Donal Walsh #Livelife Foundation.