Sunday 21 December 2014

Brutal honesty and brilliant banter - the first Sunday Independent 'Off the Page' event

Fergus McDonnell

Published 30/01/2014 | 15:01

There must have been something special in the Dundrum air on Wednesday night as 120 readers gathered for the first Sunday Independent Sport ‘Off The Page’ event in association with Elverys and were treated to a fascinating and frank discussion.

The panel was made up of Sunday Independent Sports columnists Neil Francis, Colm O’Rourke and Paul Kimmage, along with special guest Gary O’Toole.

One reader emailed us afterwards to say that ‘the banter between the four lads was brilliant and also very informative’  - he wasn’t wrong.

Paul Kimmage was in the news earlier in the day and the session began with him explaining to a hushed audience how and why he had withdrawn from collaborating on Brian O’Driscoll’s autobiography.

The discussion, lead by Sunday Independent Sports Editor John Greene, then moved to how the panellists had initially become involved in their chosen sports, what they thought of Ireland’s chances in the upcoming Six Nations Championship and if they had any regrets about their own sporting careers.

Their brutally honest and often witty remarks kept the audience enthralled for over two hours and as another reader wrote to tell us: ‘After 2hours and 10 mins, I got a chance to glance at my watch and could not believe it was all over so quickly.’

Paul Kimmage speaks about Brian O'Driscoll at the Sunday Independent 'Off the page' event in Elverys, Dundrum. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Paul Kimmage speaks about Brian O'Driscoll at the Sunday Independent 'Off the page' event in Elverys, Dundrum. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Paul Kimmage speaks about Brian O'Driscoll at the Sunday Independent 'Off the page' event in Elverys, Dundrum. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Billy Sheehan and Dave Mannix at the Sunday Independent 'Off the page' event in Elverys, Dundrum. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Paul Kimmage speaks about Brian O'Driscoll at the Sunday Independent 'Off the page' event in Elverys, Dundrum. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Marie Crowe and Jane Wilde at the Sunday Independent 'Off the page' event at Elverys Dundrum. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Colm O'Rourke and Paul Kimmage at the Sunday Independent 'Off the page' event at Elverys, Dundrum. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Neil Francis and Colm O'Rourke during the Sunday Independent 'Off the page' event in Elverys, Dundrum. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Sunday Independent 'Off the page' event, Elverys Dundrum. Picture; GERRY MOONEY. 29/1/14
Sunday Independent 'Off the page' event at Elverys, Dundrum. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Sunday Independent 'Off the page' event at Elverys, Dundrum. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Neil Francis and Colm O'Rourke at the Sunday Independent 'Off the page' event at Elverys, Dundrum. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Noel and Pearse Corcoran at the Sunday Independent 'Off the page' event in Elverys, Dundrum. Photo: Gerry Mooney

We would like to thank all the readers who took the time to apply for tickets to this event, and those who left the warmth of their firesides to join us for a hugely successful evening and Elverys for making it all possible.

We are looking forward to the next one already.

Irish Independent

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