Friday 22 September 2017

Night of nostalgia paying tribute to one of the greats

Ronan O'Gara
Ronan O'Gara

It was a real night of nostalgia last Thursday when around 700 people gathered in Cork to pay tribute to Ronan O'Gara.

It was a really fitting way to acknowledge what ROG (right) has achieved in the game and there was a fantastic turnout of people, from former players to people from all walks of life and different sports.

It was great to see so many old faces in the one place and a chance to catch up with guys you might not have seen in ages.

It was a fairly emotional night as well as we had played with ROG in so many of those matches which were featured on the night.

It was great to see ROG getting that ovation, it was thoroughly deserved.

A lot of the current lads were, of course, over in Glasgow that night preparing for the match the following day but a small group – Peter O'Mahony, who was at my table, Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan – stayed back and flew out the following morning.

I suppose it just showed the high regard Munster have for ROG that three lads who were playing against Glasgow should remain in Cork to attend the dinner before heading to Scotland on the day of the match.

I know from my own wedding a few weeks ago how difficult it can be to meet everyone there – and we had nowhere near 700 at ours – but he seemed to manage it!

There were some great clips and some great speeches.

They all paid tribute to ROG and were gushing about what he did but Peter Clohessy, as only the Claw would get away with it, reminded him of the Heineken Cup finals he played in and left without a winner's medal!

There is no danger of anyone getting carried away with the Claw around, that's for sure, but it was a great night.

Irish Independent

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