Rala lost for words as DLSP honour IRFU legend
The 'sold-out' signs were put up once again in Stratton Hall at Kirwan Park, as De La Salle Palmerston FC held their annual club dinner recently.
John Corr is the current president and guest of honour on the night was IRFU president Martin O'Sullivan, who was attending his first "gig" as the top man in Irish Rugby. He showed his true credentials, regaling the crowd with stories from a lifetime on and off the pitch.
Corr also welcomed club presidents from all over the province, as well as Niall Rynne, Dermot O'Mahony and Dennis Collins from Leinster Rugby.
It was also great to see former Irish international and Lions player Johnny Moloney enjoying the evening and looking as fit as ever. No wonder the Lions team he was part of were known as 'McBride's Invincibles'!
DLSP were also thrilled to have Patrick 'Rala' O Reilly on hand to accept a surprise Special Award from the club on his retirement after more than 25 years as bagman for the Ireland senior team. His Terenure club colleagues told us it was the first time that they have seen Rala speechless!
Former Romanian international and DLSP player, Dr Mihai Vioreanu, spoke with great passion about the game, in particular the medical advances being made to help players recover from injury. Mihai is a knee specialist in the Sports Surgery Clinic in Santry.
Finally, it was left to former DLSP club captain Ciaran 'Shanners' Shanley to send the crowd home in floods of laughter with his brilliant and witty speech. Ciaran showed that as well as being the first DLSP senior interprovincial player with Connacht, he has a sound future on the after-dinner speech circuit.
Thanks to everyone for a memorable evening, another to add to DLSP's proud history.