CHILDREN in need can thank rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll for helping to raise close to €700,000 for their benefit following his star-studded testimonial dinner at the weekend.
The former Ireland captain and biggest try-scorer in Irish rugby union history has generously donated all of the €670,000 raised at the dinner to support his two chosen charities, the Temple Street Children's Hospital and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC).
Last night, officials from both charities said they were delighted with the outpouring of support from the Clontarf-born rugby star and people who supported the cause at the dinner.
The ISPCC said the donation would go towards funding its Childline help and text line.
"We're delighted," a charity spokeswoman said.
Temple Street was also over the moon with the money, which would go towards completing renovations on St Joseph's ward for seriously ill children, said the hospital's fundraising chief executive Denise Fitzgerald.
"It's phenomenal for ourselves. It will make a huge difference," she said.
The dinner, which was supported by Newstalk at Dublin's Convention Centre on Friday, drew sports stars and celebrities from around the country.
With wife Amy Huberman at his side, Mr O'Driscoll joined more than 1,140 guests as they sipped champagne before tucking into Kilmore Quay crab rolls, fillet steak and ox-cheek pie.
Earlier in the day, he delighted Audrey McDonald from Citywest, west Dublin, when he drove round to her home to drop off two tickets to the testimonial dinner in the €42,000 Lexus she had won in a competition launched on RTE's 'The Late Late Show'.