Sunday 8 December 2019

A night to remember in Adare

Gillian Walsh and Tamso Doyle at the Molony fundraising ball at the Dunraven Arms, Adare, Co Limerick
Gillian Walsh and Tamso Doyle at the Molony fundraising ball at the Dunraven Arms, Adare, Co Limerick

The racing community gathered for a gala ball at the Dunraven Arms Hotel in Adare, Co Limerick, on Wednesday to honour champion jockeys, Tim and Martin Molony.

The Limerick brothers dominated the racing scene in Ireland and the UK in the 1940s and 1950s, and the ball raised funds for the Injured Jockeys Fund and for a bronze statue of the Molonys by Dublin sculptor, Paul Ferriter, which will be erected in Limerick Racecourse, not far from where the champion jockeys were raised.

Guests at the gala ball included David Redvers, the racing manager for Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, champion English trainer, Nicky Henderson, Ruby and Gillian Walsh, Barry and Paula Geraghty, and Barry and Penny Hills.

Geraldine, the Countess of Dunraven, attended the ball with her daughter, Lady Ana Johnson, and the McManus clan were well representated with Ciaran McManus and his wife Annemarie (fabulous in green). His sister, Sueann, and her husband, Cian Foley, also attended.

I spotted Paul Carberry, and his fiance, Rachael Clarke, who will be getting married in the Dunraven Arms next year, and ace PR, Tamso Doyle (pictured below on the right with Gillian Walsh).

The food was fabulous (the Dunraven beef is famous the length of Ireland) and over €60,000 was raised.

Tim Molony was five-time British champion National Hunt jockey and was leading the championship when he had a fall that made him retire. Tim died in 1989 and his younger brother Martin, a three-time winner of the Irish Grand National, is just shy of his 90th birthday.

Martin couldn't make the ball as he is in hospital after being attached by a swarm of wasps last week, but he is looking forward to attending the unveiling of the statue at Limerick Racecourse next year.

Paul Ferriter has captured sporting greats in bronze and you can see his larger-than-life bronze of Michael Cusack at Croker. He's also done a life-size golf sculptures of Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros and both Christy O'Connor Snr and Jnr.

- BP

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