Sports stars shine at charity gala ball
More than €250,000 has already been raised at a series of Special Olympics Ireland fundraisers, writes Rachel Lavin
Top Irish sporting stars donned their black ties on Friday evening for an event that raised more than €100,000 for Special Olympics Ireland.
Hosted by charity partner eir, the 'Sporting Heroes' Ball took place in Dublin's InterContinental Hotel, Ballsbridge and was attended by sports stars past and present, including Ian Madigan, Henry Shefflin, Alan Brogan, Alan Quinlan and Keith Wood .
"I've been involved with Special Olympics Ireland for nearly seven years," said Wood. "It is sport and support at its best, it brings joy to all, and it is something that Ireland can be proud to say that we are world class."
Earlier this year, Special Olympics Ireland participated in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, which involved 7,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from around the world and featured competitions in aquatics, gymnastics, track and field, basketball, football and many other summer sports, and resulted in 82 medals for Team Ireland.
CEO of Special Olympics Ireland, Matt English said: "This was a truly wonderful evening, rounding off what has been a spectacular year. This year, 2015, marks the 30th year anniversary of eir's partnership with Special Olympics Ireland; the longest running charitable tie-up of its kind in Ireland."
He thanked eir, who helped to organise the ball as one of a number of events during 2015, raising more than €250,000 in total.
The funds raised will help the development of sports, training and competition programmes for more than 9,000 athletes all over Ireland.
Familiar faces at the ball also included Richard Moat, CEO of eir, Shelly Corkery, fashion director at Brown Thomas, and businessman Denis O'Brien, who is chairman of the Council of Patrons for Special Olympics Ireland.