Question time for Joe at OLSC
The first Official Leinster Supporters' Club event of the season saw two-time Heineken Cup-winning head coach Joe Schmidt take part in a Q&A session in front a full house of fans.
OLSC president Aisling O'Connor was the MC at The Laighin Out bar, where Joe spoke frankly and with warmth and great humour about his personal and professional lives in Ireland and Leinster's chances for the rest of the season.
After the Q&A, Joe stayed on to draw the winning ticket in a raffle held to raise funds for the OLSC charity, SOSAD.
Joe presented the prize, a signed Ireland international jersey, provided by the Irish Rugby Supporters Club, to Jemma McKevitt.
Highlights of the event can be seen on the OLSC's YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/olscrugby
The OLSC clubhouse is fast becoming a real success story.
The first attempt at an OLSC bar proved disastrous: its long, narrow layout and exposure to the elements made it uncomfortable. And despite wonderful nights like Denis Hickie's farewell, a replacement area was needed.
The RDS approached Leinster Rugby and suggested a space under the Clock Tower beside one of the show rings. It was unused for most of the year, save for the Dublin Horse Show. It had plenty of space, its own bar and was enclosed, which helps when the focus is on a winter sport.
Furniture was purchased, and Leinster Rugby also chipped in, providing jerseys to adorn the walls, access to their artwork and photo libraries and many of the flat-screen televisions that are placed around the bar area.
A proper AV system and decoration of a stairwell were still required, and with their budget dwindling, OLSC decided to look for sponsorship.
Diageo, a world leading drinks business, was approached, as with its history of rugby sponsorship and long and successful association with the province of Leinster and its rugby team, it was thought the business may be willing to support the club. They duly delivered.
The AV system was installed and one of Guinness's world famous mural artists was dispatched to sort out the stairwell with murals that still puzzle supporters today.
Are the figures in the paintings Leinster players or faces from the artist's imagination? We're not telling!
From sweeping out the leaves to a full house for a Q&A with top coach Joe Schmidt in a few short years.