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Delight as Leinster stars gate-crash children's charity party

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30 children from three charities including Caitriona Purcell (8) from Carlow met with Leinster Rugby Star Jack Conan at the Conrad Hotel at a fun filled Christmas party in an initiative designed to make Christmas extra special for extra special children

30 children from three charities including Caitriona Purcell (8) from Carlow met with Leinster Rugby Star Jack Conan at the Conrad Hotel at a fun filled Christmas party in an initiative designed to make Christmas extra special for extra special children

30 children from three charities met with Leinster Rugby Stars Ian Madigan, Jack Conan, Dave Kearney, Cian Healy and Jack Conan at the Conrad Hotel at a fun filled Christmas party in an initiative designed to make Christmas extra special for extra special children

30 children from three charities met with Leinster Rugby Stars Ian Madigan, Jack Conan, Dave Kearney, Cian Healy and Jack Conan at the Conrad Hotel at a fun filled Christmas party in an initiative designed to make Christmas extra special for extra special children

30 children from three charities including Noah Burke (4) from Tallaght met with Leinster Rugby Star Dave Kearney at the Conrad Hotel at a fun filled Christmas party in an initiative designed to make Christmas extra special for extra special children

30 children from three charities including Noah Burke (4) from Tallaght met with Leinster Rugby Star Dave Kearney at the Conrad Hotel at a fun filled Christmas party in an initiative designed to make Christmas extra special for extra special children

30 children from three charities including Katie Berry (3) and her mum Lynn Berry from Old Bawn Tallaght met with Leinster Rugby Stars Ian Madigan at the Conrad Hotel at a fun filled Christmas party in an initiative designed to make Christmas extra special for extra special children

30 children from three charities including Katie Berry (3) and her mum Lynn Berry from Old Bawn Tallaght met with Leinster Rugby Stars Ian Madigan at the Conrad Hotel at a fun filled Christmas party in an initiative designed to make Christmas extra special for extra special children

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30 children from three charities including Caitriona Purcell (8) from Carlow met with Leinster Rugby Star Jack Conan at the Conrad Hotel at a fun filled Christmas party in an initiative designed to make Christmas extra special for extra special children

Christmas came early for 30 children when rugby stars Dave Kearney, Jack Conan, Ian Madigan and Cian Healy gate-crashed a charity festive party.

Children from LauraLynn, Heart Children Ireland and Blackrock Flyers Special Olympics Club were delighted to meet their sporting heroes in Dublin's Conrad Hotel.

"It's really exciting," Samuel O'Riordan (10) from Leopardstown told the Herald.

"Ian Madigan is my favourite rugby player over Brian O'Driscoll because he is a brilliant player, a great kicker and he has great hair. It's the best Christmas present. It was just amazing."

Samuel and his mother Janette attended the event with Heart Children Ireland.

SURGERIES

Samuel, who suffers from Tricuspid Atresia, has undergone three extensive heart surgeries in recent years.

"It's great to see people out of the hospital for a day," Janette said. "It's nice to forget about appointments and doctors for a day."

The Conrad transformed its ballroom into a huge playroom for children and their families.

Chris Herdman, whose daughter suffers from scoliosis and deficient muscle tone, said the event helped develop a feeling of community.

"It's great for all the family," he said. "The kids, their siblings and the parents."

hnews@herald.ie


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