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Our sporting role models raise a glass

What becomes of well-known rugby stars when they hang up their boots?

In times past, many would move into business, with the presence of a national hero, no matter how limited he may be in relation to the specific job at hand, considered to give the company a bit of star quality.

Of the current batch, however, after the obligatory autobiography is out of the way, a more curious trend seems to be developing.

Three Irish rugby stars have just unveiled their new business venture, designed to keep them financially secure once their career ends. And it's a pub.


Even more surprisingly, the legend that is Brian O'Driscoll has been revealed to be an investor to the tune of €60k in a new Irish venture. And it's a whiskey distillery.

I mention this fondness for investing in the booze business due to a report that came out this week which revealed that 1,000 Irish people will die of alcohol-related illnesses this year.

One might reasonably ask why these top sportsmen, who have been models during their professional career for fitness and abstention from drugs, should pour money into the most harmful drug of all, alcohol.

And the answer seems relatively straight-forward - there's money to be made from booze.