Testimonial dinner to toast O’Gara’s achievements

Rugby legend Ronan O’Gara will be honoured with a glittering testimonial dinner at Cork City Hall on Oct 24.

The record-breaking fly-half recently retired from professional rugby to take on a coaching role at Paris club Racing Métro 92.

The gala occasion will provide a suitable send-off to a glittering playing career in the presence of 600 guests. Irish Examiner writer O’Gara finished his career as Ireland’s all-time leading points scorer with 1,083, and as Munster’s greatest ever points scorer with a haul of 2,625 points in the red jersey. Throw in the Heineken Cup victories and the record for most international tries from an out-half and it is easy to see why the Corkman is held in such esteem.

Organisers are predicting a huge take-up for the testimonial dinner in his native Cork. Details of the €300-a-head City Hall soiree were announced last night, with 20% of the net receipts going to charities, including a joint initiative between Cork University Hospital and Crumlin Medical and Research Foundation, with a contribution also being made to the Donal Walsh Foundation.

“There is no doubt that Ronan’s achievements with Munster, Ireland and the Lions over 15 years at the highest level are worthy of celebration and acknowledgement,” said chair of the testimonial committee, Michael O’Flynn.

The Cork-based developer also confirmed that another dinner will also be held in London next spring for O’Gara.

More than 600 guests are expected to toast O’Gara’s glittering career at the black-tie event. His close friend Brian O’Driscoll enjoyed a successful testimonial dinner in London after this year’s Six Nations championship.

O’Gara is one of the most prominent personalities in a ‘Faces of Cork’ photographic exhibition around the city and in Cork Airport. All involved gave their services in support of the charitable beneficiaries, Haven and Marymount Hospice. He has also lent his support to Barretstown’s ‘Be part of the Magic’ campaign and the One Per Cent difference national charity initiative.

“The event is in Cork but we believe, given his contribution to rugby, that it will have tremendous appeal at a national level too,” said Mr O’Flynn. An auction and raffle will be held as part of the event. A dedicated email address, linked to O’Gara’s website and info@rogtestimonial.com — has been set up to facilitate ticket reservations etc.

The organising committee includes former fellow Cork Con player Donal Lenihan, legendary jockey Ruby Walsh, top trainer David Wachman and broadcaster Bill O’Herlihy.

O’Gara CV

- Born Mar 7, 1977, in San Diego

240 appearances for Munster
- 15 tries
- 368 conversions
- 27 drop goals
- 556 penalties
- 2,625 points
- Two Heineken Cup wins in 2006 and 2008 and four finals overall

128 caps for Ireland
- 16 tries
- 176 conversions
- 15 drop goals
- 202 penalties
- 1,083 points
- Played in three World Cups
- Central to Ireland’s 2009 Grand Slam Six Nations victory
- Winner of four Triple Crowns

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