Rugby fans queue up to kit out at charity auction

Rugby fans queued outside Peter Clohessy’s sports pub in Limerick from 8.30am yesterday, thirsty for mouth-watering rugby memorabilia up for grabs in a special auction.

Rugby fans queue up to kit out at charity auction

The Munster squad donated much of their old kit to be auctioned off in aid of the Livelife Foundation set up in honour of Tralee teenager Donal Walsh, who died on May 12 after a battle with cancer.

More than 1,000 items were sold and such was the demand for the 77 players’ jerseys that each purchaser was limited to two.

Olive Foley, wife of Munster coach Anthony Foley, who organised the auction said: “They were going mad for the jerseys. There were a lot of publicans who wanted them to decorate their premises. We could have sold all 77 jerseys to one person and we decided that we would limit each jersey purchase to two.”

Former Munster and Ireland star Clohessy said: “The auction did not start until midday, but people had begun to queue outside the door at 8.30am. You wouldn’t see that on a big Heineken Cup day. It has been a great success and will raise a lot of money for the Donal Walsh foundation.”

Dorothy Walshe from Killaloe was one of the buyers. “Today is our 10th wedding anniversary and I was able to buy player’s wet gear for my husband, James Ó Murthuile, which he can wear when coaching the underage players during wet winter days. I also got some kitbags for our sons, Conal, 8, and Donncha, 6. They will be over the moon when they see what I got them.”

Several signed items from Paul O’Connell’s playing kit were offered.

Ms Foley said: “I got the idea over a glass of wine when attending Paul’s wedding in France. Paul and Peter [Clohessy] thought it a great idea and when we put it to the Munster squad, every one of them came up trumps and showered us with their Munster playing gear.”

Donal Walsh’s mother Alma travelled from Tralee to thank Olive and the organisers. “We are very grateful for what they have organised here in Limerick,” she said.

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