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Tag Archives: Munster Rugby

World tennis ace backs Killaloe man’s fund-raising campaign

RAFAEL Nadal is among the international sports stars supporting a Killaloe man to raise funds for a refugee camp in Greece. Tennis coach Wesley O’Brien is a regular volunteer at the Ritsona Refugee Camp, north of Athens. Two years ago, he started up a programme for residents, thanks to donations of rackets, balls and nets from clubs around the region, including his own in Killaloe-Ballina. As part of a bid to raise funds for a defibrillator for the camp, which is now home to 4000 people, Wesley has secured jerseys signed by some high profile individuals and teams. To-date, these include Nadal, the Munster Rugby Team, Usain Bolt, Rory McIlroy and Franz Beckenbaur. Wesley, who volunteers with Lighthouse Relief, now hopes to be able to sell these rare items in order to generate vital funding support for refugees. “I had raised funds for a defibrillator for the Killaloe-Ballina Tennis Club, so I decided to do the same again for Ritsona …

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Olive Foley’s tribute to ‘soulmate’

Details of the last conversation former Munster legend, Anthony Foley had with his wife, Olive and son, Tony were revealed during his funeral mass in St Flannan’s Church, Killaloe on Friday. Olive recalled the last time she spoke to her husband was last Saturday week, just hours before he passed away from a heart attack at the Munster team hotel in Paris. “We chatted about the lads and how they were getting on in the athletics, and how Tony was faring in the javelin.” “Tony had a chat with too. It was a lovely conversation… I didn’t know it would be our last,” she said, breaking down. During a heart-rendering tribute, she praised her “soul mate” with whom she had spent “seventeen wonderful years” of marriage. She drew laughter from the packed church of 500 several times, describing life with Anthony, affectionately known as “Axel” and their two boys Tony and Dan. Foley, who wasn’t known as a talker, would …

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Munster head coach Anthony Foley dies suddenly

  Ireland and Munster rugby families are united in mourning following the tragic death of Munster head coach Anthony Foley (42) at the team hotel in Paris. Munster’s European Champions Cup game against Racing 92 has been cancelled as a mark of respect to Anthony, his family, players, management and staff. On Sunday afternoon, a minute silence was observed at the Clare senior hurling final between Clonlara and Ballyea as a mark of respect to Anthony. Books of Condolence will be opened across Munster on Monday, October 17 in memory of Anthony. As a mark of respect the seven local authorities in Munster – Clare County Council; Cork City Council; Cork County Council; Kerry County Council; Limerick City and County Council; Tipperary County Council; Waterford City and County Council will open books of condolence at 12 noon. This will allow all Munster Rugby supporters from the province to express their sympathies on the sudden passing of one of Munster’s most faithful and best …

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Ennis students play at Thomond Park

THE past couple of months has seen plenty of activity at St Anne’s Special School in Ennis. As part of an Xcessible Youth Sport Initiative, the school has teamed up with Ennis Rugby Club to introduce tag rugby to some of their students. The initiative was held under the auspices of Munster Rugby and culminated with students and staff heading to Thomond Park to take on other schools who have also taken part in the programme throughout Munster. Donal McMahon was charged with running the programme on behalf of the local rugby club and had nothing but praise for all involved. “I was amazed at the enthusiasm and the skills which the students showed during the initiative. They were so quick to pick up the basic techniques and, obviously, enjoyed the programme. We had lots of fun and it was a hugely enjoyable project to be associated with. “Ennis Rugby Club has always been pro-active in teaming up with charities …

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O’Mahony renews contract with IRFU

Rugby star, Peter O’Mahony has signed a three year contract with the IRFU which will see him remain at Munster until at least June 2018. The dynamic back row made his senior debut for Munster against Ulster in January 2010 and has since made 68 appearances for Munster scoring 10 tries. Peter made his Ireland debut in the 42 – 10 win over Italy in February 2012. The 25 year old has won 27 caps for his country and his most recent appearence in the green jersesy was in the 18 – 11 victory over France in the RBS 6 Nations Championship. Peter is the current Munster captain and captained his country during the 2013 Summer Tour of North America. IRFU performance director, David Nucifora, said, “Peter’s performances for Ireland over the past few seasons have been exceptional. The esteem in which he is held by Irish rugby is reflected in the fact that at the age of just 25 …

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Varley calls time on rugby career

An injury to his left foot during a training session in July 2013 has finally caught up with Munster’s Damien Varley. The 31-year-old hooker has three caps for Ireland and made 121 appearances for the province, scoring 12 tries. Damien, who lives near Killaloe, has only made one substitute appearance for the province this season in the victory over Leinster in October. He underwent surgery three months ago on the injury but has decided to retire after exhausting all possible avenues to a return. He played club rugby with Garryowen before joining the Munster set-up. He joined London Wasps in 2008 but returned to Munster the following year and shared in some of the provinces greatest moments. He started in Munster’s historic win over Australia in Thomond Park in November 2010 and was the starting hooker in the province’s Magners League winning Grand Final against Leinster in May 2011. Varley first represented Ireland against Australia in June 2010, and his …

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Radisson hotel sold for €3.5m

A well-known South East  Clare hotel has been purchased by an Irish hotel investment company, iNua Hospitality, for €3.5 million. The sale of the Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, which was made on behalf of joint receivers, Kieran Wallace and Niall Macklin, highlights the appeal investors currently see in the hospitality sector. Headed up by financier Noel Creedon, iNua Hospitality’s acquisition of the hotel is an addition to the company’s expanding portfolio of Radisson Blu Hotels, given their recent purchase of Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa in Little Island, Cork. “We are very pleased with this second acquisition, which has significant synergies with our Little Island property. We are excited about the development potential for this asset and we look forward to working with the staff and team in Limerick,” said Noel Creedon. iNua Hospitality CFO, John O’Brien, said, “We have now established iNua Hospitality as a key player in the industry. The purchase of both Radisson Blu Hotels in …

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