Former University of Limerick student and Irish rugby star Paul O’Connell raised over €50,000 at the inaugural Paul O’Connell Golf Classic in Adare Manor to fund student scholarships at the University of Limerick.
O’Connell, who studied computer engineering in UL and is now a board member of the University of Limerick Foundation said he was delighted to contribute to the work of the foundation which has raised over €200 million for the university campus since it began in 1989.
Speaking at the event in Adare O’Connell said that “UL is very important to me and I’m delighted to support the work of the Foundation and help some students who would otherwise not be able to pursue third-level education.
“It’s really special to know that a number of young people will benefit from today’s sporting event,” he added. The money raised from the golf event will help disadvantaged students who would not be able to continue to third level education due to cost.
Chief executive of the UL Foundation David Cronin also praised Paul’s dedication to the Foundation, adding that a number of students have already been chosen to receive these scholarships.
“The level of commitment shown by Paul to this event has been matched by the enthusiasm and generosity of all involved. We have already identified a number of students who, thanks to Paul, can start university this month,” said Mr Cronin.
The 32-year-old Munster and Ireland player was awarded the Freedom of Limerick City in April this year for his work as a wonderful ambassador to his native city.
The rugby international is well known for his charity work in Limerick which includes mentoring a number of young people who took part in a nationwide Think Big campaign last year.
O’Connell who stood down after six years as Munster squad captain in August regularly attributes much of his success to his native Limerick explaining the influences that he has had in Limerick has played a large part to his success in rugby.
“I’m always conscious when I’m playing for either Munster or Ireland that I’m also representing Limerick,” added O’Connell. “I’m very proud of where I come from.”
The event was also attended by a number of O’Connell’s team mates including Ronan O’Gara, Donncha O’Callaghan, BJ Botha, Conor Murray and David Wallace.